Over the past few days there has been a debate amongst the noble fathers of the Amatriciana dish and the Michelin Starred Chef, Carlo Cracco. Carlo, on Masterchef Italia, told us all that we should use onions when we make the dish. I respect and admire Carlo Cracco for the fine research he has conducted on raw materials not to mention his flair in the kitchen. I personally have nothing bad to say about his recipes, but there are certain traditions that should be respected and not adapted at all.
The Amatriciana and the Gricia (Amatriciana without tomato) are great thanks to the raw materials that are used, a little like most of the Italian cuisine. Our Mediterranean cuisine is simple and quick simply because it is the actual quality of the product that makes the big difference. If we have a good guanciale bacon and a nice pecorino cheese, the Gricia comes out much more goumet at any table.
Lets say that this mini dispute was a fun one and reminded us of the poets, navigators, artists and cooks within ourselves!
When we think of Italian cuisine, pasta automatically springs to mind. I'd say that this association is more than correct. However, I would like to highlight that not all types of pasta are the same and above all do not go with every kind of condiment. In my shop you can find pasta, snacks and above all you can buy high quality pasta online. The quality of the pasta is fundamental for the creation of a good dish: consistency, precision in cooking and the capacity of absorbing the condiment are all characteristics that make a product excel.
If we think of various Italian recipes, we think of tradition but surely the Italians made variations of the indications and passed them along from mother to daughter. Take the Spaghetti all'Amatriciana, for example. There's no doubt about it that this type of sauce goes very well with the type of pasta but many choose to use the penne style of pasta as an alternative and I must say that I have also chosen this variation once or twice with my children and they really enjoy it. Another idea that I'll give you, is to try mezze maniche style of pasta with a carbonara sauce; in this case I prefer by far this style to a traditional spaghetti. Do you know why? ...the guanciale bacon goes inside the pasta and it all blends together very well and what's more, it is much easier to cook for many people.
If you have a pasta salad in mind, I'd like to suggest fusilli pasta. It is pretty to look at when mixed with tomatoes, cheese, tuna, sweetcorn and it stays al dente.
With a little fantasy and something in the fridge, you can make an absolute quality plate of pasta and enjoy a lovely lunch with the whole family.