Midnight Spaghetti (Spaghettata di Mezzanotte)

Midnight Spaghetti (Spaghettata di Mezzanotte)

It’s a “no idea what to cook, need something quick using pantry staples” type recipe. This is the Sicilian version, where pantry staples are pasta, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, pignoli (pine) nuts, raisins. Pick up some parsley from the garden or balcony and you are done. Spaghettata di Mezzanotte is a tradition in Italy and ingredients vary by region or family.

Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 lb (450 g) spaghetti
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 garlic cloves or to taste, roughly chopped
  • 8 anchovies fillets in oil, roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp capers, rinsed, drained and left whole
  • a pinch or 2 of crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup (14 g) flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup (35 g) raisins or currants
  • 1/4 cup (35 g) pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese for serving


Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add salt and spaghetti. Cook until “al dente”.

While pasta is cooking, warm olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook stirring it for about 2 minutes. Do not let it brown. Add anchovies, capers, red pepper, raisins, and pine nuts. Give it a good stir, turn off the heat, and keep it warm.

Drain spaghetti and return it to the cooking pot. Pour garlic mixture and add the parsley. Toss to coat all well. Serve with Parmesan on the side.

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