A deliciously simple anchovy butter pasta with garlic, capers and lemon that will hopefully become a staple dish in your house. Anchovies are not to be scared of, they add such depth of flavour. In this recipe they are completely melted into the butter so no one will even know they are there. Capers and lemon add a pop of flavour and freshness and flat leaf parsley is the perfect finishing touch. Make this easy anchovy butter pasta immediately!
Easy anchovy butter pasta
Hello! I made this easy anchovy butter pasta a couple of weekends ago when I pretty much had nothing in the cupboard. That is what I love about pasta, you inevitably have a meal in your fridge or cupboards just waiting to be made at any time. Even if I have absolutely NOTHING to eat in my kitchen I ALWAYS have butter, it's one thing I can count on. So I opened my fridge and saw I had a jar of anchovies, capers and a lemon rolling round. I had some parsley in the garden and a dish was made! My freezer was hiding some of my hand rolled gnocchi sardi but this sauce will work with any shape.
I have a strong feeling about anchovies. They get such a bad rap! Melted into a sauce like this they add an amazing depth of flavour and seasoning. It's the kind of ingredient that you can add into a sauce and your guests will be saying "What is IN that sauce?!". I use them in my easy roast tomato pasta sauce and it's completely delicious. Just trust me on this OK?!
Ingredients in anchovy butter pasta
Butter - you can use salted or unsalted but I do personally prefer unsalted and here is why. Butter companies add all different amounts of salt to their butter and honesty, I find some of them too salty. If you have a salted butter you love the flavour of then by all means use that. I like to use unsalted purely so I can control the seasoning myself.
Anchovies - I love Ortiz ones, you can find them anywhere just google them in your area. For this recipe I just had the ones in the little glass jar you get at the supermarket. Whatever is available to you. You could use more or less depending on your preference.
Garlic - Fresh cloves only please, I really don't like jarred garlic. Again, use more or less if you wish.
Lemon - In a medium lemon you should get two tablespoons of juice and one tablespoon of zest which is what this recipe needs.
Capers - capers and anchovies are a match made in heaven! They add delicious little bursts of flavour and freshness to this dish. I like to rinse them before adding to the sauce.
Flat leaf parsley - The parsley plays an important role in this sauce, adding a fresh element which, along with the lemon, cuts through the richness of the butter
What pasta shape is best for this sauce?
As I always say, I don't like rules! Use whatever you like or have in the cupboard. I had some hand rolled gnocchi sardi hiding in my freezer, which you should try and make! It is the easiest pasta to make from scratch and you don't even need a pasta roller. Hand rolled shapes are some of my fave and this sauce would be heaven with my homemade orecchiette or hand rolled pici pasta. Anything fresh or dried will be great.
Why I weigh pasta portions
Guessing how much pasta you need is a nightmare, take the guess work out and weigh out your portions. How many times have you made pasta for people and you've ended up with way too much pasta compared to sauce? You'll need different amounts depending on whether you use dried or freshly made pasta. Dried pasta weighs less as it has no water in it so for one person I do 100 - 120g and fresh I do 150g. It really is a 2 minute job that might seem like an annoying extra step but you'll thank yourself!
Why pasta water is your best friend!
You'll hear me harp on about the magic that is pasta water in 99% of my recipes. It really is a key ingredient in every sauce I make. The starch left behind in the water acts as a thickening agent and helps sauces cling to the pasta. I couldn't make a sauce without it. I never EVER drain my pasta in a colander, I always transfer it directly to the sauce using a spider strainer. That way the pasta pot full of water is left there for you to ladle in as you need. if you have seen my reels on instagram you'll notice my sauces are SAUCY. Pasta soaks up liquid so quickly so I add enough pasta water to make it quite liquidy. By the time I serve into bowls and take to the table it hasn't dried up. You'll get to know what the right consistency is with some practice, you can't go wrong though I promise!
Want some other sauces to try?
If this easy anchovy butter pasta is up your alley then you have to try some of my other sauces! Where do I start?! Check out my recipe section for all the tutorials and sauces. Some of my favourites? You have to make my fast and delicious creamy nduja pasta sauce or my creamy pea and pancetta pasta. For another easy butter based sauce definitely make my easy white wine and butter pasta sauce.
Made this recipe and loved it?
I would love love LOVE if you could leave me a review down below and let me know what you thought! I love to hear any changes or adaptions you have made too. Also if you put a photo on instagram, please tag me so I can see, it makes my day!Print