Spaghetti with anchovies, chilli, garlic, parsley, orange zest and capers

This simple yet intensely flavourful pasta recipe from Phil Howard is a masterclass in how a handful of contrasting ingredients can fuse together to create something truly outstanding. Spaghetti is tossed in a punchy sauce of anchovies, chilli, garlic, capers and orange. The dish works well with fresh or dried pasta (just be sure to adjust cooking times accordingly) and don't forget the importance of the pasta water to help combine the pasta and sauce – a key component of Phil's new pasta delivery service OTTO.

Watch Phil and dozens of our other chefs show you how to cook the dishes they love as part of our Signature Series here.

First published in 2021






Peel, quarter and slice the red onion, slice the chillies and finely grate the garlic. Roughly chop the anchovies


Add 100ml of the olive oil to a pan over a medium heat. Once hot, add the sliced onion with a pinch of salt and cook briefly. Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes, then add the chillies. Cook for a minute or 2, then remove from the heat

  • 100ml of extra virgin olive oil
  • salt

Add the anchovies, stirring vigorously to 'melt' them into the sauce, then add the capers. Zest the orange into the sauce, then add half of its juice 


Stir in the vinegar, then roughly chop the parsley and add it in too. Pour in the remaining 100ml of olive oil, then taste to check you're happy with the seasoning. At this point, the sauce really benefits from an hour or 2 of resting, but it can be used right away

  • 2 tbsp of Chardonnay vinegar
  • 20g of flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked
  • 100ml of extra virgin olive oil

When ready to serve, bring a large pan of salted water (at least 2 litres) to the boil. If you're using dried spaghetti, cook it according to the packet instructions, or to your preferred level of al dente. If you're using fresh, cook it for 2-3 minutes


When the pasta cooking water has started to become starchy (around 7 minutes for dried pasta, around 2 minutes for fresh), carefully remove a small mugful of pasta water. Put the sauce back over a medium heat. Add approximately half a mug (around 100ml) of the water to the sauce and swirl around to integrate, allowing it to simmer gently while the pasta finishes cooking


Drain the spaghetti, add to the sauce, turn the heat up and swirl around with tongs so the pasta is rolling through the sauce. After a minute at the boil the sauce should become rich and velvety with the pasta and sauce becoming one wonderful, glazed mass of goodness. Carefully transfer to warm bowls and serve immediately


Phil Howard has always been a ‘chef’s chef’, quietly notching up years of service and influencing the industry immeasurably. After selling his iconic two Michelin-starred restaurant The Square to open Elystan Street in Chelsea, he has proved himself yet again to be one of the UK's brightest culinary talents.

Get in touch

Please sign in or register to send a comment to Great British Chefs.

You may also like

Load more