Italian food is so, so delightful. I have not yet travelled to Italy, but believe me, it is firmly on my bucket list. Today on the blog I am bringing you an easy, authentic, stunning Italian recipe from a wonderful experience I had a couple of weeks ago. It’s a traditional pasta dish named spaghetti amatriciana.
Close to where I live and work is a beautiful kitchen showroom, Stefano De Blasio Kitchens. They recently had a refurbishment, complete with their showroom being kitted out with a fully-fledged and working kitchen. Stunning marble surfaces, state-of-the-art induction hob (my favourite as we have one at home), built-in coffee machine and fridge freezer, it was the perfect stage for Italian chef, Antonia, to run an authentic, Italian cookery demonstration. Whom, I might add, they’d flown over from Rome to mark the occasion!
We gathered in the beautiful new kitchen showroom and got to know each other over a few stunning nibbles and wine. I was delighted to see the lovely Jo from www.tastetoday.co.uk was also invited, and Claire from www.goodeggfoodie.com, both of which I have worked with over the last couple of years through work or my blog.
To kick things off, chef Antonia had prepared some nibbles for us; first up was a fluffy potato cake topped with a light cheese sauce, and some Parmesan cheese topped with a drizzle of balsamic reduction. This was swiftly followed by a rustic form of bruschetta, called caponata Siciliana. Topped with a chutney made from celery, aubergine, tomato, olives, capers, onions, vinegar, oil and honey. It was delicious and just enough to tide us over before the main event: spaghetti amatriciana and a traditional tiramisu.
Antonia’s ingredients were all laid out and beautifully organised on the show kitchen counter, ready to demonstrate the first dish of the day. As only a handful of bloggers were there, we were allowed a spot at the front, so we could get some great snaps of the demo as Antonia cooked. She explained that in most Italian homes, families use high-grade dried pasta, as opposed to making their own or buying fresh, as you might expect.
The recipes serves four people and took no longer than 30 minutes from start to finish. Here’s the full recipe for you to try at home. Do let me know if you give it a try!
What to do:
- Fill a pan with boiling water and add a good pinch of salt for flavour. Don’t cook the spaghetti just yet!
- Finely slice the chilli, pancetta (of guanciale) and make sure the meat is roughly a uniform size.
- Gently fry the pancetta/guanciale until the fat has become translucent, giving it a stir every now and again with a wooden spoon. Once cooked, add the white wine and let this cook off for a few more minutes. Add the chilli.
- Once the wine has evaporated, take the meat out of the pan using some tongues. Set aside.
- Add the tomatoes to the pan you’ve just cooked the meat in, to get all of the flavour into the sauce.
- Now, cook the spaghetti and let the tomato sauce reduce by a third, whilst your pasta cooks.
- Once al dente, remove the pasta from the water, and add it to the pan with the sauce.
- Mix the meat in with the pasta and sauce, grate the pecorino over the pasta and season with plenty of black pepper.
- Serve in warm, shallow bowls and enjoy with a glass of white or red.
A huge thank you to Gino from Stefano De Blasio Kitchens for inviting me along to the invite to the event. Next week I will be sharing another recipe demonstrated by Antonia – traditional tiramisu! So please stay posted, follow @sophiesscran on Twitter to keep updated with my latest posts. <3