June Food Notes

June 2022 – Campania

introduction

Campania is where my family is from. My grandmother grew up in a multigenerational family of bakers in Naples and my grandfather from a tiny farming village halfway between Naples and Caserta. I feel home when I’m in Naples. I feel inspired when roaming through the tiny coastal towns on the Amalfi coast. There are several different cuisines of the region representing the varied terrains of the region. This meal is focused mainly on the summer time cuisine of Naples which is very relevant in that they are dishes and food that are meant to be eaten in a heatwave.

what we have prepared for you for this month:

Fresh Mozzarella with Marinated Cherry Tomatoes –

Campania is the birthplace of the Caprese salad, literally “of Capri”. This is our take on the classic salad of fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil; we are marinating peak season cherry tomatoes with a salsa verde of basil, parsley, mint, garlic, lemon zest and olive oil. We recommend slicing the mozzarella and dressing it with the tomatoes and all of their juices. Finish with flaky salt and more olive oil, if you like. Refrigerated this dish should last up to 1 week. Contains dairy.

Ciambotta –

This rustic side dish is a stew of summer vegetables hailing from Naples that the French like to refer to as, essentially, an “unrefined” version of ratatouille. Again we are showcasing peak summer produce in the form of zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, peppers, and purple new potatoes, all of which have been gently roasted and seasoned with tomatoes, fresh herbs, and red wine vinegar. Can be served warm as a side, or cold as a refreshing antipasti. Refrigerated this dish should last atleast 1 week.

 

Rigatoni al Nerano –

This pasta is also made of 100% organic Durum semolina.  Best consumed within a week. 

This humble pasta dish of zucchini and provolone was created in the village of Nerano, on the Sorrento peninsula. Technique and method vary from chef to chef, and here we’re making a creamy puree of zucchini, onion, basil, and provolone as the base. Traditionally served with spaghetti, our version uses rigatoni to capture all of the beautiful sauce. Zucchini seared in the pan before adding the pasta provides a nice contrasting texture. Will last at least one week refrigerated in an airtight container. Contains allium and dairy. 

Spaghetti Puttanesca –

This pasta is also made of 100% organic Durum semolina.  Best consumed within a week. 

Here’s a fun one: literally translating to “in the style of prostitutes”, legend has it that Neopolitan sex workers would use the pungent aromas of garlic, anchovies, chiles, capers and tomato to entice prospective clients. Others claim that this dish could be made quickly, between clients, because of the pantry items making up the sauce. Either way, this classic Southern Italian dish is bright, spicy, and full of punchy flavors.  Our vegetarian version uses all of the same aromatics, but uses fermented mushroom to replicate the salty funk of anchovies. Will last up to one week in the refrigerator.  Contains allium, capsicum and nightshade.

Cooking instructions

Here are some recipes for this meal. I would like to note though that these ingredients are absolutely for you to experiment with. Feel free to add on to them, or even just use the ingredients one by one in your own cooking!

Rigatoni al Nerano

Plan for 6 minutes preparation

Bring 3+ qts of water to a boil in a deep pot. Salt the water with three big pinches of kosher salt. 

  • Drop pasta in the water for about 3.5 minutes or until al dente. Drain.
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  • Meanwhile, put a medium saute pan on medium high heat, and add an even layer of olive oil; once the oil is shimmering, add the zucchini and sear on one side, seasoning lightly with salt.
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  • Add the Nerano sauce, then add the cooked pasta, and toss until glazed and super creamy; add pasta water as needed to adjust for consistency. 
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  • Divide into plates or bowls. Garnish with a generous pinch of grana padano and some black pepper
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Spaghetti Puttanesca

(Warming instructions are the same for the mushroom version)

Plan for 7 minutes active preparation

    • Bring 6 qts of water to a boil in a deep pot. Salt the water with three big pinches of kosher salt. Drop your pasta in the water and cook for 6 minutes, or until al dente. 
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    • While the pasta is cooking, warm a medium saute pan over medium high  heat, and add the puttanesca sauce (if you want to crank it up a couple notches, sweat some extra garlic and chile flake in some olive oil before adding your sauce).
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    • Drain the pasta and toss the noodles in the sauce over medium heat until just starting to cling to the noodles. Add a bit of butter if you’d like it richer. 

    Note: Be wary of using your seasoned pasta water in the sauce; there are already a lot of salty components in the dish. If needed, use unsalted water to adjust your sauce.

    • Divide into bowls. Top with grated grana padano if you’d like; some fresh parsley or oregano will work here, too.