85 MACCHERONI ALLA NAPOLETANA I
(MACARONI NEAPOLITAN STYLE I )
I guarantee that this dish is genuine and well tested, as it is based on
a recipe I obtained from a family in Santa Maria Capua Vetere. I
must also tell you that for a long time I hesitated about trying out
this recipe, not being entirely won over by the hodgepodge of spices
and flavors. To tell the truth, the dish did not turn out at all badly;
indeed, it may appeal to those whose taste buds are not categorically
in favor of simplicity.
Take a piece of beef flank and lard it with strips of untrimmed
prosciutto, zibibbo raisins, pine nuts, and a little battuto of lardoon,
garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. After you have prepared the meat in
this manner and bound it with twine to keep it together, put it on
the fire with a battuto of salt pork, and finely chopped onion. Turn
the meat often and poke it occasionally with a larding needle. Once
the meat is browned and the soffritto all absorbed, add three or four
pieces of peeled tomatoes. When these have dissolved, add some
pureed tomato sauce a little at a time. Wait until the sauce is rather
concentrated, then add enough water to cover the meat. Salt and
pepper to taste, and allow it to simmer over a low flame. If you do
not have any fresh tomatoes, use tomato paste. This is the sauce for
the macaroni, which should also be seasoned with sharp cheese, as
is done in Naples. The meat is served on the side.
As for the macaroni themselves, the Neapolitans recommend
that they should be boiled in a large pot, with lots of water, and not
cooked too long
86 MACCHERONI ALLA NAPOLETANA I I
(MACARONI NEAPOLITAN STYLE I I )
This is a much simpler way to prepare macaroni, and the result is so
tasty I advise you to try it.
300 grams (about 10-1/2 ounces) of long macaroni are sufficient for
three people. Start by frying two large onion slices in 30 grams (about
1 ounce) of butter and two tablespoons of olive oil. When the onion
turns a nice golden brown and begins to dissolve, press it well with
a wooden spoon against the sides of the saucepan squeezing all the
fat out, then discard it. Add 500 grams (about 1 pound) of tomatoes
and a good pinch of coarsely chopped basil to the bubbling fat. Salt
and pepper to taste. Remember to prepare the tomatoes in advance:
they should be peeled and cut into chunks, removing the seeds as
best you can (if some remain they will not spoil the dish).
Thicken the sauce with 50 grams (about 1-2/3 ounces) of butter
and some Parmesan cheese, pour it over the macaroni and then send
to the table. People who like their pasta swimming in sauce will find
this dish especially appealing.
Instead of long macaroni, you can also use penne, which in fact
absorb this sauce even better.