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Spicy Sicilian Spaghetti


  • 1 pound spaghetti

  • 1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped

  • 1 red chili pepper, preferably a Fresno pepper, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, grated

  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley (a couple of handfuls)

  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

  • 1 cup chicken stock or clam juice, divided

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 6 anchovy fillets

  • 1 can whole, peeled Italian-style tomatoes (28 ounces)


Bring a pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, using a food processor, puree the onion, chili pepper, garlic, parsley, thyme, bay leaves and lemon zest with a splash of stock or clam juice.

In a large saucepan, heat the EVOO, four turns of the pan, and the anchovies over medium-high heat until the anchovies melt. Add the onion-chili paste and stir for 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and remaining stock or clam juice, breaking up the tomatoes with a spoon. Cook the sauce until thickened, about 20 minutes. Toss the spaghetti with the sauce.