• Giovanna is an incredible, tireless nonna who just gives and gives. This is abundant, packed with goodies and full of flavour. The sauce goes well anytime but particularly in summer when peppers and eggplants are at their best. Use basil instead of the marjoram, if you prefer.

    Difficulty level: Easy

    Giovanna’s spaghetti

    Serves: 5


    • 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus a little extra, to serve
    • 120 g (4¼ oz) red onion, chopped
    • 100 g (3½ oz) red pepper (capsicum), cut into 1 cm (½ inch) chunks
    • 180 g (6¼ oz) eggplant (aubergine), cut into 1 cm (½ inch) chunks
    • 4 anchovy fillets, chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 400 g (14 oz) tin chopped tomatoes
    • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
    • 1 heaped tablespoon each of pitted green and black olives, chopped big or just halved
    • pinch of ground chilli
    • 1 tablespoon small capers in vinegar, drained
    • 400 g (14 oz) spaghetti
    • 1 tablespoon marjoram leaves
    • freshly grated Parmesan, to serve



    Heat the olive oil in a frying pan that’s large enough to hold your spaghetti later. Sauté the onion until softened and light golden. Add the pepper and eggplant and sauté until nicely cooked and a bit sticky.


    Add the anchovies and garlic, stirring briefly but well to make sure they simmer in the oil. When they smell good add the tomatoes, parsley, olives and a little salt (remember you have the olives and anchovies).


    Add the chilli and a couple of twists of pepper. Swish out the tomato tin with a little water and pour it in. Cover and simmer for just under 10 minutes, until the sauce is loosely together but not too reduced. Add the capers when it is almost ready, then check the seasoning.


    Cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water until al dente. Scoop out the pasta with a spaghetti fork directly into the pan of sauce, along with some of the cooking water so it’s nice and loose but not too watered down. Tear up the marjoram leaves over and toss well.


    Divide among warm wide pasta bowls. Serve hot with a small dribble of olive oil, a scattering of parmesan and an extra twist of pepper.