March 14, 2010
I have a Sicilian friend, Anna, from Catania. Many moons ago, before she married (a chef! che bella fortuna) and had her cherubic child, she stayed with us for a week in New Mexico. At that time I was pretty clueless about Italians. I didn’t realize that they must, absolutely must, eat pasta every single day.
On about the third, maybe the second, day of her visit, I found Anna lurking in the larder. She had unearthed a can of tuna and a can of tomatoes. Then she found a box of dusty spaghetti and clutched it like manna in the desert.
“I’m going to make lunch for you today,” she crowed. “I’ll make what we always make in Sicily when there’s nothing in the house.”
I scribbled this recipe as she whipped up her Sicilian-style sauce in under five minutes. I’ve made it umpteen times since then because, truth be told, there’s often niente in the casita.
Hot pepper flakes are important (I use a smallish red pepper without the seeds), but capers are optional—if you like them you can get a small jar for a few bucks at Trader Joe’s. Parsley or cilantro doll up the dish, but aren’t essential either. Here’s an online recipe that’s quite similar. (It lacks the dash of ruddy wine, though, which I like.) Buon Appetito!
Win this book!!!!!
I love this tiny up-to-date (2009) guidebook. It packs in information in the form of many top 10 lists. It includes charming out-of-the-way places—the author knows the hidden nooks and crannies of Sicily—and a few fold-out maps.
HOW? Between now and March 26, write a comment on any of my blogposts. The best comment wins. (“Best” could be funniest, most enlightening, most touching…)