There are so many things I love about food. Inherent ability of some modest ingredients to showcase cultures from around the world, unique and beautiful flavors can be surprising and connect us together, and the sheer joy it gives me to prepare a plate of food for someone as an act of love – just a few of them. Especially during this time when our trip had kicked off, I fell in love with the gift of food to transport us. somewhere completely new.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve spent the entire Sunday evening religiously watching Stanley Tucci on Search Italian. The limited food series on CNN was truly a gift to my soul for the time being. It took about an hour to enjoy a bit of wandering across Italy. Perhaps that is how Tucci takes us around the different regions of Italy, highlighting the traditions and culture behind some familiar dishes from Italian cuisine while also introducing us to some specialties. of the lesser known region (at least to me). He shows what makes Italian culinary culture so special.
There are many incredible dishes on the show that inspired my online recipe search for replication and until I was able to go to Italy on my own, a recipe that I immediately Made is Spaghetti all Nerano.
It’s the same dish that Tucci learns to make from a chef on the Amalfi Coast in Lo Scoglio, and Oh. mine. damned. you. I counted every day until I can visit Italy my self.
Before I get into the full TV show reviews, let’s talk about this dish. One thing I really enjoy learning about Search Italian is an inherent emphasis on simple ingredients that, when treated well, give you something magical, and the joy and carefulness of putting into a dish can really make it all. even the difference. So we often rush to prepare dinner on a plate without actually experiencing the process or taking care of the ingredients, and I want to make this better.
After doing some research – okay, it’s more like going down the rabbit hole Plate of spaghetti on the internet – I came across one columnist Emiko Davieswho has lived in Italy for more than a decade and speaks specifically about this dish. “This noodle dish is an example of how small Italian towns and villages can have their own specialties, like cities – where the dishes do more than just characterize an area. area but also very specific time and place. While beaches are what brings people to Nerano, a tiny fishing village built in the mountains on the Amalfi Coast, so is this pasta with deep-fried zucchini.
All locals know the story: The legendary dish was invented in 1952 by Maria Grazia, who owns a restaurant in Nerano named after her (and where her two grandchildren, Lello and Andrea, remain work to this day). So many have tried to recreate this seemingly humble dish featuring pasta and local summer zucchini that it’s called “Spaghetti alla Nerano” to distinguish it from any other spaghetti dish. zucchini.
So let’s come to the formula. First of all, my version of this dish is probably still far from the Italian version, even with such a short list of ingredients. But I did my best to emulate the best we could with what we have here.
Because the dish is very simple, but with the correct technique. Even during the show, Tucci talks to the chef about how when he and his wife try to make the food at home, it’s still not quite as good as what they get at the restaurant. The chef showed them how to cut zucchini Fry in plenty of oil (that is, whole pot) until slightly crispy, then refrigerate overnight to soften them. Then the zucchini is heated in a pan with pasta, butter and grated cheese cooked to finish. Since most nights I was only looking for a 15-minute dinner and didn’t want to wait overnight, I did some liberty, which is why I mentioned that my version still suffers. delete a few steps from the original.
While I welcome you to try the above mentioned frying method as it is so delicious, I sauteed slices of the zucchini with some purple onion – not traditional – and garlic, until they turn color. yellow. Then, you take about a third of the zucchini and put it in a blender with some pasta juice, and basil – not the traditional one – to make a sauce. Mix everything together with a piece of butter and some grated parm and you’ve got a winner. Even my father Mr. Picky Eater was a fan!
While not quite the same as a trip to Italy, this plate of pasta is already close to second. And even more so, I’m happy to continue ripping layers of Italian regional cuisine to go further than just my favorite Neapolitan pizza (well, is that my favorite episode when Can Tucci try the freshest buffalo mozzarella and San Marzano tomato?). A few books I’m excited to join because the show just aired the final episode included Tasting Rome, Southern Italian dish, and Bitter honey.
Just a reminder that cuisine is always more than eye-catching; that counts more regional and local producers than we would normally think of a block; And there are many beautiful recipes to learn. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did.