I've always been fascinated by the chef's take on classic Neapolitan dishes. Plates that he grew up with. Dishes that he loves to pay tribute to by not only conserving their traditional roots, but adding his touches, his inspiration.
Like his pasta, potatoes and flying squid.
I remember the first time I tried pasta and potatoes. It was more than 20 years ago, at my mother-in-law's home one Sunday afternoon. I remember thinking what a strange combination - pasta, potatoes. I thought that it would be too heavy, too starchy, too much. But over time, this Neapolitan piatto povero, using humble staple ingredients has become one of my favorite pasta dishes. The pasta is cooked in a scrumptious potato sauce. There are many variations to this classic dish, like adding flying squid for example.
Chef Scarallo cut the potatoes in the shape of sliced squid making the dish nit only appealing to the eye, but to the palate as well.
Scarallo had another dish in progress that he wanted to have me try. For this piatto, Scarallo took another ingredient from the cucina povera archives. Centopelle, trippa, or as we know it; tripe. Imagine the alleys of Napoli with tripe stands-one of the original Neapolitan street foods.
Scarallo took this centopelle and paired it with lobster, a cauliflower cous cous, and radishes. This one is definitely different, Scarallo shared.
He's still taking a look, trying out new things. New pairings. New styles.
That is one of the qualities that makes a good chef a great one.
And one of the reasons that I am happy to have adopted him.