Bigoli with Onion-Anchovy Sauce

This is a classic of Venice Italy, big fat noodles of whole wheat pasta are tossed in a simple sauce of onions and anchovies.

Bigoli with Onion-Anchovy Sauce 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 4Source Adapted from Lidia BastianichPublished


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 clove garlic peeld and chopped
  • 1 big pinch kosher salt plus more for pasta water
  • 1 ounce canned anchovy fillets drained and finely chopped
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper or more to taste
  • 1 pound fresh bigoli or other spaghetti-like whole wheat pasta
  • ¼ cup flat leaf parsley finely chopped


Set a pot of salted water over medium-high heat and let it come to a slow boil as you prepare the sauce.

Heat the olive oil and butter in the large skillet over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, stir in the onions and garlic; season with ½ teaspoon salt, and cover the pan. Let the onions cook slowly, stirring occasionally until well-softened and lightly golden colored, edged with brown, about 15 minutes. Add the chopped anchovies and cook, stirring until the anchovies melt in the hot oil.

Add the noodles to the water and boil them until just barely cooked. The size and type of noodle you choose will determine the cooking time. Watch them carefully as you finish the sauce.

Raise the heat, add the stock, and bring the sauce to a boil. Then lower the heat to medium once again and stir until the sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Season generously with freshly cracked black pepper and a little salt if needed (taste first).

Using tongs drop the pasta (with some water still clinging) into the onion-anchovy sauce. Toss the pasta and sauce together until well coated. Add the parsley and serve immediately.