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the appetizer:

Though there are many individual regional cuisines in Italy, northern and southern Italian cuisines are primarily differentiated by the cooking fat and style of pasta commonly used. Northern Italian cuisine (other than on the coast) favors butter, cream, polenta, Mascarpone, Grana Padano, and Parmigiano cheeses, risotto and fresh egg pasta. Southern Italian cuisine tends toward Mozzarella, Caciocavallo and Pecorino cheeses, olive oil and dried pasta. Southern Italian cuisine also makes greater use of the ubiquitous tomato.

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Italy

Spaghetti with Olives and Capers
(Spaghetti alla Puttanesca)

16 oz. spaghetti
1/4 cup olive oil
4 flat anchovy fillets (drained if cured in oil)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper flakes
One 28 ounce can plum tomatoes, juice reserved
10 to 15 Gaeta olives, pitted, halved
2 tablespoons capers
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Prepare spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.

Heat oil in large skillet. Add the anchovies, garlic, and pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, purée tomatoes with a food mill and add to skillet, along with the juice. Add the olives and capers. Stir gently to blend. Cook until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes.

Add spaghetti to sauce. Toss to coat. Add parsley, turn about gently, then serve.


Italy

Italian Recipes

Pasta, Risotto & You (with recipes)

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This page modified January 2007


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