This dish is a Venetian classic; however, pasta is not a staple in Venice. Instead, polenta and rice generally take pride of place.






Skill level

Average: 3 (28 votes)


  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 125 ml (½ cup) dry white wine
  • 12 anchovy fillets in oil, drained, 6 chopped
  • 400 g bigoli (see Note) or wholewheat spaghetti
  • finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, to serve 

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Drink match 2011 Umani Ronchi Verdicchio Villa Bianchi, Le Marche, Italy ($23)

Heat oil in a large, deep frying pan over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, for 20 minutes or until very soft and translucent. Add wine and cook for 1 minute or until slightly reduced. Add 6 whole anchovies and cook for 2 minutes or until dissolved.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving 60 ml cooking water.

Return onions to low heat, add pasta and reserved cooking water to pan and toss with tongs to coat in sauce. Season with pepper. Divide pasta among serving bowls and serve topped with parsley and chopped anchovies.


• Bigoli is a thick, wholewheat spaghetti available online from The Essential Ingredient.



Photography Chris Chen. Food preparation Phoebe Wood. Styling Berni Smithies. Drinks suggestion Dan Coward.


As seen in Feast magazine, April 2014, Issue 30.