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Large, oval serving platter of fusilli pasta with tomato, olive, and anchovy.

Pasta with Olives, Anchovies, Tomatoes + Breadcrumbs

  • Author: Nicole Gaffney (
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2-4 servings 1x
  • Category: pasta
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: italian


This easy and flavorful recipe for Pasta with Olives, Anchovies, Tomatoes + Breadcrumbs is made with mostly pantry ingredients and can be on the table in under 20 minutes. 


  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling, divided
  • 1 clove garlic, minced, plus 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • salt, as needed
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
  • 3/4 cup assorted pitted olives, green or black
  • 1/2 lb long pasta such as spaghetti, linguini or fusilli
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves, thinly sliced 


  1. Place a large pot of water on the stove and bring it up to a boil.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet.
  3. Add the minced garlic clove and cook for about 1 minute, then add the panko breadcrumbs and toss around until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Season lightly with salt, then transfer to a bowl and set aside. Wipe out the pan and return it to the stove.
  4. Season the boiling water with a little bit of salt, but not too much. The sauce is salty so the pasta doesn’t need much.
  5. Drop the pasta into the water, stir, then cook until al dente (about 8-9 minutes, depending on the brand – check package directions).
  6. While the pasta cooks, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the skillet, then add the sliced garlic and anchovies. Use a fork or rubber spatula to mash the anchovies into the oil until they nearly dissolve and the garlic is just starting to turn golden, about 2 minutes.
  7. Add the tomatoes and olives, then simmer over medium heat until some of the water evaporates, about 5 minutes. Taste, then season with salt as needed.
  8. When the pasta is ready, drain it, shake dry, then add to the sauce. Toss to evenly coat the pasta with sauce, then sprinkle with basil and drizzle with a bit more olive oil. Top with breadcrumbs and serve immediately.

Keywords: pantry, pasta, puttanesca