Spaghettini with Peppercorns, Anchovies & lemon

You can be quite versatile with this pasta, adding more of one ingredient, less of another. And you could easily introduce another flavour, such as tuna, diced tomato, a fresh herb like basil, or a dash of cream. I like this pasta with freshly grated parmesan, but you may decide to serve it without.


  • 70 g ( oz) butter
  • 8 anchovy fillets in oil, drained
  • grated rind and juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon drained green peppercorns in brine, coarsely crushed
  • 250 g (9 oz) spaghettini
  • parmesan cheese, grated, to serve


Put about 50 g ( oz) of the butter with the anchovies in a small saucepan over low heat. When they are hot, break up and mash the anchovies with a wooden spoon. Add the lemon rind, juice and peppercorns and heat through. Remove from the heat.

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water, following the packet instructions. Drain it but keep some of the cooking water. Toss the pasta with the sauce and the remaining butter. Add a little of the cooking water to make the sauce coat the pasta thoroughly and serve immediately with parmesan.