Spaghetti with tuna

Spaghetti con il tonno. This is a good store cupboard standby. Serves 4

Spaghetti with tuna ingredients

Spaghetti with tuna ingredients

  • 360 grams spaghetti
  • 1 clove garlic — peeled
  • 80 grams tin of tuna — drained and flaked
  • 3 tablespoons concentrated tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Heat the oil in a pan, add the garlic, cook until browned and remove and discard.
  2. Add the tuna and mix well.
  3. Loosen the tomato puree with a couple of tablespoons of warm water and add to the pan and stir well. Cook over a low heat for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat, stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve with the cooked spaghetti.
Spaghetti with tuna finished dish

Spaghetti with tuna finished dish

Spaghetti with raw tomatoes

Spaghetti al pomodoro crudo. This is a really good dish for a hot summer’s day. It’s only worth doing if you can find really ripe, tasty tomatoes though. If all you can find are the usual UK supermarket version ie. hard as a golf ball and flavourless – don’t bother 😉 Serves 4.

  • 360g spaghetti
  • 500g ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 10 basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic,peeled
  • salt and pepper
  1. Put the tomatoes into a large bowl along with the oil, whole garlic and basil. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
  2. Cover and leave in a cool place to allow the flavours to develop – at least 1 hour but the longer you can leave it the better. Remove the garlic before serving.
  3. Cook the spaghetti until al dente, drain and mix with the sauce.

Spaghetti with courgettes

Spaghetti con le zucchine. Serves 4

  • 360g spaghetti
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 small onion,peeled
  • 2 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 stick celery
  • 3 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 350g courgettes, thinly sliced
  • 150g mozzarella, diced finely
  • 25g parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper
  • Heat the oil in a pan. Add the whole garlic clove, the whole onion, the sage leaves and the stick of celery and cook over a low heat for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and increase the heat to medium. When boiling add the courgettes. Season with salt and pepper, cover and cook for around 15 minutes.
  • Remove the garlic, onion, celery and sage and discard.
  • Cook the spaghetti, drain and the toss first with the sauce, then the mozzarella and finally with the parmesan.

Spaghetti with garlic, oil and chilli

Spaghetti aglio olio e peperoncino. Another simple dish that is popular all over Italy. Serves 4.

Spaghetti with garlic, oil and chilli ingredients

  • 320 grams spaghetti
  • Garlic to taste — peeled and left whole
  • 1 fresh red chilli — whole
  • Olive oil

  1. Heat plenty of oil in a pan and fry the garlic cloves and chilli until the garlic has browned.
  2. Remove the garlic and chilli. Discard.
  3. Season with salt to taste.
  4. Cook the spaghetti al dente, drain and dress with the flavoured oil.

Variations:

  1. Add chopped parsley before serving.
  2. Use dried chillis
  3. For a much stronger flavour, chop the garlic and chilli and don’t remove from the oil.

Spaghetti with garlic, oil and chilli


Stuffed mussels

Cozze ripiene. From Bari. This recipe was given to me by Marilisa – thanks a lot for taking the trouble. They were delicious 🙂 It’s actually her granny’s recipe and Marilisa’s favourite. The recipe seems a bit daunting as you have to open the raw mussels, but it’s really not that difficult. Follow the link below if you want to know how. Serves 4-5

Stuffed mussels ingredients

Stuffed mussels ingredients

  • 1 kilogram large mussels
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 1 bread roll — crust removed
  • parsley — finely chopped
  • 100 grams Pecorino Romano or Parmesan — grated
  • milk
  • olive oil
  • garlic to taste — finely chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • kitchen string
  • 2 bottles passata
    • Clean the mussels and open them keeping the shells attached
    • Soak the bread roll in a little milk and tear into small pieces.
    • Beat the eggs in a bowl and mix with the cheese, garlic, parsley and bread. Season with salt and pepper.
    • Add breadcrumbs little by little until you have a fairly dry stuffing mix.
    • Stuff the mussels with the mixture and tie them almost closed with kitchen string. Don’t tie them too tightly as the stuffing has to come into contact with the cooking sauce.
Stuffed mussels ready to cook

