Monday, August 24, 2009

Eurofret #1

Spaghetti con Aglio e Olio

We're back from our holidays, and I'm very pleased that my contribution for Dinner and a Movie went out as scheduled. It's the first time that I left a blog entry to be published in absentia. (Ironically, the deadline was extended to today!) But that is not what the fretting is about. "Eurofret" is a sign somewhere around the ferry port of Dunkirk, and each time we go that way, it strikes me as an ideal title for a TV show where people can complain about Europe.
Well, we've been to Germany, Denmark and Sweden, and I've got a lot to fret about. So I thought I 'd start a little series. I'll make it food-related if I can.
That shouldn't be too difficult - with the pound so weak, everything was astronomically expensive, so, lots to fret about. The above dish, re-created today, was one of the exceptions, a mere 6.50 € I think, which is nearly £ 6.50 now. But if you think how little goes into it...

My 'version' came with cherry tomatoes and 'Pepperoni'. On the Continent, those are types of small, spicy pickled peppers (often known as peperoncino or peperone piccante in Italy and pepperoncini or banana peppers in the U.S.), not the spicy variety of salami in Italo-American dishes. However, when you look up the recipe, the 'classic' one would not feature anything much besides the oil and garlic in the title.

But what the heck, I liked the addition of tomatoes and spicy peppers. I also liked the use of red chillies, as opposed to chilli flakes, which I found in online recipes. Everyone seemed to agree on the use of parsley - but I didn't have any. I had bought 'sun-kissed oregano' at Waitrose instead (because I'm a sucker for 'romantic marketing'). So, this is what I did:

Spaghetti, enough for x people
1 tbsp of
olive oil per person (I used a very special one, 'Colonna Gran Verde', with the zest of organic lemons, which I bought in a delicatessen in Henley-in-Arden, because the addition of lemon juice and zest was also recommended in a number of recipes)
1 large clove of
garlic per person, cut into slivers
cherry tomatoes, halved, per person
1 fresh
red chilli per person
yellow pickled peppers per person (mine were from Lidl; very mild)

Boil the spaghetti in salted water until al dente.
In a large pan, heat oil and add the garlic slivers, keep stirring. It's important the the garlic doesn't turn brown. Add chillies, peppers and tomatoes.
Add the drained spaghetti to the pan and mix well.
Season liberally with salt and pepper.
Add finely cut oregano right at the end.

I served it with a mixed salad and a glass of red wine. Grated parmesan is optional.

I had this first in the port of Husum, Germany.


lalaine said...

This spaghetti sounds very simple yet flavorful~a must-try. Thanks for sharing.

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