Gustare un piatto fatto come Dio comanda è uno dei piaceri solitari più raffinati che l’omo possa godere, da non spartirsi con nessuno, manco con la pirsona alla quale vuoi più bene. (da Gli arancini di Montalbano)
To savor a meal prepared like God intended is one of the most refined solitary pleasures that a man could possibly enjoy, not to be shared with anybody even the person you love most. (You will excuse my translation, but English is not my native language and Camilleri’s language is difficult in itself)
One of the most outstanding peculiarity of Inspector Montalbano is for sure his appreciation for food. Traditional Sicilian food prepared by his faithful governess Adelina or enjoyed in one of the “trattoria” in the fictional city of Vigata. Andrea Camilleri, Inspector Montalbano’s “father” has created a language of his own, a mix of Italian and Sicilian, the dialect spoken where the action take place, Sicily. Stories are interwoven with irony, suspense, social comments, introspections and a lot of amazing description of the food.
Today, I felt like preparing a dish that recall the Mediterranean flavors, something that even a sophisticated palate like Montalbano will not disdain. So I started with a tomato sauce rich in oregano, garlic, basil and chilli, and I end shaping the spaghetti like a nest and decorating with a small mozzarella, as we are in Easter season. The result was a tasty main course that also the kids loved.
320 gr. Spaghetti
500 gr. of peeled tomato
80 gr. of Cailletier olives
2 tablespoons of capers
6 tablespoons of olive oil
6 cherry mozzarella
2 cloves of garlic
15 gr. basil leaves
oregano, chilli (pepperoncino) and salt to please
This is how it looks before been grated in the oven
- Grease a small oven pan with olive oil and sprinkle with bread crumbs
- Peel the garlic and remove the bud if necessary, then grossly chop, put in a small pan with the peeled tomato, oregano, pepperoncino and salt. Let it cook with very low heat for half an hour. Don’t mix them.
- Roughly chop cailletier olives, basil and capers
- After half a hour crush the tomato with a wooden spoon, then add the olives, the capers and 4 spoonful of olive oil and put on very low heat for another 15 minutes
- Meanwhile cook the pasta, and when still very “al dente” (bit hard), drain it an cool with cold water
- Mix the sauce with the spaghetti, then with the help of a fork and a spoon, prepare six nests, carefully placing them in the greased pan, put a cherry mozzarella in each one.
- Sprinkle the preparation with more bread crumbs and two spoonful of olive oil, put in the oven at 180’ C. for 10-15 minutes and serve hot.
This is just out of the oven:
And this how it looks like after eating a generous portion: