Recipe tip: Using the cooking water from the spaghetti pan helps the sauce cling to the pasta and gives the dish more body.


  • 400g spaghetti
  • 3 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
  • ½ fennel, halved and very thinly sliced
  • 75g nduja or sobrasada paste
  • 200g tomatoes (the best you can get), chopped into chunks
  • 75g black olives, pitted and sliced
  • 2 tsp tomato purée
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus a drizzle
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 40g pecorino, plus extra to serve
  • handful basil, torn


  • STEP 1

    Boil the kettle. Put all the ingredients except the pecorino and basil in a wide saucepan or deep frying pan and season well. Pour over 800ml kettle-hot water and bring to a simmer, using your tongs to ease the spaghetti under the liquid as it starts to soften.

  • STEP 2

    Simmer, uncovered, for 10-12 mins, tossing the spaghetti through the liquid every so often until it is cooked and the sauce is reduced and clinging to it. Add a splash more hot water if the sauce is too thick or does not cover the pasta while it cooks. Turn up the heat for the final few mins to drive off the excess liquid, leaving you with a rich sauce. Stir through the pecorino and basil, and serve with an extra drizzle of oil and pecorino on the side.


Nduja, a spicy spreadable salami paste from Calabria, in Italy, is available at and from delis. Sobrasada, which is the spanish equivalent, has the flavour of chorizo. Find it in selected Sainsbury's or delis. Or you can use finely chopped chorizo instead. 

Recipe from Good Food magazine, September 2016

Goes well with


Comments, questions and tips

Rate this recipe

What is your star rating out of 5?

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Overall rating

A star rating of 4.6 out of 5.48 ratings