NAPOLI: “al dente” pasta (1300 a.D.)

A recipe full of emotions, this “pasta recipe” from Anonimo Meridionale. For the first time in history we read that the dough is to be boiled. The “lasagne” were known by the Greeks and Romans, but they were eaten either roasted or boiled. The idea of boiling pasta is a medieval introduction

In this pasage, furthermore, we find for the first time the recomandation to eat pasta “al dente”, meaning “not overboiled”. Still now, this rule is extremely important mainly in the south of italy (“meridione”).

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If you want to try this dish, which is the great granfather of modern pasta, I recommend to go for the full experience: make lasagne (60 g. water for each 100g durum wheat pasta) or buy them (possibly: durum wheat/no-egg variety, it is very common). Boil them for 10 minutes. Although the “Anonimo Meridionale” recommends to avoid overboiling, the standard in medieval time was to boil pasta up to 30 minutes, so if we boil 10 minutes it will be “al dente” for the standard of the time. Cut them in rectangular strips of approx 2×4 cm. Sprinkle with spices and saffron and fry them. Serve hot.

TRANSLATION: You can also make “lasagne in pavese”. Take them and cook them, but make sure they are not overcooked. And then put them in a separate bowl and block the cooking by passing them twice with cold water. Sprinkle with spices and saffron and to finish, if you want, you can fry them.

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