Mezzatorre’s Scialatielli

My cooking path has always led me to make simple and refined menus in which you can immediately identify the Mediterranean. This dish represents my island in terms of flavours,”

Chef Giuseppe d’Abundo, Il Mezzatorre

As soon as the weather starts to warm up, Italians head to the seaside for due spaghetti and a view.  The island of Ischia is perfect for a spaghetti run, but that’s not exactly what you’re about to enjoy.  In Campania, there is nothing is better that scialatielli, slightly irregular or “ruffled” strips of hand-made and hand-cut long pasta.  According to pasta lovers, the word scialatielli comes from scialare Neapolitan dialect for enjoy and tiella, pan where anything can be mixed up.  D’Abundo, Mezzatorre’s in house chef, loves to put the very best of the Green Island in his pan – locally-sourced clams, yellow tomatoes, lemon and parsley.

Ingredients (for 4 people)

Pasta:

500 grams (2.1 cups) flour
300 grams (1.2 cups) milk
1 egg

Sauce:

800 grams (3.3 cups) of clams
1 kg of yellow (3 cups or 2.2 lbs) Datterino tomatoes
1 slice  of lemon
1 clove of garlicI
Some parsley sprouts
200 grams (0.8 cups) taralli
Extra virgin olive oil
½ glass of white wine
Salt to taste

Preparation

Scialatelli

Put all the ingredients in a mixer (or follow traditional hand-mixing technique) kneading the mixture until it is smooth and soft.  Set the dough aside for a couple of hours, in the refrigerator or cool location. With help of a pasta machine or rolling pin, press or roll out long sheets of pasta.  Cut them in a scialatielli shape, ie. short fettucine.

Sauce:

Buy clams at your trusted fishmonger. They must all be alive and free of sand. After cleaning and checking them again (seafood is very delicate), tighten them in a kitchen cloth and set them aside in the refrigerator.

Place yellow datterino tomatoes in a pot, add a glass of water and a pinch of salt and cook slowly.  You can blend with the help of a mixer, pass through a sieve and set aside.

For the clam sauce, pour 30 g of olive oil in a large pan, add a clove of crushed garlic, slightly brown and then remove immediately. Add clams and wine, and cover with a lid. As soon as the clams open, remove from the heat and shell with the help of a kitchen spoon, add just enough tomato sauce to make our sauce creamy but not too thick and cook for a minute on low heat.

Boil water for pasta, making sure to add salt. Scialatielli will cook quickly from 3 to 5 minutes. 

Once cooked put them in a pan, mixing them in with the sauce, adjusting the creaminess by adding a little bit of cooked pasta water and extra virgin oil.  Note: salt is usually not needed since the clam water is already salted. Garnish with a bit of grated lemon and the crumbled taralli grains which scent and give crunchiness to the dish.

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