Last week I told you about my favourite dish – gnocchi – and how my father used to convince me to get out of bed with the infallible argument that my mother was preparing it. Well, my father never liked gnocchi. I know, that’s blasphemy, but I guess gnocchi’s consistency is too weird for his rather conservative palate. A palate that has been perfected through the years in recognising and enjoying only a limited repertoire of dishes rigorously made by my mother. And by my mother only. How did she use to solve this clash of tastes? Simply by also preparing due spaghetti all’uovo. Literally ‘two egg spaghetti’. Now, to prepare due spaghetti is a common Italian expression for a little bit of spaghetti. But do not let this expression fool you! In Italy there is no such a thing as a little bit when talking about food. And especially in Abruzzo, the region I’m from. So, beware of this expression and keep in mind that ‘two’ usually refers to an amount that varies between 200 g and 2 kg.
Let’s make things clear. I love cooking, but when it comes to traditional Italian/Abruzzese kitchen I’m nothing like my mother. Yet, you would be surprised how little time there’s needed to make a reasonable amount of fresh egg spaghetti for four people. (I used the word ‘reasonable’ but please consider what said before and that I’m still an Italian at heart). That is why I decided to make them today, honouring the tradition of my family according to which there are no gnocchi without due spaghetti.
Spaghetti all’uovo can be served with fresh tomato sauce and basil, but also with more elaborate ingredients. Lamb, crab, shrimp, mushroom and sausage are a few of my favourites. You will need a pasta machine to thin the dough to about 3 mm and cut it into spaghetti shape. Alternatively, you can use a more traditional rolling-pin and a typical Abruzzese tool called chitarra (like the music instrument, but than a bit different).
This photo is taken from the Internet. Unfortunately, I left my chitarra at home [sobbing], but I cannot recommend it to you enough. La chitarra is inexpensive, aesthetically appealing, and much easier to use than a pasta machine. The best way to get it is to go to Abruzzo, enjoy its fantastic nature and superb food, and bring a chitarra back home as a souvenir. The other way is Internet.
INGREDIENTS: 1 medium egg and 100 g of flour for each person at the dinner table. Count also the persons who say in advance they will not eat!
If you have questions about how to make spaghetti all’uovo or spaghetti alla chitarra just contact me!