Apr 18, 2006

Spaghetti Mafia

This recipe is courtesy of my friend Jeng's dad, Papa Mario Anlap, who first had it at Bravo! Ristorante, liked it and decided to replicate it in his kitchen. (Thanks, Jeng, Papa!)

The recipe originally calls for a can of anchovy fillets, but since I didn't have any in my pantry I decided to use what's on hand, a bunch of dried dilis. The result? Same taste, albeit a little more work (as I had to break the dilis into pieces then soak them in olive oil for a few minutes), but nonetheless a simple, quick, flavorful, semi-vegetarian dish for a fraction of what you'd shell out at Bravo. :) Great for a quick meal for when you have surprise guests, or as a refreshing change from tomato-sauce spaghetti.


  • 1/2 kg. Spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
  • 1/4 cup black olives, sliced into rings
  • 1 small red bell pepper, julienned
  • 3 shallots or onions, peeled and quartered
  • 1 can anchovy fillets,* diced or flaked, oil reserved
  • 1/4 kilo ripe tomatoes, sliced and seeded
  • 1 can button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 whole head garlic, peeled and sliced into strips
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil*
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 to 5 pieces siling labuyo, sliced lengthwise and seeded, or 1 to 1.5 teaspoons red pepper flakes (optional)

Kitchen Conjugations:

Heat olive oil in a pan and saute garlic, scallions, tomatoes, anchovies, bell peppers, olives and mushrooms. Add in cooked spaghetti and toss for one minute. Season with salt and pepper and toss for another 30 seconds or so.

Serve warm with garlic bread and sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired. Serves 4 to 6.


* You can also use 50 grams dried dilis, cut into smaller pieces crosswise and soaked in 1/4 cup olive oil. If you opt to do this, use the olive oil where you soaked the dilis for sauteing.

A can of Taby anchovy fillets costs P86.50 at Shopwise; if you use dried dilis, P20.00 worth is good for two cook-ups.

Instead of spaghetti, you can opt for other pasta sciutta like linguine, fettucine or even papardelle. You might want to pound the dried anchovies to granules, and mince the garlic, if you have picky eaters.

Papa serves this dish the hot and spicy way, which I actually prefer because it kicks, but I chose to forego the chilis in deference to Mike's acid reflux.

If you're wondering why there is a toy train engine in the picture above, it's because Gambel was playing on the table where I was taking the shots, and he insisted on putting his toy in, to good measure. :)