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  • Writer's picturePasta Grammar

One of the BEST Pasta Dishes You’ll Ever Try | How to Make Sicilian “Pasta Ru Malu Tempu”

Updated: Apr 28

Every now and then we try a rare pasta dish that not only blows us away, but makes us wonder why it hasn’t replaced carbonara as the de facto beloved pasta of the world. This is one of those recipes. In Sicilian dialect, the dish’s name means “Bad Weather Pasta.” When you try it you’ll understand why: there’s no way to feel like you’re having a bad day when this pasta is on the menu.


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One of the BEST Pasta Dishes You’ll Ever Try | How to Make Sicilian “Pasta Ru Malu Tempu”

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, but don’t be turned off by the use of anchovies in this recipe, even if you think you don’t like them. Once combined and balanced with the other flavors, all you’ll be left with is an incredible umami taste that is hardly fishy. Trust us, this is a must-try pasta.


A Note on Fennel


This recipe traditionally calls for wild fennel, but an easy substitute is to just use the green fronds from a normal fennel. The fronds are the thin, frilly parts that grow out of the stems. You can include some of the thinner stems as well but avoid the thick, tough ones. One large, leafy fennel should provide enough, but you can always use two if necessary.



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PASTA RU MALU TEMPU RECIPE


Makes: 2 servings

Cook Time: 30 minutes


For this recipe, you will need:

  • ¼ cup (40 g) raisins

  • 5 tablespoons (90 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1 cup (130 g) plain, dry bread crumbs

  • Salt

  • 1 pinch saffron

  • The green fronds of one large fennel (see above)

  • 2 chopped garlic cloves, divided

  • A pinch of black pepper

  • 2-3 whole anchovies under oil

  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) anchovy paste

  • ¼ cup (40 g) pine nuts

  • 5.5 ounces (160 g) bucatini pasta

  • ¼ cup (60 ml) white wine


Place the raisins in a small bowl or cup and fill with water to cover. Let them soak until it’s time to add them into the sauce.


Put a large pot of water on to boil. While it heats up, you can prepare the bread crumb topping. Heat 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil in a small pan over medium/high heat. Add the bread crumbs and toast, stirring almost constantly, until the crumbs are golden brown and crispy. Set aside for later.


When the water comes to a rolling boil, salt it generously and add the saffron. Add the fennel fronds into the water and boil for 2-3 minutes, until wilted. Remove from the water with tongs and set aside, but don’t dispose of the saffron water—keep it simmering for the pasta. Finely chop the boiled fennel.


Place about ⅔ of the fennel fronds into the bowl of a mortar and pestle (you can also use a blender, but be careful because not all blenders can handle small amounts). Add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil, 1 chopped garlic clove, and a pinch of black pepper. Grind or blend into a pesto (it doesn’t need to be super smooth). Set the pesto aside for later.



Bring the saffron water back up to a boil and add the bucatini. Set a timer for 1 minute less than the recommended al dente cook time.


In a large pan, combine 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil, 1 chopped garlic clove, the anchovies, anchovy paste, pine nuts and remaining chopped fennel. Drain the raisins, squeeze the excess moisture out and add these into the pan as well. Heat over medium temperature and stir until the anchovies dissolve. Add the white wine, bring the sauce to a simmer, and let it cook while the pasta boils. If the moisture from the wine burns off, you can always add some pasta water into the pan. You can salt the sauce to taste if necessary, but with the anchovies you likely won’t need any extra seasoning.


Using tongs or a pasta fork, transfer the cooked bucatini into the pan and add the pesto as well. Stir all together over medium/high heat until the pasta is al dente to your taste and the pasta is evenly coated in sauce. If necessary, thin the sauce by ladling a little pasta water into the pan.


Serve immediately, topped with plenty of toasted bread crumbs.


Buon appetito!



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3 days ago

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Adam A
Adam A
02 במאי

This pasta is amazing! I’ve never had anything like it. I was skeptical at first but all of the flavors and textures work so well together. Thanks for another great, authentic recipe.




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