Scammarò: Spaghettini with Olives, Capers and Breacrumbs—the Ultimate Dish


Scammarò is a common pasta dish from Naples. Do you fancy a super tasty pasta dish that is rich in flavor but very easy to prepare? This recipe, with only a few ingredients, is the one.


I dont know whether you have been to Naples or not, but the most frequent motto there is Make do with what you have got.” You try to make the best from a few simple things you have.   

Neapolitans (people from Naples) are funny, friendly, open, and yes, a little messy and noisy too. For instance, you mustnt daydream at the stoplight after it turns green, not even a short while as the other drivers will all lean on their horns: Beeeeeeeeeeep sounds continuously– an awful concert! Neapolitans like celebrating every single stoplight with a little music, the sounds of their car horns beeping. Thats the reason why I think it is an entertaining city…. if you understand its culture. 

Italian creativity originated in this city; Neapolitans hardly ever stick to the rules as they usually invent new ones; unfortunately, not all of them are fair. However, their food is great, they respect their traditions, and they have very strong family ties. Family gatherings are frequent; they have huge meals together, and they make super tasty dishes with a few simple ingredients. 

Eating what you have tasted on holiday makes your mind travel 

Tastes and perfumes often take me to my favorite holiday places, which are deep in my heart. 

This is an everyday recipe, not a dish you can easily find in any Italian cookbooks or magazines. A pot of water, some pasta, and a few ingredients from the pantry make this an unforgettable dish that you will make over and over again in your own kitchen.  

When can you eat Scammarò? 

It takes about 15 minutes to prepare, the time to cook pasta. A last-minute dish,” it is as fast as making spaghetti with oil, garlic, and chili peppers, It works perfectly for when you have to throw a dinner together for a few friends. 

Now’s the time to make Scammarò; you will definitely impress your friends and make a few new ones as well. 


First the shopping list…

You only need a few simple things which can always be found in every Italian household and in your pantry, as well. 

  • Durum wheat pasta: Every shape fits this recipe, but spaghettini or any long, very thin pasta is the best choice; 
  • Capers: Buy salt-cured if possible. If brined, rinse them well before using;
  • Black olives: Look for brine-cured dark olives (purple if you can); 
  • Anchovy paste gives the dish a strong flavor, or use canned anchovies, rinsed, and mashed. It can be replaced by olive paste for a 100% vegan dish; 
  • Breadcrumbs make this pasta pleasantly crunchy and soft at the same time. It’s the final touch which enriches an already flavorful dish; 
  • Extra virgin olive oil: Choose only top-quality olive oil. No other kinds of oil are allowed; 
  • Pine-nuts are an option, but they make Scammarò a truly better dish.

Scammarò: Spaghettini with Olives, Capers and Breacrumbs—the Ultimate Dish

Cammarare in Neapolitan, the language of Naples and surrounding area, means “eating fat food every day of the year,” so what can you do during Lent when you should eat moderately? Make Scammarare, which means creating a flavorful dish that combines taste and moderation.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword scammarò, spaghetti scammarò
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • 1 pound of thin spaghetti, spaghettini, or any other long pasta (454g)
  • 3 tbsp of salt-cured capers (38-40g)
  • 4 tbsp  of black brined olives  (50g)
  • 3 tbsp of pine nuts (38g)
  • 2 handfuls of breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp of anchovy paste or 4 oil-packed anchovy fillets  (15ml)
  • A clove of garlic 
  • Coarse salt 
  • Fine salt 
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste


  • Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil; add a generous handful of salt, then pour in the pasta; 
  • Cook according to the instructions on the package; 
  • Prepare the sauce;
  • Rinse the capers in cold running water to get rid of all the salt; squeeze them to remove the water; 
  • Cut the olives in half and pit them if unpitted; 
    prepare olives
  • In a non-stick pan, sauté the garlic clove with two tablespoons of oil; remove it from the pan as soon as it turns golden. 
  • Now add the anchovy paste or the rinsed and mashed anchovy fillets, the olives, the pine nus, and the capers to the pan; 
  • Add the breadcrumbs and toast them for a few minutes until slightly brown; 
  • When the pasta is done, drain and pour it into the pan with the sauce; 
    pasta scammarò
  • Toss until the sauce evenly coats the pasta; 
  • Sauté everything for a few minutes over medium heat; if it thickens too much, add a small scoop of pasta water;
    pasta scammarò
  • Remove it from the heat and sprinkle with another handful of breadcrumbs; season with salt and pepper to taste; 
  • Serve it very hot.


How can you keep it?

What can you do with leftover Scammarò? It keeps fresh up to 1 day in the fridge. And then? Add an egg to make a succulent frittata. Enjoy!

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