Giovanni Passerini's spaghetti di Mezanotte

Benissimo, chef!

A whole load of you have been recreating the delicious recipes we’ve been sharing in this section of Midnight Weekly. And the one for gricia, by Giovanni Passerini, may well have been the most appetising of all. So we couldn’t resist sharing another excellent dish by the chef, who’s widely considered one of the world’s greatest Italian cooks. By contrast with his previous choice, this recipe was conceived as a morning-after remedy, if you’ve gone a little hard on a night out. That’s why it’s called ‘midnight spaghetti’ (the Italian in the name).

Ingredients for four people

400g spaghetti
Two slices of crusty bread
Four anchovies
One lemon
Two cloves of garlic
One dried red chilli
12 Salina capers
40g parsley
250ml extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt


Preheat the oven to 170C.

Remove the bread crusts and cut into cubes of around 3cm. Place in the oven until dark brown. Let them sit for 30 minutes.

Crush the bread with a mortar or rolling pin. Season with a little extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.

Roughly chop the parsley and put aside. Peel the garlic gloves, cut in two and chop very finely with a knife or mandoline slicer.

Heat the olive oil, anchovies, chilli, capers and garlic in a large frying pan.

Bring a pan of salted water to the boil then plunge in the spaghetti. Once al dente, remove the spaghetti and transfer to the pan with the sauce. Sprinkle in a little pasta water and start the mantecatura: as the pan heats up, the sauce will begin to cling on to the pasta.

Stir for three minutes.

Grate in the lemon zest, then add four teaspoons of lemon juice. Finish with the parsley and croutons. Mix together and plate up.

This recipe originally appeared in the book ‘Cuites: 60 recettes faciles pour lendemains difficiles’, written by Victoire Loup and published by Human Humans.

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