Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Olives, and Capers

This assertive, full-flavored sauce is best made with summer-ripe tomatoes. But it can also be made in the dead of winter with good-quality canned tomatoes.

Serves: 4Hands-on: 15 minutesTotal: 30 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 4


  • 6 large Roma tomatoes
  • 10 Italian or Greek oil-cured olives
  • 1 Tbsp. capers
  • 4 oz. canned anchovies
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 lb. spaghetti or other long pasta
  • 2 cups unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh chopped oregano
  • 2 tsps. fresh basil
  • 1⁄2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 4 sprigs Italian flat parsley


  • Chop tomatoes (do not peel or remove the seeds). Remove pits from olives and cut in half. Rinse capers. Drain anchovies. Smash, peel, and mince garlic.
  • Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook, uncovered, until al dente (10 to 15 minutes). Drain pasta thoroughly.
  • Melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic. Cook over low heat for 1 minute, then add anchovies. Continue cooking over low heat, gently mashing anchovies and mixing with garlic. Add tomatoes, olives, capers, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until tomatoes have softened. If the sauce is too dry, add 1 tablespoon water.
  • To serve, combine sauce with cooked pasta. Garnish with parsley.