Linguine alla Mollica Linguine with Anchovies, Capers, Olives and Breadcrumbs

Serves 4

300g linguine (also called lingue di passero)
Salt and pepper
12 tbsp olive oil
60g pitted black olives, chopped
2 small red chillies, finely chopped
1 tbsp salted capers, rinsed
6 anchovy fillets
60g fresh breadcrumbs

The Italian composer, Ruggero Leoncavallo, who wrote I Pagliacci among other operas, was very partial to this dish.  It is traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve in Calabria.

Add the linguine to a large pan of boiling salted water and boil until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat half of the olive oil in a pan, add the olives, chillies, capers and anchovies, and heat, stirring to dissolve the anchovies. Drain the pasta as soon as it is ready and toss this into the sauce.

At the same time, heat the rest of the olive oil in a large non-stick pan and fry the breadcrumbs until slightly brown.

Now mix the dressed pasta into the breadcrumbs. Fry for a few minutes, until a crust forms underneath. Invert on to a warm plate, so the crushed side is on top. Cut into portions with a knife and serve.

This recipe is from Antonio Carluccio’s Italia