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Brown Butter Pasta with Lemon and Anchovies

  • Author: John Bek
  • Total Time: 22 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x


A simple recipe that is so satisfying with bright acidity from lemons, salty anchovies, and rich butter to coat the spaghetti.


Units Scale
  • 2 cheeks of lemon
  • 4 tbsp 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 x 55 g tin (2 oz anchovies*)
  • 1/4 cup capers (or artichoke hearts)
  • spaghetti (cooked al dente (about 120g, uncooked))
  • parsley (or chives, chopped)


  1. To char the lemon, heat a pan over high heat. Lay the lemon cut side down and cook until slightly blackened. Turn heat down to medium-high, remove lemon and set it aside.
  2. Place the butter and anchovies into the same pan. As the butter melts, use a fork to break up the anchovy fillets to help them dissolve into the butter.
  3. Toss in the capers or artichoke and allow to cook until the butter turns a golden brown colour, swirling to help it colour evenly. As soon as this happens, turn off the heat, toss in the cooked spaghetti and mix vigorously to coat. Mix through the parsley or chives.
  4. Serve immediately with a good squeeze of the charred lemon.


Depending on your love of anchovies, use as much or as little as you desire. I use a whole 55g tin and a small amount of its oil.

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 12 mins
  • Category: Pasta, Primi
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: pasta, italian, spaghetti, primi, lemon, anchovies, weeknight meal, simple pasta, olive oil

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