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Spaghetti Milanese, The Authentic Italian Recipe

Spaghetti Milanese, contrary to what you may think, is a typical Sicilian dish made with Pasta, Tomato Sauce, Anchovies and Breadcrumbs.
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Spaghetti Milanese, The Authentic Italian Recipe
  • Difficulty Easy
  • Prep 10 minutes
  • Cook 25 minutes
  • Servings 4 people

The Spaghetti Milanese is a very tasty pasta dish that, contrary to what you might think seeing the name, belongs to the Sicilian culinary tradition. These Spaghetti are seasoned with Tomato Sauce, Cherry Tomatoes, Anchovies and Breadcrumbs. Contrary to what the name may lead you to think, this dish has nothing to do with Milan but instead come from Sicily where is prepared as an alternative to Pasta with Sardines.

There is no unique recipe for Spaghetti Milanese because each family has its own variation, just as the ingredients may vary depending on the area where this Pasta is made. But in every version prepared, Spaghetti Milanese encapsulates all the flavors of Sicily!

If you love Typical Sicilian Recipes, don’t miss also the Pasta con le Sarde, the Pasta with Cauliflower and the Pasta alla Norma! And now here is the recipe for Spaghetti alla Milanese!


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  1. To prepare Spaghetti Milanese, start by heating extra virgin olive oil in a nonstick pan. Add the breadcrumbs and toast them until golden brown. Once ready, keep it aside.

  2. Wash the anchovies carefully and remove the bones. Brown them in a frying pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a clove of garlic, stirring with a wooden spoon and trying to reduce the anchovies to small pieces.

  3. Pour the Passata di Pomodoro into the pan, add the tomato paste, adjust the salt, season with a pinch of pepper and continue cooking for another 20 minutes, or at least until the sauce begins to thicken.

  4. After about 10 minutes, boil the spaghetti in plenty of lightly salted water, taking care to drain them while they are still al dente.

  5. In the meantime, wash the cherry tomatoes, cut them in half and sauté them in a pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and the other clove of garlic. Adjust the salt, sprinkle with pepper and continue cooking for another couple of minutes.

  6. Once al dente, drain the spaghetti and add it to the pan with the sauce. Saute for a few minutes, add the cherry tomatoes and continue cooking until all the ingredients are ready.

  7. When all the ingredients are perfectly cooked, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and serve Spaghetti Milanese piping hot!


The original recipe for Spaghetti Milanese does not include Tomatoes, but we decided to add them to enrich the dish. If you prefer, you can also omit them.


If you are unfamiliar with cleaning Fish, you can buy already cleaned Anchovies or ask your local Fishmonger.


Spaghetti Milanese is a dish that should strictly be eaten at the moment.