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Posts tagged ‘spaghetti’

Kilometro Zero

All that's left of our favorite summer pasta.

All that’s left of our favorite summer pasta.

We always appreciate the scale of our town in Italy when summer rolls around.  Just about everything we really need is a short walk away from our front door. But we are especially grateful for all this proximity when the relentless Pugliese summer sun beats down, sapping every ounce of energy from our limbs. Then we summon ourselves into action early in the morning, making the rounds of the bar for a quick caffè ghiacciato (iced coffee), the pescheria (fish market) or the maccelleria (butcher) and, best of all, the fruttivendolo (fruit and vegetable shop) that is so mercifully close to us that we call down our order from our balcony. Italians call this shopping a kilometro zero, literally sourcing products at zero kilometers of distance. We call it incredibly lucky and we take advantage of the ease every single day. Read more

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Come Si Fa

Artisanal spaghetti from Benedetto Cavalieri in Maglie, Puglia, is come si fa la pasta in Italy.

Artisanal spaghetti from Benedetto Cavalieri in Maglie, Puglia, is come si fa la pasta in Italy.

We have come to understand that most Italians we know are not particularly burdened by uncertainty. Firm ideas about come si fa (how it’s done) are routinely offered on a staggering range of topics. From child rearing to olive harvesting, there is little room for doubt here on the correct approach. Confusingly, though, the correct approach varies widely depending upon the advice giver. So we stagger through our days in a valiant effort to make sense of this wellspring of well-intentioned advice, secure only in our conviction that we routinely fail to grasp Italian come si fa in so many fundamental ways. Read more

Pasta Primer

Pasta secca is one of the iconic dishes in southern Italy. Here it's depicted in its most pure form.

Pasta secca is one of the iconic dishes in southern Italy. Here it’s depicted in its most pure form.

I may be stating the obvious, but pasta in southern Italy is as firmly ingrained in the culture as turkey at Thanksgiving is in the U.S. Except pasta appears every day at the Pugliese table, unlike (happily) that ubiquitous American turkey. Like polenta to northern Italians and beans to the Tuscans, dried pasta is almost iconic south of Rome. And we notice it all the more because we’re trying to wean ourselves off of our daily fix. It seems that new research has helped us understand what we probably knew all along. As a result of the proliferation of highly refined strains of wheat now used in just about every prepared, wheat-based product including pasta, we’ve learned that most commercially available dried pasta may actually be physiologically addictive. I can’t imagine a worse revelation because I am truly, deeply and irretrievably fond of pasta. Read more

Limonata

These lemons came all the way from the Amalfi Coast, hauled back to Puglia after a brief trip there.

These lemons came all the way from the Amalfi Coast, hauled back to Puglia after a brief trip there.

Signs are everywhere that summer is on the wane. The weather, though still sunny and warm, is ever so slightly cooler than just a week ago. Every day is a little shorter. Backpacks and i grembiuli, those adorable gingham smocks that all elementary school children wear to school here, are on display in the weekly market. Yet we’re not quite ready to let go of Puglia’s most exuberant season and move into fall, especially since we know that winter’s chill is not far behind. Read more

La Carbonara

Roman to its core, Spaghetti alla Carbonara is full of flavor and as rich as can be.

Roman to its core, Spaghetti alla Carbonara is full of flavor and as rich as can be.

Let me start by saying that Spaghetti alla Carbonara is not a Pugliese dish. You might find it on a few restaurant menus here, but this decadent bowl of flavorsome pasta belongs irrevocably to the culinary legacy of Rome. So why am I writing about it from my kitchen in Martina Franca? Because Spaghetti alla Carbonara is the guiltiest of guilty pasta pleasures and I have a surfeit of especially fresh eggs from the country calling to me. What could be better than showcasing them in a pasta that depends upon just a few ingredients to make it sing? Read more

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sapori, profumi e visioni culinarie made in puglia

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