The following recipes are for 4 people (unless stated otherwise).

NB.  Pasta should be al dente (with a bite/chewy).
This allows the mouth, stomach and intestines to do their job ie. break up, digest and absorb the carbohydrates. Over-cooked pasta causes gastric juices to form in excess giving rise to flatulence and gastritis.
A good quality dried pasta should not cook for less than 10 mins.

Frittata di Spaghetti (Spaghetti Frittata)

  • 300g spaghetti
  • 4 eggs
  • parmesan
  • salt
  • extra virgin olive oil

Frittata literally means ‘fry up’ and is also the Italian word for omelette.
Can be eaten cold.  Makes perfect picnic food.

Beat eggs & add salt.
Cook and drain pasta.
Add the parmesan.
Add the beaten eggs to the pasta and stir well.
Heat a little oil in a large frying pan and drop the pasta into it.
Cook over a low flame in order to ensure that the centre of the frittata is cooked.
Once cooked, turn over to golden the top side.

Variation You can also add pepper, flat-leaf parsley or basil.
Or flavour it with tomato sauce, garlic and oil, butter and onion, or cooked ham with peas.
Smaller amounts can be fried.

Spaghetti Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino (Spaghetti with Garlic, Olive Oil & Chilli Pepper)

  • circa 300g spaghetti
  • 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • flat-leaf parsley
  • chilli pepper

Over a low heat, fry thinly sliced garlic and chopped chilli pepper. The garlic must colour but not burn. When the garlic is golden in colour, add a ladle of the pasta water and remove from heat. Cook the spaghetti al dente (to the bite) and strain. Place in the frying pan with the sauce and lightly saute. Sprinkle generously with chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

Variation To limit the pungency of the garlic, fry the garlic cloves whole but slightly crushed & then discard when golden.
Tip: Chew fresh parsley to neutralise the garlic’s odour.

Fusilli con Salsiccia (Fusili with Sausage)

  • circa 400g fusilli pasta
  • 200g Italian sausage
  • 150g peeled plum tomatoes
  • 40g pecorino cheese
  • 1 onion
  • glass of dry white wine
  • salt

Fry the chopped onion until golden and add skinned and broken sausage meat with the glass of wine. When the sausage is cooked and the wine absorbed, add the plum tomatoes (mashed with a fork) and salt to taste. Over a moderate heat, cook until the sauce is reduced. Drop the fusilli into the salted boiling water and when the pasta is al dente toss the fusili together with the sauce. (If the sauce is too dry and sticky add some of the cooking water to it). Finally, sprinkle with the pecorino cheese in order to amalgamate the pasta and sauce. Serve hot.

Variation Substitute the sausage for mince meat, and the pecorino for parmesan.

Sarago al Cartoccio (White Bream Baked in a Bag)

  • glass of wine vinegar (not full)
  • handful of capers
  • 2 slices of lemon
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • bunch of parsley
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • salt & pepper

Clean the bream (scales and innards).
Place the sprig of rosemary (after it has been placed in the wine vinegar for 4/5 mins) in its stomach.
Salt and pepper.
Smear the aluminium foil with oil and place the fish in the centre adding capers, chopped parsley chopped and lemon slices on the top.
Drizzle with oil and seal.
Place in a moderate oven and cook for c. 20 mins
Remove the skin before serving.

Melanzane a ‘Fungetiello’ (Aubergines/Eggplant in a Tomato Sauce)

  • 400g aubergines
  • 150g peeled plum or fresh tomatoes
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • basil
  • olive oil
  • oil for frying

Wash the aubergines (eggplant),  dice (no need to peel) and deep-fry in olive oil.
Strain and leave to one side.
In another frying pan, fry the chopped garlic until golden and add the tomatoes (chopped if fresh or broken up with a fork if peeled plum tomatoes).
When the sauce has cooked (reduced), add the aubergines and salt to taste.
Add basil.
Leave to simmer for a minute or two before serving.

Mozzarella in Carrozza (Mozzarella ‘in a Carriage’)

  • 400g mozzarella
  • 300g flour
  • 200g thin-sliced bread (preferable slightly dry)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 glasses of milk
  • salt
  • oil for frying

Remove the crust from bread and dip in milk.
Make a sandwich with a slice of mozzarella.
Coat each side with flour, then dip in the beaten eggs.
Deep fry.
Serve hot with a salad or tomato sauce.

Variation Use also only one slice of bread.

Angela’s Zucchini Pesto

  • 1.5 kg courgettes (zucchini)
  • circa 2-3 cloves/10g garlic
  • a bunch (handful) of basil
  • a little olive oil (2-3 tbsp)

Wash the courgettes (zucchini).
Divide courgettes up – half are to be peeled, the other half with their skin left on.
Cut lengthwise and remove seeds.
Chop into large chunks/dice.
Steam for circa 3 mins and cool quickly (even with the help of ice – but do not allow them to soak up water).
Place in blender with other ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy.
Fill sterilised jars with sauce leaving circa 1″ from the top.
Add olive oil to cover sauce & form a seal.
Seal jars tightly.
Keep refrigerated & ensure sauce is kept covered. Top up olive oil ‘seal’ after each use.

NB. This recipe does not contain salt.
Salt is to be added at the time of use, to the sauce and/or pasta.
The quantities of garlic & basil can be altered according to personal taste.

Pasta con Zucchini Pesto

Choose a short, ruvida (textured) pasta.

Begin by cooking the pasta as the sauce will take no time at all.
Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan.
Add prawns (shrimps) or baby calamari or similar and a few quartered cherry tomatoes.
After a minute or two, add the zucchini pesto, stir and remove from heat.
Once the pasta is cooked al dente, add it to the sauce, with a little of the cooking water and a sprinkling of breadcrumbs.
Toss together and serve.

And when you are visiting the Amalfi Coast, look out for/try also the following:

Coccio con Tubetti – Coccio is a local rock fish, baked in tomato sauce and served with tubetti pasta

Scialatielli – a homemade pasta similar to tagliatelle but thicker – originates from Minori – flavoured with herbs. Excellent with all sauces

Dunderi – again, originating from Minori – are ‘gnocchi’ made with ricotta cheese

Pasta e Fagioli – made with pasta mista (different pasta shapes)

Totani e Patate – cuttlefish with potatoes (a stew with tomato sauce)

NB. The selection of meat is on the coast itself is limited but is available. The opposite is the case in the mountain areas.

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