Monday, December 30, 2013

Spaghetti con la Colatura di Alici di Cetara- Mamma Gilda's Recipe - Ristorante Al Convento, Cetara (Sa)

There are few pasta formats that make me go madder than spaghetti.  A pasta shape that doesn't need fancy sauces, elaborate sugos.  A pasta that is happy to be tossed with simple sauces like ones made with fresh tomatoes or like this dish I tried for the first time a couple of years ago in Cetara at Al Convento.  Spaghetti con la colatura di alici di Cetara.  

Coatura di alici di Cetara is a beautiful amber colored fish sauce made with the famous anchovies from Cetara. A dish, that on the surface looks plain, simple, with few ingredients.  But if you are an anchovy lover like I am, simple stops right there.  A quick inhale lets you know right away that this is something special.  And when prepared well, like they do at Al Convento, the sauce clings to the spaghetti and is enjoyed with every mouthful.  And if done really well, a delicious sauce is left behind on the plate begging to be soaked up with a thick piece of crusty Italian bread.

True, we can't all go to Cetara, but we can sure try the recipe at home.  Here it is for 4 people.

Spaghetti con la colatura - la ricetta di mamma Gilda 
320 grams of spaghetti, 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 1 clove of garlic, pepper flakes (to taste), Italian parsley (to taste), 4 tablespoons of anchovy fish sauce

Cook the pasta in unsalted boiling water according to directions.  Meanwhile, combine the garlic, olive oil, and pepper flakes with the anchovy fish sauce and a little of the water used for cooking the pasta. There is no need to saute. 
When the pasta is al dente, firm, toss the pasta with the ingredients, adding more fish sauce if desired.  Add a handful of fresh Italian pastry, and, il gioco e''ve done it!

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