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Wild Olive Busiate with Fried Anchovy and Tomato

Wild olive busiate with fried anchovy and tomato takes a unique dough and pairs it with a Calabrian-inspired pasta shape for a memorable recipe from the new cookbook Pasta et Al.

busiate with fried anchovy and tomato

Wild olive busiate with fried anchovy and tomato. Photo: Alec Morris

This wild olive busiate with fried anchovy and tomato recipe comes from the new cookbook Pasta et Al, by Australian author Alec Morris and taking its name from the blog he runs with his two sons, Aldo and Elio. You'll need to buy the book to gain access to his wild olive dough recipe, which is used for the helical-shaped pasta known as busiate, often found in Calabria, and in this enticing dish. Or you can substitute store-bought basiate from your local Italian market or available online. [Note: Appetito may earn commissions from products featured in links to this story.]

Pasta et Al book cover

Two of the clearest and most joyful memories that I have of my first visit to Italy when I was four are of me loudly pretending that I was being kidnapped as my dad tried to load me into the car across from the Colosseum, and sitting in the back seat of a cousin’s car as we hurtled through acres of olive trees in my nonna’s hometown of Melicuccà. I’d grown up on olive oil, and loved it from a young age, so I was fascinated staring out of the window at those endless sloping fields of sagging nets, loaded with olives.

We still consume shocking amounts of olive oil to this day. I shudder to recall the time that we ran out and had to buy it from the top shelf of the supermarket, where it comes in ridiculous little bottles, less than 4 litres (135 fl. oz./16 cups) at a time. Anyway, despite the amount of pasta that we cook with olive oil, it only recently occurred to me that I should try working the olives themselves into the dough.

The first time that we tried it, cut as pappardelle, my wife and I did that mute bewildered rage thing where you suddenly become very Italian and flap your hand around like you’re using a tiny whisk, sideways. This handmade busiate takes that same delicious dough and rolls it into sauce-catching spirals, paired with a simple, classic sauce.

Excerpted with permission from Pasta et Al by Alec Morris published by Hardie Grant Publishing, September 2023, RRP $35.00 Hardcover.

Wild Olive Busiate with Fried Anchovy and Tomato

Wild Olive Busiate with Fried Anchovy and Tomato

Recipe by Alec Morris
0.0 from 0 votes


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1 1 × quantity Wild olive dough (or 1 lb. store-bought busiate)

  • 6 6 garlic cloves, sliced

  • 2 1/2 fl. oz. 2 1/2 (80 ml. or ⅓ cup) extra-virgin olive oil

  • 8 8 preserved anchovy fillets

  • 14 oz. 14 (400 g) vine-ripened cherry tomatoes, quartered lengthwise

  • freshly cracked black pepper, to serve


  • Either sheet the pasta to a thickness of ¹/16 in. (1 mm) and cut into fettuccine, or roll out into long, thin sausages of about 1/2 in. (5 mm) in diameter. Form into busiate.
  • Gently sauté the garlic with the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat for 3–4 minutes until aromatic and only just beginning to brown.
  • Add the anchovies and fry for a further 1–2 minutes, stirring. Add the tomatoes and allow to soften for 5 minutes before squashing with a wooden spoon. Lower the heat and cook for another 15 minutes, adding a little water if the sauce becomes too dry.
  • Cook the busiate in a large pot of salted water for 4–5 minutes before testing for doneness; drain, retaining a little pasta water. Stir into the sauce, adding some pasta water if necessary to aid emulsification.
  • Serve with cracked black pepper.


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