Italian Regional Recipes Primi Piatti: Pasta, Rice, Soups

Spicy Spaghetti with Anchovy and ‘Nduja

Here is a combination to spice up your usual tomato sauce: anchovy fillets and ‘Nduja, with the addition of black olives and myrtle leaves. ‘Nduja is a spicy spreadable pork cream from Calabria, Italy.

If you aim to know more about ‘Nduja and Myrtle ingredients, read our articles on the topic: What Is ‘Nduja and Where Can You Buy It? and What Is Myrtle and Where Can You Buy It?

Serves: 4 | Preparation time: 10 mins | Cooking time: 25 mins

  • Tomato sauce: 450 g
  • Spaghetti: 380 g
  • Anchovy fillets in olive oil: 5
  • Myrtle: 1 sprig
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO): 2 tbsp
  • ‘Nduja: 1 tbsp
  • Pitted black olives: a handful
  • Salt: to taste


Drain and dry the anchovy fillets with absorbent paper to remove their oil, coarsely chop them.

Heat up the oil in a pan and fry up a generous tbsp of ‘Nduja and the anchovy fillets over low heat until they combine with the oil getting a thicker texture.

Add tomato sauce, a pinch of salt and black pepper, cook on medium to high heat for about 5 minutes.

Add black olives and myrtle to the tomato sauce, lower the heat and cook for a further 15-20 mins, stirring occasionally.

Tip: You can add the olives whole or chopped, as you prefer. Make sure to keep the myrtle leaves whole and attached to the sprig instead, so it will be easier to remove it once the sauce is ready to be served.

Boil spaghetti in salted water and drain them possibily al dente, that means at least 2 mins before the standard cooking. Add spaghetti to the tomato sauce, stir until pasta and sauce are evenly combined. Remove myrtle sprig.

Serve warm.

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One Comment

  1. My dear Fiorenze, I would very much like to try some of your recipes, this one in particular, but I am afraid I simply do not know how to convert grams to American metrics. I searched the internet but it is all so confusing, nothing I tried seems to answer my question. I am hoping you may be able to steer me in some direction so I can learn more about how to make the conversions.
    On another note, I tried all three of the outlets you mention trying to find Nduja and while they offer it in different ways all three outlets are in London and do not deliver here in the United States. I guess I will have to wing it as best I can. Myrtle does not appear anywhere that I looked.
    Oh,, woe is me. I feel so lost. Love your blog though so will continue to subscribe.

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