Sicilian Spaghetti Cake (Pasticcio di Spaghetti alla Siracusana)

November 1997

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This crusty pasta cake is full of flavorful ingredients. Simply serve with a tossed salad for a quick supper.

Sicilian Spaghetti Cake (Pasticcio di Spaghetti alla Siracusana)

Makes: 4 servings

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 1 14-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained
  • 12 imported black olives, pitted
  • 4 large fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large bell peppers, (green, red or yellow), cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, (optional)
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces thin whole-wheat spaghetti, or vermicelli
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Put a pot of water on to boil for cooking pasta.
  2. Combine tomatoes, olives, basil and capers in a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers and onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper (if using) and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add tomato mixture and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti (or vermicelli) in boiling salted water until al dente, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain and rinse well. Add to sauce and mix well. Let cool to room temperature. Stir in Pecorino Romano.
  5. Brush the remaining 2 teaspoons oil over the bottom and sides of a heavy 10-inch ovenproof skillet. Heat the pan over medium heat. Remove from heat; add pasta mixture and press firmly into an even layer.
  6. Bake pasta until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Run a knife around the inside edge of the pan and invert the spaghetti cake onto a large platter. Cut into wedges and serve.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 4. The pasta mixture will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Return to room temperature before proceeding.


Per serving: 382 calories; 12 g fat (4 g sat, 6 g mono); 9 mg cholesterol; 54 g carbohydrates; 13 g protein; 8 g fiber; 604 mg sodium; 434 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (128% daily value), Calcium (23% dv), Vitamin A (19% dv), Iron (16% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 3

Exchanges: 3 starch, 2 vegetable, 1/2 lean meat, 1 fat

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Recipe Categories

Ease of Preparation
Total Time
45 minutes or less
Preparation/ Technique

Health & Diet Considerations
Low cholesterol
High calcium
High fiber
November 1997
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