In Spaccanapoli you will find an assorted (and delicious) variety of Neapolitan pizzas prepared at the time. The dough is made with mother yeast, the oldest formula in the world. It is also light, because it is made with fermented yeast between 36 and 48 hours.
The ingredients we use have a protected designation of origin. Flour, tomato, mozzarella, olive oil and many other ingredients are brought directly from the area of origin.
Another classic recipe of Neapolitan cuisine is a dish whose origins are poor and that is cooked with simple ingredients: pasta and potatoes.
This is the dish that surprises most of all abroad, when someone first discovers it.
“Seriously? Pasta with potatoes? ”,“ But if it’s like eating pasta with bread! ”,“ What a carb chute, right? ”, These are just some of the phrases that I have become accustomed to hearing and that make me smile.
Exactly, pasta with potatoes. A simply exquisite dish, which is not light, yes, and therefore recommended especially in winter.
In the “Quartieri Spagnoli” of Naples, a popular neighborhood in the historic center, there is a famous restaurant offering traditional dishes. When the waiter serves a plate of pasta and potatoes, he entertains clients with a brief show that seems rather typical of a circus than of a restaurant: he turns the plate full of food in the air to show that the content does not fall.
It seems like science fiction but it is like that, the trick is in a very precise preparation and cooking process, the “pasta e patate” does not have to be hot, but rather “azzeccata”, as the Neapolitans would say.
The more traditional version of the dish requires that the pasta be mixed (originally the leftovers of the different types of pasta that were found at home). During the preparation tomatoes are added and in the most modern versions such as ours, also causes smoked cheese.
Paccheri allo scoglio
Naples, Vico Soprammuro.
It is here, near the old Aragonese wall next to Porta Nolana, that for centuries the most popular fish market in the city has been found; the Neapolitans have always called it Ncopp ’M e Mmura (“ above the wall ”).
Every time I return to Naples I try to visit him first thing in the morning, walking among the fresh fish paraditas. The vendors shout out the virtues of their merchandise as they strive to keep it alive by frequently wetting it with seawater.
This is the best time of day to choose the seafood that will be the main ingredient of the “paccheri allo scoglio”. According to tradition, there is no precise recipe for cooking this dish, you have to use the ingredients found in the market or in the fish market early in the day.
My intention is always to respect the traditional recipe that I have been refining thanks to the experience and that works best for me: a combination of octopus, clams, mussels, squid and prawns.
If you want to try to cook this dish, no Neapolitan will tell you anything if you change the ingredients. On the contrary, my recommendation is to exaggerate, mix, change … and you will see that the result will always be impeccable.
Fiori di zucca
Pumpkin flowers are one of the most famous Neapolitan entrees in all of Italy. In our region they are called “sciurilli”, bone “small flowers”. To cook them, they are filled with ricotta and another cheese and fried after being battered in a dough based on flour and egg.
Pumpkin flowers are ideal for endless recipes but it must be recognized that in this crunchy variant it is one of the best.
A curious fact is that the flowers that can be bought in traditional shops are usually actually part of the zucchini plant, and not the pumpkin.
I like to talk about this vegetable because when I arrived in Barcelona one of the things that surprised me the most was to see that cleaning the zucchini this delicious flower … it was thrown!
I wondered several times how it was possible that no one had thought that you could cook a delicious entree with her.
These orange flowers are very delicate and therefore you have to be careful to keep them well and serve them when they are fresh.