Stuffed mussels ready to cook

  • Heat some oil in a large pan and add some chopped garlic. When the garlic has coloured add the tomatoes. Cook over a medium heat for about 15 minutes.
  • Add the mussels and cook for a further 15 minutes.
  • Remove the mussels from the sauce and remove the string.
  • Serve the sauce with spaghetti or linguine as a first course.
  • The mussels can be served as the second course or as part of an antipasto (hot or cold)
Stuffed mussels finished dish

Stuffed mussels finished dish

Stuffed mussels with pasta finished dish

Stuffed mussels with pasta finished dish

Bavette with razor shell clams


Bavette con i cannolicchi. I came across these today in the fish market. I was at a loss what to do with them and in the end cooked them using the same recipe as vermicelli con le vongole. Very nice they were too 🙂

bavette with razor shell clams

 

 bavette with razor shell clams finished dish

 

Vermicelli with clams

This is a real Italian classic. There are a lot of different recipes for vermicelli con le vongole, some using tomatoes and/or chilli, but this one uses neither. The juice from the clams provides the sauce. Serves 4

vermicelli with clams ingredients

vermicelli with clams ingredients

  • 1  kilogram  clams — Scrubbed
  • olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic — thinly sliced
  • 350 grams vermicelli
  • 1 tablespoon  chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Discard any clams with broken shells or which are open
  2. Heat some oil in a saucepan and add the garlic and clams
  3. Cook until the clams open, about 5 minutes
  4. Remove from the heat and lift out the clam. Discard any that remained closed
  5. Remove the clams from the shell, saving a few for decoration
  6. Strain the liquid from the saucepan into a frying pan and add the meat from the clams.
  7. Cook the vermicelli until al dente, drain and add to the frying pan.
  8. Cook for a couple minutes, tossing frequently.
  9. Adjust the seasoning, add the parsley and serve.
vermicelli with clams

vermicelli with clams

Orecchiette with anchovies and bread crumbs

This dish is common all over the south of Italy. As simple as can be! Two main ingredients. This being Bari, I was told that the only possible pasta to have it with was orecchiette 🙂 30 minutes down the road they’d tell you something else. I’ve also seen the recipe with bucatini and spaghetti, so I’m sure it would be good with whichever you care to try it with. I asked the person who gave me the recipe how many anchovies to use and she said ‘it depends how much you like anchovies!’ . I like them a lot, so I used 2 whole ones per person (it would have been more but I ran out 🙂 ) Serves 4

orecchiette with anchovies ingredients

orecchiette with anchovies ingredients

  • 320 grams orecchiette
  • 8 whole salted anchovies — filleted, soaked and chopped
  • 4 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Fry the anchovies gently in the olive oil until they have completely
    dissolved
  2. Mix with the cooked orecchiette and serve, sprinkled with the bread crumbs
orecchiette with anchovies finished dish

orecchiette with anchovies finished dish

Courgette Carbonara

Another courgette recipe. We have a bit of a glut of them here at the moment so I’ve been asking around for recipes. I almost used the title ‘vegetarian carbonara’ but that would be missing the point. Italians don’t really get the idea of ‘vegetarian’ and ‘non-vegetarian’. If it tastes good, they’ll eat it. This dish stands up in its own right and is in no way a slightly inferior vegetarian ‘version’. Serves 4

  • 320 grams spaghetti
  • 200 grams courgette — Cut into rounds
  • 3 whole eggs – You MUST use very fresh eggs as they are only lightly ‘cooked’ in the heat of the pasta
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 15 ml olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled but left whole)
  • 4 tablespoons pecorino Romano— grated (or parmesan)
  • 1 tablespoon parsley — chopped
  • pepper
  1. Heat some olive oil in a pan with the garlic.
  2. Add the courgettes and cook over a low heat for 20 minutes. Remove the garlic and discard.
  3. Mix together the whole eggs, the egg yolk and the pecorino.
  4. Season with pepper. (wait until the end to add salt as pecorino is very salty)
  5. Cook the spaghetti, drain and very quickly mix in the egg mixture.
  6. Add the courgettes to the spaghetti mixture.
  7. Stir in the parsley and serve.