90" Rapida Spaghetti with Colatura di Alici & Capers
In NYC recently, we headed over to Porsena, the East Village restaurant of our good friend, Chef Sara Jenkins (author, with her mother Nancy Jenkins, of the recent cookbook The Four Seasons of Pasta), with a classic Italian recipe in hand (plus, of course, a few bags of 90″ Rapida Spaghetti). We set the timer and started in.
The result? This full-flavored recipe, astonishingly easy to make and using what you probably already have in your pantry. The best part? With 90" Rapida Spaghetti, the longest wait is for the water to boil; making the sauce itself takes less than 15 minutes from start to finish.
The inspiration for the dish was a simple but delicious pasta we had in Cetara with IASA for the anchovy harvest, made with their own Colatura di Alici—a prized anchovy elixir rich with the flavors of the sea (it is very concentrated, so a little goes a long way!) We played with the recipe ourselves, adding dried capers, which add a very nice texture to the dish. While making the dish at Porsena, Sara thought it needed some lemon juice. We're not fans of acid on our pasta, so we settled on lemon zest and a star was born!
- 1 package 90" Rapida Spaghetti
- ½ cup Salted Capers from Salina
- a handful of chopped parsley leaves
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped, as small as possible
- 3–4 tablespoons good extra virgin olive oil, like Tondo D.O.P
- 4 teaspoons Colatura di Alici
- 4 tablespoons of cold water
- salt and pepper to taste
- grated lemon zest
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Soak the salted capers for 5 minutes, removing as much excess salt as possible. Drain and rinse. Spread the capers on a paper towel and pat dry. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and spread the capers evenly on it. Toast the capers in the oven for about 10 minutes until crunchy and dry. Set aside.
Put a pot of salted water to boil. Make sure you have a chronometer nearby to set the time for the pasta (remeber, only 90 seconds!). Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, emulsify the Colatura di Alici with the extra virgin olive oil and the water. Mix vigorously with a whisk to form a luscious sauce (it should look almost like a mayonnaise). Add the finely chopped garlic and parsley to taste and set aside.
Once the water starts boiling, cook the pasta for 90 seconds. Drain the pasta in a colander and toss immediately with the sauce, mixing it gently so as not to break the spaghetti. Using tongs, swirl the spaghetti into a warmed serving bowl. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, add a splash of colatura, and top with abundant chopped parsley, dried salted capers and a touch of grated lemon zest. Serve immediately.
Tips: While the pasta is cooking, warm the serving bowl: ladle in some of the pasta cooking water and empty it out just before draining the pasta.