Sunday, February 08, 2015

Cucina Povera Spaghetti

When I go about downtown or malls, I cannot help but notice that it is unusually quiet.

On Sundays, if I have to go to BIG supermarket in Publika, it would always be packed to the brim, that you had to rub shoulders (or even trolleys or baskets) with other shoppers.

But today, it was simply free and easy. Very few shoppers.

The same with Village Grocer as well.

Very frankly put it this way.

It has been going on for a while, starting from end of last year.

There was this rather sombre mood everywhere.

It is hard to stomach the cold hard truth.

You know what I mean. The incoming April thing and the weakening of the currency, and all things not nice predicted.

It will be good, if you can start a habit by preparing food at home.

Save yourself some money for the rainy days!

Here is an inspiration for you.

Pasta alla briciole

Pasta alla briciole (pasta with fried breadcrumbs); adapted from the book Cucina Povera: Tuscan Peasant Cooking 

"The topping for this pasta is sometimes called poor man's parmigiano and represents cucina povera at its most frugal.Women would save every bread crumb until there were enough to dress pasta, garnish soups, or to flavor roasted or grilled vegetables.for this dish, the breadcrumbs are tossed with garlic and spicy red pepper flakes that have been sautéed in olive oil. The finished topping is crunchy with a wonderful spicy flavour"

Serves 2

220g - 228g gram of spaghetti 

A deep pot filled with water (3/4 full)

1/2 cup of breadcrumbs 

1/8 cup of olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika powder

salt and pepper to taste

2 cured anchovies, mashed until fine and placed in a deep salad bowl (the ones in a tin or a small jar)

1/2 teaspoon of dried parsley flakes


Heat a pan with olive oil, fry the garlic. Once the garlic imparts the wonderful aroma, stir in the breadcrumbs, fry briefly. Add the smoked paprika, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Once the breadcrumbs become crisp, set aside to cool.

Boil the water on full whack in the pot, until you see rolling bubbles. At this point, add in a tablespoon of rock salt. As Nigella Lawson said, the water meant to cook pasta had to be as "salty as the sea of Mediterranean".  

Chuck your spaghetti in, and cook until al dente. I am using De Cecco, I cook for about 10 to 11 minutes for al dente. Different brand differs.

Once the spaghetti is done, drain the spaghetti and transfer the pasta to the deep bowl containing mashed anchovies. Coat the strands through carefully and pour in the breadcrumbs. 

Divide the spaghetti between two plates and garnish with the parsley flakes.


This dish can keep you full for a long time! 


I mean, really long.

The breadcrumbs will knock your socks off!

1 comment:

The Yum List said...

Yes, so much cheaper and often much healthier to eat at home.