Spaghetti with Colatura di Alici


This is a recipe typical of southern Italy, it’s very simple, healthy and fast to do, and it’s one of my favorite recipes. Since the sauce is a cold sauce, you just need a pot to boil the pasta (and a pan for the bread, ok).

As many other Italian recipes, it’s based on few ingredients, ingredients that must combine together perfectly and none of them has to overwhelm the others. So it’s very important that each ingredient must be a very good quality one, otherwise you will not find this recipe so special.

Why is it healthy? First of all, since we use the extra virgin olive oil cold and not hot, we keep all its good and very healthy properties (the polyphenols, contained in big amount inside the best quality extra virgin olive oils, have a big antioxidant power, otherwise when we cook the oil we destroy most of them, that’s why Italians add always a drop of “olio a crudo”, cold oil, on the final dishes).

And also the Colatura has good antioxidant properties.

So first of all, you need “Colatura di alici”, which unfortunately is not always easy to find outside Italy (but in some specific stores you can find it also in other countries nowadays). This ingredient is a beautiful amber liquid sauce produced by fermenting anchovies in brine with salt, and it’s used to say that is a modern version of the Garum, a very famous sauce on the tables of rich Romans at the time of the Empire.

Then, as I said before, you need a good quality extra virgin olive oil.

Last but not least, the pasta: for this kind of oily sauces it’s very important that the pasta absorbs and “picks up” the oil, indeed if you use an average spaghetti they are usually too slippery, and all the oil would stay on the bottom of your dish. So for the best result you need spaghetti made with good quality durum, with a good amount of starch, and “trafilati a bronzo”, made with the traditional process which gives to the pasta a “wrinkled” texture, thanks to the quality of the durum and to the slow drying process at low temperatures (around 40 °C), that can take up to 24 or 48 hours (while industrial pasta are dried at over 100 °C in a couple of hours maximum).

So, as you see, few ingredients and some details to take care: that’s what makes always the difference 🙂

Here it is the recipe .


INGREDIENTS (4 people):

  • 400 g spaghetti (or even better, spaghettoni)
  • 8/10 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (2/3 for each person, about)
  • 4 tablespoons of Colatura di alici
  • 2-3 slices of good quality bread
  • chili
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • fresh parsley
  1. In a large bowl put the oil, the Colatura, the garlic cut in half and the chili cut in slices, and mix all together. The sauce is already ready 🙂 set it aside.
  2. Cut the bread into small pieces, about half centimeter large, and make it cruchy in a pan at medium heat. This is an extra compared to the traditional recipes, but it will add a nice texture to our dish. In any case, also without it’s a very good dish!
  3. In the same time, put the water to boil in a high pot and when it starts to boil add the pasta. Since the Colatura is already enough salty, you don’t need to put salt in the water (or do it very little). With a fork move the spaghetti some times while boiling, so they won’t attach to each others.
  4. When you see that the pasta is ready, remove the garlic from the sauce, then drain the pasta from the water and add it in the cup where is the sauce. Then drop inside also the crunchy bread and mix well all together, and in the end add the parsley.
  5. Enjoy!

PS: No cheese! 😉

Simple and very good 🙂

Spaghetti colatura


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