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    Bucatini with asparagus, anchovies and capers

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    Bucatini with asparagus, anchovies and capers

    So often the simplest dishes are the best – here asparagus elevates everyday pasta into something rather sublime. If you’re vegetarian, just leave out the anchovies and perhaps add a little grated cheese

    • Preparation time: 20 minutes
    • Cooking time: 20 minutes
    • Total time: 40 minutes

    Serves: 4


    130g fresh sourdough, crusts removed
    450g asparagus, trimmed
    125ml extra virgin olive oil
    3 tbsp nonpareille capers, rinsed and drained
    350g Waitrose 1 bucatini spaghetti
    1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
    1 large lemon, zest and juice
    ¼ tsp dried chilli flakes
    10 anchovy fillets in olive oil, drained
    ½ x 25g pack flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped


    1. Roughly tear up the sourdough and put in the small bowl of a food processor. Whizz to breadcrumbs and set aside. Slice each asparagus spear on a steep diagonal into pieces about 3-4cm long; set aside.

    2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan. Pat the capers dry; add to the pan. Cook over a medium heat for 2-4 minutes, turning occasionally, until starting to crisp. Scoop out with a slotted spoon; drain on kitchen paper, leaving the oil in the pan. Add the breadcrumbs to the pan and stir over the heat until golden brown (4-6 minutes); set aside to cool and crisp up.

    3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta following pack instructions, adding the asparagus pieces for the final 3 minutes. Put the garlic in a pestle and mortar with the lemon zest, chilli and anchovies. Pound into a smooth paste, then stir in the lemon juice and remaining oil. Drain the pasta and return to the pan. Toss with the anchovy paste, capers and parsley; season if liked. Divide between bowls, scattering with the breadcrumbs to serve. 

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    This recipe first appeared in Waitrose & Partners Food, June 2019 issue. Download the Waitrose & Partners Food app for the full issue


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