I love Italy.
I love Italian food....a whole lot.
It's simple, straightforward and uncomplicated.
This leads to outstanding dishes.
Flavors shine unmasked by unnecessary ingredients.
I love cookbooks and when I was given
Jamie Oliver's Italy for my birthday this year I was so excited.
This book is superb.
The photos are drool worthy and the recipes are from Italian home cooks,
authentic, yet easy to execute.
I've made a few things from it already, but by far my favorite is
Pasta Con Acciughe e Pomodoro
(anchovies in tomato sauce with pasta)
I love the measurements given in this recipe,
a handful of this, a big handful of that, a large glass of wine.
It made me smile as I was reading it, because to me those measurements
give the the best homemade tasting results.
You add a little of this, a touch of that and voila...a perfect dish!
The sauce is rich and earthy with a wonderful chestnut hue
from the wine, tomatoes and anchovies.
Did you know that anchovies completely melt away?
They dissolved magically into the sauce to give it a deep briny flavor,
without being fishy tasting in any way.
Crunchy toasted breadcrumbs balance out the dish.
This dish is unsophisticated...and I mean that as a high compliment.
It is natural and easygoing.
It tastes like Italy.
Full of life.
Distinguished, yet down to earth.
Worth a visit?
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
2 big handfuls of pinenuts
a big handful of raisins
12 salted anchovy fillets
3 heaping tablespoons tomato puree
a large wineglass of red wine
1-3/4 cups stale breadcrumbs
1 lb dried margherita pasta
(I couldn't find margherita so I used perciatelli)
Heat a pan, add 6 tablespoons of olive oil, add garlic and fry slowly.
When garlic starts to color add pinenuts, raisins and anchovies,
frying until anchovies have melted.
Add the tomato puree and wine and stir well.
Leave to simmer over medium heat for about 3 minutes.
In a separate pan heat a little olive oil and fry breadcrumbs until toasted and golden.
Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions.
Drain pasta and mix with the sauce.
Twirl pasta with tongs onto 4 plates and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.