This Lemon Anchovy Spaghetti is a super simple pasta dish that can be made as a side or main meal!
I know, I know, I know. You’re scared of anchovies. If there were ever a recipe to change your mind though, it’s Lemon Anchovy Spaghetti!
I’ve always had negative connotations with anchovies, despite never eating them until recently. I feel like it’s just a cultural norm to put them down and avoid them at all costs. I can’t remember what made me finally give them a try, but I’m so glad I did!
I sometimes refer to this as “Invisible Anchovy Spaghetti” to my kids. They love seafood (they often snack on sardines or kipper snacks, now if you want to talk about gross…) so anchovies weren’t a hard sell to them. When the pasta came to the table though, they were disappointed that they couldn’t find them. When you cook the anchovies in olive oil they literally melt, infusing the oil with this great flavor.
Lemon and fish are a classic combination, and it’s with good reason. The lemon helps to brighten up the rich flavors created by the garlic and anchovy.
I kid you not, I have been wanting to share this recipe for lemon anchovy spaghetti with you for about a year. We eat this at least once a month because it’s super easy, affordable, and of course delicious. It comes together fast with just a few ingredients, making it the perfect weeknight dinner ready in under 30 minutes.
I like to serve this lemon anchovy spaghetti with a simple salad, but here are a few ways you can customize it and make it your own!
- Serve as a side for your best shellfish.
- Add cooked chicken, shrimp, or white beans for added protein.
- Double the crushed red pepper for extra spice.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of drained capers with the crushed red pepper for a punch of flavor.
- Fold a few cups of arugula into the hot, finished dish.
- Use gluten-free pasta to make the meal gluten-free
Lemon Anchovy Spaghetti
- 16 ounces spaghetti
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 4 anchovy filets packed in oil, drained
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
- 1 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Coarse kosher salt
- 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions, reserving ½ cup of the cooking liquid just before the pasta is done.
- Meanwhile, place oil, garlic, and anchovies in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook 3 minutes or until garlic is golden and the anchovies have melted into the oil, stirring occasionally.
- Add the crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the reserved cooking liquid, then add the pasta and toss to coat. Stir in the parsley, lemon juice, and cheese. Season with salt and toss to incorporate everything. Serve sprinkled with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.