Spaghetti Alla Nerano
From Chef Rosario:
“Spring is here and summer is just around the corner. A true sign of the season is that farmers’ markets are back! This month I will take you to a region that perfectly embodies summery weather: Campania. This region is home to beautiful places like the Amalfi coast, the Gulf of Naples, and the island of Capri. But Campania (and more specifically Gragnano, near Naples) is also the (alleged) birthplace of extruded pasta such as spaghetti, rigatoni, etc.
Why not buy some quality spaghetti and make the local staple “Spaghetti alla Nerano?”
Nerano is the name of a dreamy small town on the Sorrento peninsula. This recipe is said to have originated in a local restaurant. The cheese used in the original recipe is called “Provolone del Monaco” but I found that a good caciocavallo was perfect with its buttery texture and mild aroma.”
Spaghetti “aglio-olio” with Artichokes and Spinach
- 8 oz. spaghetti
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 8 oz. jar artichoke quarters in olive oil
- 5 oz. organic baby spinach
- salt to taste (for pasta water and sauce)
- 3/4 cup pasta water
- 4 tbsp Pecorino Romano grated
Bring a large pot of water (4 to 5 quarts) toa boil over high heat.
While water is heating, chop garlic.
Once the water has reached a rapid boil, addsalt and then the spaghetti. Cook until very al dente (about 1 minute less thanrecommended cooking time on package directions).
While the spaghetti is cooking, heat theolive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Thoroughly drain theartichokes and add to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring once until goldenon each side. Add garlic and cook for a minute; then add baby spinach.Initially, the spinach will be towering in the pan, but with cooking for a fewmore minutes, it will soften and take up much less space. Stir occasionallyuntil it reduces.
Season with a pinch of salt (to taste).
When pasta is ready, reserve ¾ cup of pastawater and drain the rest. Return spaghetti to the pot, add reserved pasta waterand half of the artichoke-spinach mixture, stirring over low heat for a minuteor so, until most of the water has been absorbed by the pasta.
Remove pot from heat and add most of thePecorino Romano cheese, stirring until the sauce is slightly creamy and all theflavors are well incorporated.
Transfer to a platter or portion ontoindividual plates. Top with the rest of the artichoke spinach sauce and serveimmediately, adding more grated Pecorino Romano.