Arlechin's midnight spaghetti recipe

Midnight spaghetti at Arlechin.
Midnight spaghetti at Arlechin. Photo: Simon Schluter

The inspiration for this dish, on the menu at Good Food Guide Bar of the YearArlechin in Melbourne, comes from getting home late from work, hungry and without anything to eat prepared. Naturally I turned to the staples of the Italian pantry – garlic, chilli flakes, parsley, olive oil, anchovies or colatura and capers. Combined, they give you a hit of flavour and appease a raging hunger after a hard night at work or at play. Pantelleria capers and colatura, an Italian fish sauce made from anchovies, are available from Enoteca Sileno.


50ml extra virgin olive oil

35g shallot, finely diced

10g garlic, chopped

10g anchovies, finely diced

30g capers (I like Pantelleria capers in oil)

5g dry chilli flakes

2 x 400g cans San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes


15g colatura

zest of ¼ lemon

10g flatleaf parsley, chopped

sea salt

210g spaghetti

fresh oregano leaves to serve (in summer, use basil leaves)


1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add a big pinch of salt.

2. Squeeze out any excess liquid from the tomatoes and keep the juice for another use. Cut the tomatoes into about 5mm dice and set aside.  You should have about 500g of tomato.

3. On a moderate heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and gently cook the shallots and garlic until translucent but without colour. Add the anchovies, capers and chilli and cook to infuse the flavours for a minute or so. Add the chopped tomatoes and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes, mixing gently. 

4. During the 3 to 4 minutes that the sauce is cooking, place the spaghetti into the boiling salted water and gently stir so the strands don't stick together. Cook until al dente.

5. Strain the spaghetti; mix the colatura, lemon zest and parsley into the tomato sugo and add the spaghetti. Toss to combine, seasoning with sea salt if needed.

6. Divide the spaghetti among six plates, leaving some sugo behind to spoon over the top. Garnish with oregano (or basil) leaves and serve.

Serves 6 as a snack