Pasta, pasta and more pasta . . . that’s all it’s about really . . . well, it’s what this blog post is all about anyway!
Back in the days of Firenze when we made our own pasta, yes, all of it was hand made in the Firenze kitchens, and what a delight it was, I think the most popular and somewhat famous dish amongst our regulars was the Raviolo, that is one big Raviolo as opposed to lots of little ravioli!!!! (did you know that an ”o” on the end makes it big and an “i” makes it small 😊). This one was stuffed with spinach and ricotta, and nestled in the middle at the top was a perfect egg yolk. Gently simmered in boiling water, the pasta was perfectly cooked and yolk still runny as you cut into it . . . doused with yummy sage butter, it was simply divine!
It was when I first met Lino that I became aware of the idiosyncrasies of Italians and their thoughts on which pasta “belongs” with which sauce!! After all, the Italian’s should know, and they are amazingly particular and precise on the subject! The sauce and pasta combos are a mix of traditions and genuine technicalities, such as how long the pasta takes to cook and the density of the pasta. The shape can affect how well a sauce will coat the pasta, for example larger shaped pasta works well with a more chunky, meaty ragu (ragu is an Italian meat sauce), a traditional Carbonara is served with spaghetti and pasta with a textured surface will lend itself to more light and delicate sauces.
Linos fave is Aglio Pepperoncino, simple chilli and garlic and spaghetti. At Boboli the all-time favourite must be our Lasagne della Nonna, and yes it really is Lino’s Mamma’s recipe with the hidden extra layers of cooked ham that just take the flavours to another level. We often serve the classic Buccatini (spaghetti with holes through the middle) Puttanesaca, favoured by ladies of the night perhaps, Farfalle, little “butterflies”, work a treat with smoked salmon, chives and cream. Pesto Genovese is a wonderful dish with the classic fresh basil pesto, chunks of potatoes and green beans, one of my faves this is, especially when it’s with Garganelle, a kinda twisted penne!!
At The Lighthouse, “Stracci e Pesce”, literally translated as rags and fish, that is rough cut pasta with delicious fresh cuts of fish in a saffron cream sauce always scores well, but then there really is nothing quite like our lobster spaghetti. . . spaghetti in a lobster bisque, with lovely succulent chunks of fresh lobster, if we are feeling flush . . . or tiger prawns are a welcome more affordable alternative.
Either way the pasta debate goes on in earnest, almost as earnestly as we seek to serve it!
Ciao for now!
20TH ANNIVERSARY QUIZ
Q7. Which is Lino’s favourite pasta dish and which is mine?
Just answer in the comments below and we’ll enter you into our prize draw celebrating our 20th anniversary! (Please be sure to put your email address on your comment so that we can contact you if you’re one of our lucky winners)
Look out for other 20th anniversary quiz questions on our future blog posts. Prize draw winners to be announced on 1st January 2020.