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Agretti Pasta with Anchovies & Chile

Italian agretti is a salty, tart, green vegetable that pairs perfectly with pasta.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main
Keyword: agretti, anchovies, pasta
Servings: 6
Author: Darina Allen


  • 1 pound or 1 bunch of agretti
  • 1 pound spaghetti or linguine
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 to 6 anchovy fillets
  • 1 good pinch of red chile flakes
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced at an angle
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • zest of 1 lemon, to serve


  • Wash the agretti well and remove any woody stems if necessary. Bring 5 quarts of water to the boil in a large saucepan and add 1 tablespoon of salt and the agretti. Blanch for a couple of minutes, then remove the agretti with a slotted spoon and refresh in cold water.
  • Bring the water back to a boil, add the pasta, and stir. Bring back to a boil, cover, and cook for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit in the water in the tightly covered pot for 8 to 10 minutes or until just al dente.
  • Meanwhile, heat the extra virgin olive oil in a skillet, add the garlic, and cook for a minute or two, then add the anchovies, mash slightly, and add the chile flakes and scallions. Cook for a couple of minutes, add the well-drained agretti, and continue to cook until tender but still with a bite—a minute or two.
  • Drain the pasta, add to the pan, and toss well. Drizzle with more olive oil. Season to taste, grate over some fresh lemon zest, and turn into a hot serving bowl. Grate over some more lemon zest and serve as soon as possible. 


Used with permission from Grow, Cook, Nourish: A Kitchen Garden Companion in 500 Recipes by Darina Allen, Kyle Books, 2017. Photography by Clare Winfield and Tim Allen.