Bocatelli with Tomato Sauce Anchovy, Red Pepper and Capers

Bocatelli with Tomato Sauce Anchovy, Red Pepper and Capers

OK OK I understand you’re confused – That’s not Bocatelli it’s Camponelli because that’s what I had in the cupboard tonight. I am putting this recipe up because it is truly one on my top 10 favorites of all time. I can eat this once a week and I actually have to keep it down to once a month.

It’s simplicity incarnate and delivers an astonishing amount of flavor. You can serve this as an appetizer course or as a main. It’s spicy a bit fishy and very tomato – y. You know that’s not a word. Don’t be surprised when people say to you I thought it sounded terrible – anchovy or capers how horrible! But I loved this!!!!

You also don’t serve cheese of any kind with this dish!

Pasta’s that are used traditionally for fish recipes are Linguini, Bocatelli and of course Spaghetti. Super thin pasta’s doesn’t do well here and not being a purist I can have this with Penne or several other short pasta’s.

Bills Pasta Book: Linguini, Bocatelli – Bucatini and of course Spaghetti.

Bocatelli with Tomato Sauce Anchovy, Red Pepper and Capers

So simple and so packed with taste I simply love this recipe. It's easy keeping in mind that you can't burn the garlic or you have to start again!
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Appetizers, Main Courses
Cuisine Pasta & Sauces
Servings 4 portions
Calories 236 kcal


  • 300 gr pasta of your choice
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 4 anchovy fillets finely chopped
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes or as much as you like.
  • Small handfull parsely finely chopped
  • 1 400 gr can of whole Italian tomatoes crush them by hand in a small bowl
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar level spoon full
  • 1 tsp black pepper freshly ground, or more if you like.
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 50 gr capers small nonperell capers


  • In a frying pan add the oil heat and add the oil, garlic, chopped anchovies, red pepper flakes and most of the chopped parsley and saute for a couple of minutes. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes and simmer very gently until the oil separates from the tomatoes. This should take 15 to 20 minutes. Then the sauce is done.
  • When the pasta is cooked save a little of the water, drain and add to the sauce. Add the capers. Stir well to incorporate all the sauce. If its a bit thick you can loosen it with a little of the pasta cooking water.
  • Taste for salt and pepper. Stir in the butter, add the remaining parsley and serve on a warm serving plate.


This recipe really takes so little time. Put on the pasta water when you begin to make the sauce and it shouldn't take more than 25 minutes to get dinner onto a plate. The sauce can be made ahead.


Calories: 236kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 0.3gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 149mgPotassium: 18mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 4g
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I don't have many canapes here. The ones I share are super quick, very tasty and most of all tasty. Your guests will appreciate the effort.

A Quick Note

I wanted to take a minute to say that I do try and weigh as many of the ingredients as I can. I think it helps make recipe results more consistent. Of course professional bakers even measure liquids by weight. I don't mind pulling out my little digital scale when I need to.