Midnight Spaghetti (Spaghettata di Mezzanotte)

  • Serves

    serves 4-6


The after-party Italian tradition of spaghettata di mezzanotte—"midnight spaghetti"—gave birth to this lusty pasta dish tossed with anchovies, capers, tomatoes, and garlicky bruschetta crumbs. This recipe first appeared in our May 2014 issue with the story The Endless Evening.


  • 1 (12-oz.) loaf crusty bread, sliced 1" thick
  • 10 cloves garlic (3 peeled, 7 thinly sliced)
  • 34 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp. crushed red chile flakes
  • 10 canned oil-packed anchovy fillets, 2 tbsp. oil reserved
  • 13 cup capers, drained
  • 1 (28-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 1 lb. casarecce, or spaghetti
  • 12 cup roughly chopped parsley
  • Zest of 1 lemon


Step 1

Heat oven to 350°. Place bread on a baking sheet; bake until toasted, 20–25 minutes. Transfer bread to a cutting board; rub with whole garlic cloves, drizzle with 1⁄4 cup oil, and sprinkle with 1⁄3 cup parmesan, salt, and pepper. Mince 1 piece of bruschetta; transfer with crumbs to a bowl.

Step 2

Heat 1⁄4 cup oil, the sliced garlic, and chile flakes in a 12" skillet over medium heat; cook until garlic is soft, 2–3 minutes. Add anchovies and their oil; cook, stirring and mashing them up until they melt, 3–4 minutes. Add capers; cook until golden, 3–4 minutes. Add tomatoes; simmer until sauce is slightly thickened, 4–5 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water and add to skillet with 1⁄4 cup parmesan, the parsley, and zest; toss. Garnish with minced bruschetta, remaining oil, and parmesan; serve with bruschetta.

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