Total Time: 30 minutes or less

Spaghetti San Giovanni is a dish from the south of Italy, named after the saint on the 24th of June. Of course it’s for any day. It’s easy to prepare with simple ingredients and the sauce can be ready at the same time as the pasta. That’s what makes this recipe so popular and it’s very tasty too.

As in other cases there are several versions of the sauce. The basic sauce recipe consists of garlic, capers, pachino tomatoes, very tasty small round tomatoes, parsley and salt. But anchovies and black olives can also be added.

Other name of the recipe in dialect is spaghetti San Giovanniello. Some use short pasta.


Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 filets of anchovy
  • 6 San Marzano tomatoes chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of capers
  • some hot pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 10 leaves fresh basil (tear by hand)
  • salt



Directions:Put oil and garlic in a large deep pan. Brown lightly garlic, then discard it. Add anchovies and dissolve them.

Then add tomatoes, pepper flakes, capers, oregano and some basil. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Check for salt.

Toss cooked and drained pasta into pan with sauce at lively heat. Add the rest of the basil. Mix well to flavor all and serve at once.


Note: dip tomatoes in hot water for easy skin removal and get rid of seeds as well. Use can tomatoes as alternative. This recipe calls for pomodorini, a kind of small very tasty tomatoes, that is if you can find them. Add a little water if sauce too dry. Make sure you don’t burn garlic. No cheese.

More Italian Pasta Recipes From Italy’s Regions

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