creamy baked spaghetti with leeks and anchovies

baked spaghettiWho doesn’t like a one-pot pasta dish?  This isn’t my first time making baked spaghetti and definitely won’t be the last.  I am always drawn to dishes that include anchovies and this baked spaghetti is a keeper!  I made it for two consecutive days, that’s how delicious it is! This dish is inspired by Bon Appétit and had me salivating when anchovy cream was mentioned.  Anchovies…you either love ’em, or you hate ’em. But I’ll wager a guess that ‘most’ have consumed anchovies.  Chefs around the world use them for adding depth of flavor and give that je ne sais quoi oomph to pretty much anything. I’ve used them in sauces, soups, salads, and stews.

For this recipe, you can use any type of pasta.  If you’re looking for different variations on how to use pasta, click here.

serves 4

453g (1 lb.) spaghetti
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 leeks (white and pale green parts only), sliced
6 to 8 oil-packed anchovies, drained and chopped
4 to 6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup chopped frozen spinach leaves (or another green veggie of choice)


Preheat oven to 400f (200c). Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain and set aside.

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, add oil over medium heat. Toss in leeks seasoned with a couple of pinches of salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden around the edges, about 6 to 8 minutes. Uncover and add anchovies, garlic, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until anchovies have dissolved and garlic is tender (about 5 minutes).

Add cream and half the Parmesan. Bring to a simmer. Then add spinach and allow the sauce to come back up to heat before adding pasta. Gently toss to coat and top with remaining Parmesan. Transfer skillet to oven and bake 25 to 30 minutes until the top is golden brown and cream is bubbling around the edges. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

the culinary chase’s note:

If you love anchovies, add the whole tin.  Enjoy!