Summer, sun sea colour, even in the kitchen we bring the same sensations with a simple pasta dish, but very tasty: spaghetti with anchovies and confit tomatoes.

In this version I added two ingredients that enhance the scents of the sun and the countryside: confit cherry tomatoes and the breadcrumbs flavoured with oregano. The good oregano, the Calabrese one that tastes of salt on its own.

The confit tomatoes are either cherry or datterini tomatoes, that are cut in half along the length and put in the oven at a temperature of 80 ° – 90 ° for several hours. In this way the tomato water is removed and its sweetness is concentrated in the bite where we taste and  can find all the summer sun.

And what about the anchovies? The wonderful blue fish with great nutritional value, are rich in Omega 3. Those I chose were from Anzio, perhaps the most beautiful fishing port in Lazio where it is possible to buy fish directly from the boats when they arrive in port in the afternoon.

Spaghetti recipe with anchovies, confit cherry tomatoes

The longest preparation are the tomatoes so we can comfortably do them the night before. So we won’t even have the problem of the oven being turned on during the hot summer days.

First you have to choose the tomatoes you prefer and cut them in half along the length. Then place them on a baking sheet facing up and season with a little sugar, extra virgin olive oil, thyme and pepper.

All the oils are good, but I choose Sabina oil and go and get it at the Fara oil mill in Sabina where the oldest olive tree in Europe is also found. At least that’s what they tell me at the mill.

Put the tomatoes in the oven at 90 ° and cook them for 4 hours. It seems a long time but the temperature is low and the taste is rewarded.

Then we move on to fish. We have to clean and wash the anchovies which we will then cook in a pan where we have prepared a base of garlic, oil and chilli for a few minutes.

In another pan we put a little bit of EVO oil and breadcrumbs and as soon as it starts to brown we put in the leaves of fresh oregano and make this ready too. Now we assemble the dish.

Drain the spaghetti cooked ‘al dente’ and pour them into the pan with the anchovies where we add a little of the pasta cooking water, the cherry tomatoes and the flavoured breadcrumbs. We sauté everything to flavour and serve adding oregano and little breadcrumbs.

My wine suggestion for this dish is an Etna Bianco, a wine that has inside it all of Sicily and the minerality of the land of its volcano.

Vanni Cicetti

Vanni ha trasformato il suo hobby in lavoro. È sempre stato nell’ambito della ristorazione iniziando dal bar e diventando capo-barman dell’Aibes – Associazione Italiana Barmen e Sostenitori. È passato poi alla ristorazione facendo corsi sui vini e poi di cucina. La sua grande curiosità, unita al desiderio di sapere e di assaporare, lo ha portato sempre a conoscere e scoprire cose nuove.


Vanni has turned his hobby into work. He has always been in the restaurant business starting from the bar and becoming head barman of the Aibes – Italian Barmen Association and Supporters. He then moved on to catering courses on wine and then cooking. His great curiosity, combined with the desire to know and taste, has always led him to know and discover new things.