Friday, January 9, 2009
"Yellow bag pasta" the best there is...
....in my opinion, and that of many of my friends! When my husband and I first went to Italy to visit his Dad I was introduced to Martelli's heavenly pastas. What is so special about them you may ask...the only thing I can say is that this pasta is "meaty" (although not literally of course!) Maybe a better word would be "hearty"? This pasta really holds any sauce tossed with it. The Martelli family (only the family works in the factory!) sells their pasta out of a town named Lari right near Pisa and they only offer four types; Spaghetti , Spaghettini, Penne and Maccheroni di Toscan. Their intense process for making their pasta allows for it to be very porous and absorbs sauce extremely well.
The only thing is their pasta is very hard to find here in the US! I have yet to find it here in San Diego. The only place I have found it is at an amazing gourmet food and wine store in Great Barrington in MA called Lock-Stock and Barrel. May I only suggest if you ever do come across a yellow bag of this pasta....buy it! For more information on Martelli's pastas check out their website: www.martelli.info/
I have included the recipe I have come up with that is close to the way I first had the spaghetti in Italy.
1 bag of Martelli spaghetti(or another brand if you can't find Martelli)
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 small can/freshly diced tomatoes
1 small diced onion
2 minced garlic cloves
1 tbsp capers (drained)
3 or 4 leaves fresh basil hand torn
1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
salt and pepper to taste
In a large pan over medium (to low) heat add oil and saute diced onion until translucent (about 5 minutes depending on your stove), add garlic and saute for only about 30 seconds to a minute (it can burn quickly!). Now add the diced tomatoes and capers and simmer for about ten minutes. Once the spaghetti is cooked al dente pour it in with the sauce and cook for a minute or two. Toss in the fresh basil, parmigiano reggiano and salt and pepper to taste. (Remember parmigiano is salty so keep that in mind when adding more seasoning!)
Enjoy this simple and elegant dish with a glass of one of my favorites: