Spaghetti con la Colatura di Alici (Pasta With Colatura) Recipe

Colatura is another umami bomb to add to your pantry, and plays an essential role in this easy and delicious weeknight pasta dish.

Vicky Wasik

Why It Works

  • This no-cook sauce is really just a simple vinaigrette that highlights the savory depth of colatura.
  • Vigorously tossing the pasta, colatura vinaigrette, and pasta water in a large bowl creates a creamy emulsion that coats the spaghetti.
  • Toasted breadcrumbs strengthen the emulsion and also provide a hint of crunch.

This pasta dish is the the headstrong, wild umami bomb sibling to traditional aglio e olio. It might be even easier to make, as the sauce is essentially a no-cook vinaigrette that highlights colatura, a specialty aged Italian fish sauce that packs some serious savory seafood flavor in a very small package. You'd be hard-pressed to find a dish that delivers as much of a flavor payload with as little effort or time as this one. It'll knock your weeknight dinner socks off, trust us.

Recipe Facts

Active: 10 mins
Total: 20 mins
Serves: 4 servings

Rate & Comment


  • 1/4 cup (18g) panko breadcrumbs

  • 5 tablespoons (75ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1 pound (450g) dried spaghetti

  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) Colatura, plus extra as needed (see notes)

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1/4 cup (15g) chopped fresh parsley leaves

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest from 1 lemon


  1. In a small skillet, combine breadcrumbs and 1 tablespoon (15ml) olive oil, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until toasted and golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer breadcrumbs to a small bowl, and season lightly with salt. Set aside.

  2. In a Dutch oven or medium pot, bring 3 quarts of water and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil over high heat. Add spaghetti to water and cook, stirring frequently during the first minute to prevent pasta from sticking. Cook pasta until al dente.

  3. Meanwhile, in a very large bowl, combine colatura, garlic, and pepper flakes. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil, followed by 2 tablespoons (30ml) pasta water, to form an emulsion.

  4. Transfer pasta to bowl along with another 1/2 cup (120ml) pasta water and parsley. Vigorously toss and stir pasta to emulsify sauce and coat with noodles. Add breadcrumbs and toss to combine. Pasta should be well-coated with creamy, emulsified sauce. If it seems dry, add extra pasta water, 1 tablespoon (15ml) at a time, until it reaches the desired consistency.

  5. Add lemon zest and taste pasta for seasoning, adding a final splash of colatura if needed. Serve immediately.

Special equipment

Large Dutch oven, whisk


The success of this recipe hinges upon the unique flavor of colatura, an Italian fish sauce made in the Amalfitano town of Cetara. Colatura tastes very different from high quality Southeast Asian fish sauce, and unfortunately, one cannot be substituted for the other. If you don't want to spring for Colatura, I would recommend making the sister dish to this pasta instead, Spaghetti Aglio e Olio.

Make-Ahead and Storage

This quick and easy dish is best enjoyed immediately.

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
643 Calories
24g Fat
88g Carbs
17g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 643
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 4mg 1%
Sodium 731mg 32%
Total Carbohydrate 88g 32%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 17g
Vitamin C 6mg 31%
Calcium 51mg 4%
Iron 5mg 25%
Potassium 318mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)