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Spaghetti with "Pecorino" flavoured with stuzzichina" herb

(Spaghetti col pecorino all'erba "stuzzichina")

  • 400 grams of spaghetti
  • 6 garlic cloves finely cut
  • 6 crumbled hot chilli peppers
  • 3 small bunches of fresh "rucola" (a kind of tasty salad) with its ribs already removed and finely chopped
  • 100 grams of grated dry pecorino cheese
  • 8 spoons of olive oil
  • salt
Cook the spaghetti in salt water. When the spaghetti are nearly to be cooked (the so called "al dente" cooking) take an appropriate frying pan, quite large in order to contain all the pasta, and, with the oil sauté garlic and hot chilly peppers, over a brisk heat, continuously turning them in the pan in order to flavour the oil without burning the garlic. At the right time drain the spaghetti (keep some of the cooking water) and drop them in the frying pan with oil, garlic and hot chilli peppers. Turn them and mix them with the flavouring by turning them continuously (over a brisk heat) adding some spoons of the cooking water in order to bind them. Now scatter two small bunches of "rucola" (after having chopped them), turn and mix all this stuff by adding, if necessary, some spoons of cooking water as to incorporate the "rucola" flavour. It will take about 3 minutes, then add the cheese together with 3-4 spoons of cooking water, turn and mix for 2-3 minutes more, over a brisk heat, then distribute the pasta in the soup plate decorating it with the chopped remaining "rucola".
This is a very simple and cheap pasta, easy and quick to prepare, but at the same time tasty and particularly light and digestible, so that it is very suitable for the "spaghettata di mezzanotte" (midnight spaghetti) with friends.
In any case pay attention to the collateral effects of this pasta, because "rucola" (called also "ruchetta" or "rughetta" and "erutica sativa" for the science) is a particular herb. It has the ancient reputation to be an aphrodisiac herb, in fact some monastic orders forbid its use in convent kitchens for centuries and centuries. So that it can be revealed captivating during these famous and fashionable "spaghettate di mezzanotte".

A Giuseppe Alessi recipe
Translated by Gianna Toni
Picture by Kee-Ho Casati

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