The other day I picked up a copy of Carlo Middione’s Southern Italian Cooking. I do like the buttery yellow cover.
This is a big heavy book in many senses. Middione frequently uses lots of exclamation points when he is trying to impress upon us the urgency of correct pasta handling!!! Well, I can’t say I don’t know how he feels. I am eager to try almost every recipe I’ve read so far, among them eggplant dumplings, poached eggs in tomato purgatory and others.
So far I made Maccheroni alla Maniera di Andria or Macaroni with Arugula and Fresh Tomatoes. To be fair to Middione, what I made ended up very different from his recipe, mostly because there are no fresh tomatoes, but I did follow his process as far as cooking the arugula together with the pasta, and then tossing with a tomato sauce. I got those lovely baby arugola leaves from Hydrofarm at the Union Square Farmers’ Market. Here’s how I approximated Middione’s recipe this time:
Spaghetti with Arugula and Tomato Sauce
1 pound whole wheat spaghetti
1/2 pound arugula, cut or torn into large pieces
1 onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, sliced
2 fat pinches oregano
¾ cup chianti, if you have an open bottle going
1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste (You may leave this out if you loathe tomato paste. Middione's recipe calls only for fresh tomatoes)