Like many of my other blogger friends (now known and still being discovered..), I too am a self professed Italian food junkie. One Italian friend of mine,had playfully mentioned that there are three basic ingredients that are to be found in all Italian recipes--olive oil, garlic and tomatoes. I don't doubt him, but I really don't think thats' all..there is 'passion' !
Every food has its history that makes it rich and wonderful. Discovering these stories, the facts, the myths...its a joy untold for foodies. Because cooking isn't just about mixing ingredients...its magic, an alchemy of flavours...each dish prepared is a story in itself and the cook the author.
I made this Tagliatelle dish, inspired by David Rocco's La Dolce Vita ("Life is Sweet") that I had seen on T.V. one lazy afternoon while surfing channels (my favourite passtime..lol).
There are two kinds of Italian pasta--Pasta all'uovo, egg pasta such as tagliatelle, fettuccine, and whatnot and Pasta di semola di grano duro, made with semolina, water and a touch of salt.The former are flat and of varying width, while the latter comes in all sorts of shapes, from spaghetti to penne to cart wheels.
Tagliatelle are also commonly flavored with other ingredients, for example spinach, which turns them green, tomato, which turns them red, or squid ink, which turns them black. They are used for hearty fares and lasagne made with tagliatelle are just awesome.
Now a little 'interesting' something on Marinara Sauce-Marinara derives from the Italian word for sailor, marinaro. Due to these origins many people say that marinara sauce must contain something from the sea, usually anchovies. Actually this is not the case, the origins of marinara sauce are that it is the sauce that they made in Naples for the sailors when they returned from the sea.
Here's my favourite recipe for you.
Fishy Tagliatelle with Tuna balls in Marinara sauce
For the Tuna balls--
1 cup flaked Tuna fish
2 tbsp parsley,chopped finely
1 tsp garlic paste
1/2 cup grated parmigiano cheese
2 small green chillies, minced
salt to taste
oil for deep frying
For the Marinara sauce--
1/4 cup of olive oil
4 cloves of garlic sliced in half
4 large ripe tomatoes, pureed
3 basil leaves, washed, patted dry and chopped
salt & pepper to taste
For the Tagliatelle--
4 rolls of tagliatelle pasta, cooked in boiling water, drained and set aside
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and using a little water( if required), form a dough like consistency. Now make small balls out of this dough, and deep fry in cooking oil.
Place garlic and olive oil in large sauce pan.
Turn heat to medium and cook until garlic is soft and lightly browned.
Add the tomato puree, basil, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and cook until thickened approximately 20 to 25 minutes.
I bring this dish to the Seven Fishes Feast thrown together, by Joe (of Italyville) and MaryAnn(of Findind La Dolce Vita).
What is the Seven Fishes Feast? Southern Italians around the world celebrate Christmas Eve with a Feast of the Seven Fishes, also known as La Vigilia (Italian: "the vigil").
It is a meal that typically consists of seven different seafood dishes.This celebration is a commemoration of the wait, Vigilia di Natale, for the midnight birth of the baby Jesus.
It is quite paradoxically a period of abstinence for the Italians.
Why 7? There are many hypotheses for what the number "7" relates to, one being the number of Sacraments in the Roman Catholic Church. Another theory is that seven is a number representing perfection.The traditional Biblical number for divinity is three, and for Earth is four, and the combination of these numbers, seven, represents God on Earth, or Jesus Christ.
It would be worth all the effort if you enjoyed reading the post, as much as I enjoyed writing it.
I also send this to Truti (Recipe Center) for her Winter Treat Event.