Spaghetti with Onions, Anchovies and Capers

Spaghetti al Sugo di Cipolle


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves



Appears in

The Classic Pasta Cookbook

The Classic Pasta Cookbook

By Giuliano Hazan

Published 1993

  • About

This dish shows how the lowly onion can be transformed into a succulent sauce by slow, lengthy cooking and the addition of capers and a few, almost undetectable, anchovies.


  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 to 8 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 4 cups yellow onions, finely chopped
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons flat leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 pound spaghetti


  1. Put the olive oil and anchovies in a 12-inch skillet and place over medium low heat. Cook, stirring, until the anchovies have dissolved. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper (go light on the salt because of the anchovies), and continue cooking until the onions have wilted completely and become very tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Raise the heat to medium high and cook, stirring, until the onions turn to a rich golden color. Add the wine and continue cooking until most of the wine has evaporated. Add the capers and parsley, cook for a couple more minutes then remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Fill a pot for the pasta with about 6 quarts of water, cover, and place over high heat. When the water boils, add 2 tablespoons salt and the spaghetti. Stir until all the strands are submerged and cook until al dente. When the pasta is almost done reheat the sauce. When the pasta is done, drain well, toss with the sauce and serve at once.

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