Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Pasta, Pasta, Pasta

One element of Italian cooking that I absolutely love, and never knew about before moving to Napoli, is their affinity for carb on carb action. Beans with pasta? Bene! Potatoes with pasta? Even better. The beans/potato get all starchy and creamy and coat the pasta in the most satisfying (gut-busting) sort of way.

Pasta e Patate "Santo Janni" (pg 66 of My Calabria) turned out exactly how I hoped it would. Cook up some pancetta. Add potatoes to the pan and stir around to coat them in all that good fat. Add water and boil until the potatoes are mashable. Mash 'em, then add cooked spaghetti with some of the pasta water. Finish with some shredded ricotta salata (salty), and dig in. Easy and hearty. I loved it. Charlie loved it. High score, all around.  I mean, pancetta, potatoes, and pasta. How can it go wrong?

Conclusion: Loved it.

Scorze di Fagiolini con Ragu d'Agnello (pg 82) is unlike any sauce I've had before. It's supposed to use diced lamb, but I had ground, so that's what I went with. Cook the lamb for an hour in an onion/carrot/celery/garlic/rosemary-fortified tomato and white wine sauce. This took a while to cook, but that time was predominantly hands-off. It packed a lot of flavor for the amount of work put in, and was a new lovely way to eat lamb.
Matt thought it tasted like the Bolognese sauce we had in Bologna, which was very different from the Bolognese sauce we've had anywhere else (ahem, in the States). Did you know that Bolognese sauce is not tomato based? I didn't, until I had the real deal in Bologna. For that reason, I don't really see the Bolognese comparison, as it is a) not made with lamb and b) not made with tomato. Matt stands by it, though. Whatever it tasted like, it was good. Charlie picked the lamb off of his pasta. Shocker.

Conclusion: Liked it. 


  1. Reading this before dinner was a bad decision. You're killing me.

  2. This is also making me hungry - looks fabulous.