Paccheri with Anchovies, Capers, Olives (& Raisins)

I came across this recipe in Saturday’s Telegraph magazine (not mine you understand). I was drawn to it because not only does it include a novelty pasta and three favoured salty ingredients (anchovies, olives and capers) but it also bizarrely contains a smattering of raisins. Would this be (as Gregg and John often say) one ingredient too many? Would it win the approval of my doubting co-blogger? Only one way to find out…


Paccheri are large thick tubes of pasta which you’ll probably have to visit an Italian deli to find, or the deluxe pasta section of your local fancypants supermarket. If you can’t get hold of any, use the largest pasta tubes you can find.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 – 20 minutes
Skill level: easy
Serves: 2


  • paccheri – 250g
  • 1 clove of garlic – crushed
  • 10 capers
  • 10 black olives
  • tin of good tomatoes – drained and cut into slivers
  • ½ tin of anchovies – drained
  • raisins (yes, raisins) – 1 tbsp
  • pecorino – grated – 2 tbsp
  • parsley – chopped – handful
  • dried oregano – 1 level tsp
  • olive oil – generous slug
  • s & p

Add the paccheri to a large pot of boiling salted water and cook until al dente – about 18 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare all your other ingredients.

A few minutes before the pasta is ready, make the sauce. Heat the oil with the garlic and add the olives and capers. Stir (and crush) with a wooden spoon.

Add the tomato slivers, raisins, oregano, a pinch of salt, a twist of black pepper and 1 tbsp of the pasta water.

Cook at a high temperature for 15 seconds and turn off the heat.


Add the anchovies and stir – you don’t want to cook them.

Stir in the pasta and cheese.

Serve with the parsley and more cheese.

Verdict: Well this controversial dish came up trumps. Great piquant flavours with the occasion burst of sweetness – this could become a regular midweek treat.

Drink: An after work quicky at the Jerusalem. The Grapefruit ale is particularly good.

Entertainment: Appropriately for a night when we outrageously ate pasta with raisins, we watched ‘Heston’s Tudor feast’. The butterbeer and rice pudding sausages looked good.


  1. Interesting dish. I was sceptical about the raisins but I see it is only a tablespoon so I can see how a little sweetness would work. I must add I am a fan of that grapefruit ale too. I can’t remember what it is called but I assume it is probably the same variety or very similar.

  2. Hi Helen

    The Grapefruit Ale is from the St Peter’s Brewery. Nice bottles too – ideal for olive oil.



  3. gorgeous picture. this is a great pasta for this sicilian dish!

  4. I made this at the weekend. Couldn’t get the enormous pasta tubes, so did it with big penne. It was marvellous! Thought I might like it as I love the Pizza Express Venetiana pizza with capers, olives, sultanas and pine kernels.

    It sounds so wrong, yet tastes so right…

    Really enjoy your blog – Thanks.


  5. Arch Crippledick

    Have made this a couple of times. I have now foregone the rasins and subsituted a medium red chili in with the garlic.



  6. really nice base for a recipe. I used chopped beefsteak tomatoes (I’ve got a glut at the moment). Used chilli and the sultanas, the herb was basil
    Left out the cheese, parsley and oregano. Thanks most enjoyable.

  7. Hi Tony

    Pleased you liked it.


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