Calabrian spaghetti with Anchovies, pine nuts and Liquorice

A very special recipe, created for us by Laruffa Food. A first course prepared with Calabrian Struncatura, a pasta with an unmistakable flavour, today cooked in starred restaurants.

Its origins date back to the times when pasta was a luxury that most of the population could not afford. It so happened in the Calabrian countryside, that during the milling of the wheat, all the scraps (flour, bran, rye, whole wheat and semolina) were collected to make a mixture to feed the horses. These were fettuccine with a slightly acidic flavor which was forbidden for human consumption, but which, by virtue of their excellent flavor and tasty consistency, began to be distributed under the counter in the shops, until they became a typical dish of Calabria, in the plain of Gioia Tauro.

The shape and rough texture make it an ideal pasta for holding the sauce. In this case an excellent sauce based on anchovy sauce from Cetara, toasted pine nuts and licorice powder.

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 400g of Struncatura or spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per person
  • 1 finely chopped clove of garlic
  • chili pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of Cetara anchovy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts
  • chopped parsley to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of Amarelli Liquorice Powder

Preparation:

  1. Boil the pasta in hot salted water.
  2. Meanwhile, in a non-stick pan, put the oil, the minced garlic and the chilli pepper.
  3. Turn on the fire and put the flame to low. The pan and the oil must not reach too high temperatures to ensure that the aromatic band of garlic and chilli can be extracted in the best possible way. A  too high temperature fries, burns and makes the dish unpleasant.
  4. While the pasta is cooking, raise the heat of the pan with oil, garlic and chilli. With a fork, transfer the pasta to the pan and add 2 ladlefuls of cooking water.
  5. Skip the pasta to incorporate air, extract as much starch as possible to ensure that it binds perfectly to water and oil  creating a perfect emulsion. When the pasta requires it, add more cooking water and start your work again.
  6. When cooked, add the anchovy sauce, chopped parsley and toasted pine nuts, turn off the heat, add a tablespoon of raw extra virgin olive oil and stir.
  7. Meanwhile, toast some pine nuts separately for the decoration of the dish.
  8. With the help of a pastry cutter, form a struncatura nest, let it rest for a few seconds and flood it with any cream left in the pan.
  9. Add a sprinkle of liquorice powder, some toasted pine nuts and enjoy your meal!