I’ve been posting pretty much what I would call modern pasta recipes – not necessarily Italian. Of course I’ve thrown in the classics like a Sunday Sauce or a Marzano tomato sauce but I haven’t put much up in the way of what I call old country recipes. These recipes are simple family fare, not restaurant cooking, and a lot of fresh ingredients. Often the ingredients themselves need prepping so I’m pretty sure the woman preparing them did not have a job outside the home. I have a few cookbooks that celebrate the foods of the ordinary folk of another era. And when I read some of these recipes I am always reminded of my Grandfather Louie who told me how poor they were in Italy and how you were lucky if there was meat in the macaroni gravy on Sunday. This recipe is in the Syracuse style – I don’t know if it’s from the island of Syracuse or if it is a Sicilian recipe born in Syracusa. It is, however, definitely similar to a Puttanesca Sauce.
1 lb spaghetti
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
6 large ripe fresh tomatoes cut into pieces ( I think you could use canned plum tomatoes)
1 small eggplant diced
2 roasted green peppers sliced * (perhaps you could use bought roasted red)
10 Sicilian olives, pitted (these are large bright green olives)
1 TBS capers
1 TBS minced fresh basil
3 anchovy filets cut into small pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
4 qts boiling water
3 tsp salt
* Roast bell pepper on rack of a gas burner over moderately high heat, turning with tongs, until skin is blackened, about 5 minutes. (Or broil pepper on a broiler pan about 5 inches from heat, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes.)
Place oil in large frying pan, add garlic and brown Remove garlic from oil. Add tomatoes and eggplant to oil and cook 30 minutes or until eggplant is done. Add peppers, olives, capers, basil anchovies, salt and pepper. Cover pan and cook 10 minutes longer, add a little water if needed.
In large pot of boiling water, add 3 tsp salt and spaghetti and cook per package directions. Drain pasta, put on large platter and ladle sauce over it.
Recipe from The Talisman Italian Cook Book by Ada Boni*
* The cookbook was sponsored by the Ronzoni Macaroni Company – Remember their slogan, “Ronzoni sono buoni”