• Lunch
  • |
  • Dinner

Elizabeth Hewson's Anchovy, Garlic, Capers & Green Olive Pici

  • 10 MINS
  • |
  • 20 MINS
  • |
  • SERVES 2

Elizabeth Hewson — the brains behind the cookbook and self-care movement Saturday Night Pasta — generously shared with us her recipe for Pici with Anchovy, Garlic, Capers and Green Olives.

She describes this as a Puttanesca Bianco with its classic salty flavour profile but without the tomato. But if you’re really missing it, she suggests adding 1 can of peeled whole tomatoes after the capers and olives, then cooking it all out for an extra 10-15 minutes.

If you are using fresh pasta, Lizzie suggests making Pici or Linguine. But if you only have dried pasta, go for a spaghetti or bucatini.

Elizabeth Hewson's Anchovy, Garlic, Capers & Green Olive Pici


  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 40g fresh breadcrumbs
  • Pinch of chilli flakes
  • Sea salt
  • 6 anchovy fillets
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 tbsp baby capers
  • 60g pitted green Sicilian olives, finely chopped
  • 3 oregano sprigs, leaved picked
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Fresh pasta for two (pici or linguine) or dried pasta for two (bucatini or spaghetti)


  1. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the breadcrumbs, chilli flakes and a pinch of salt. Sauté for 3-5 minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden and crisp, then remove from the pan and set aside. This will be your garnish.
  2. Bring a large saucepan of water to a lively boil and season moderately (you have plenty of salt in the sauce). Add the pasta and cook until molto al dente (very al dente), reserving 125ml of the cooking water. We’re going to finish the pasta in the sauce so ensure it still has that all-important bite. If you decide to add a can of tomatoes to your sauce, get the sauce going before you cook the pasta.
  3. Return the frying pan to the stovetop and set over a low heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the anchovy fillets and slowly sauté for about 1 minute, or until the anchovies start to dissolve. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute — you want to soften the garlic, but take care not to burn it. Add the capers and olives and sauté for 2 minutes — the smell should be intoxicating. You can add tomatoes at this point if you desire. If so, cook the sauce for a further 10-15 minutes, until reduced and thickened.
  4. Using tongs, transfer your cooked pasta directly to the sauce, along with the oregano leaves and lemon zest. Toss everything together with a firm hand. If the sauce needs further loosening, add a splash of the pasta cooking water. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute until everything is nicely combined, then remove from the heat.
  5. Divide the pasta between bowls and serve with the chilli-spiked breadcrumbs showered over the top.