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A bowl of easy anchovy pasta with chilli. A fork is twisting the spaghetti.
4.92 from 25 votes

Quick and easy chilli and anchovy pasta

A speedy pasta flavoured with garlic, anchovy, chilli. Adaptable with endless variations.  This easy pasta dish can be on the table in less than 15 minutes making it perfect for midweek meals.
Servings: 2
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins


Basic Dish

  • 140 g Dried pasta - (I used spaghetti here)
  • 50 g anchovy fillets in olive oil (small tin)
  • 2 garlic cloves - (peeled & sliced)
  • 1 red chilli - (sliced)

Optional Extras

  • 1 tbs capers - (drained, rinsed and chopped)
  • 3 sun dried tomatoes - chopped
  • 1/2 avocado - peeled and chopped
  • olives - (stoned and chopped)
  • lemon zest and juice

To Serve

  • 1 tbs grated parmesan
  • ½ a bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley


  • Place the spaghetti in a large pan of boiling salted water and cook according to the package instructions.
  • Whilst the pasta is cooking open the anchovies and pour them into a large frying pan, cook over a low heat stirring all the time, until the anchovies "melt" and make a sauce. 
  • Add the garlic, chilli, and the capers, sun dried tomatoes and olives (if using).  Cook for a few minutes.
  • Once the pasta is cooked reserve a cup of cooking water and add a splash to the anchovy mixture.
  • Drain the pasta and give it a good shake. Add the the frying pan and stir well so it is coated with the anchovy sauce.
  • Stir through the avocado (if using), Parmesan and chopped parsley and serve immediately.


Easy Chilli Anchovy Pasta - Hints & Tips
  • Always use a large pan to cook the pasta in, and add plenty of salt to the cooking water.
  • Mix up the recipe - you can add capers, sun dried tomatoes, sliced pitted olives to the sauce.
  • When chopping hot chillis wrap your fingers in cling film.
  • You can use either red or green chillis.
  • If you have leftover chillis slice them thinly and pop them in an airtight tub in the freezer.  Scoop a few out and chop, then fry from frozen - no need to buy ready chopped jarred chillies preserved in vinegar.
  • Mix up the herbs - or leave them out.
  • The type of pasta doesn't matter - use shapes, spaghetti or mix it all up. 
  • Get a portion of vegetables into this dish by serving with a salad, or add a handful of greens to the pasta for the last 2 minutes of cooking time.
Nutritional information
  • This recipe is 14 Weight Watchers Smart Points
• Please note that the nutrition information provided below is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
• Unless stated otherwise cup conversions have been made with an online tool. For accuracy please check with your favoured conversion tool. We recommend buying inexpensive digital kitchen scales.
Calories: 463kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 200mg | Potassium: 670mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 315IU | Vitamin C: 39.4mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 2.5mg