Fettuccine with Tomatoes and Crispy Capers


Inspiring Idea Frying capers in oil makes them incredibly crispy. Rob Evans of Hugo's and Duckfat in Portland, Maine, uses them as a garnish for spice-crusted scallops.Quick Take Grace Parisi's fried capers add a delectable, salty crunch to pasta tossed with fresh tomatoes and prosciutto. More Pasta Recipes

Fettuccine with Tomatoes and Crispy Capers
Photo: © Tina Rupp
Total Time:
30 mins


  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup small capers, drained and patted dry

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

  • 4 oil-packed anchovies, chopped

  • 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into 1-inch-wide ribbons

  • 2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced basil

  • 1 pound fettuccine

  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving


  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. In a small bowl, toss the capers with the cornstarch and transfer to a sieve; shake off the excess cornstarch. Add the coated capers to the oil and fry over high heat, tilting and gently shaking the pan, until the capers are crispy and golden, about 3 minutes. Drain the capers, reserving 2 tablespoons of the oil in the skillet. Spread the capers on a paper towel–lined plate.

  2. Add the anchovies and garlic to the skillet and cook over high heat, stirring, until the garlic is golden and the anchovies dissolve, about 3 minutes. Add the prosciutto, separating the ribbons, and cook until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and crushed red pepper and cook just until the tomatoes begin to break down, about 3 minutes. Stir in the basil.

  3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot along with the water and pour the sauce on top. Toss over high heat just until the sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes. Serve the pasta in bowls, garnished with the crispy capers. Pass the grated cheese at the table.

Suggested Pairing

Light Chardonnay, such as a Beaujolais blanc.

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