Browse All Recipes

Bigoli in salsa

Venice’s emblematic pasta dish: spaghetti with anchovy and onion sauce.

By Andy Harris
  • Serves 4
  • 5 mins preparation
  • 10 mins cooking
Bigoli in salsa
Bigoli in salsa

After pasta e fasioi (pasta and beans), this is Venice’s other emblematic pasta dish: spaghetti with an anchovy and onion sauce. It was a popular fasting dish for Lent, but is now eaten all year round.


  • 60 ml (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 good-quality anchovy fillets, drained, plus extra to serve
  • 400 gm bigoli (see note)


  • 1
    Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, add onion and sauté over low heat until soft (8-10 minutes). Add ¼ cup water to pan to prevent onion burning, then add anchovy fillets, breaking them up with a wooden spoon. Cook until anchovies dissolve and season to taste with freshly ground black pepper. Turn off heat, cover and keep warm.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, cook bigoli in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente (7-8 minutes). Drain, add anchovy and onion sauce, stirring to combine, then serve immediately topped with extra anchovy fillets.


Bigoli is a thick whole-wheat pasta available from
. If it’s unavailable, you can substitute it with spaghetti.
Drink Suggestion: Fruity pinot grigio. Drink suggestion by Max Allen

  • Author: Andy Harris