Simple Italian Cookery, by Antonia Isola

Macaroni and Other Pastes

Macaroni with Tomato Sauce (Maccheroni al Sugo)

2 quarts of water
3/4 pound of macaroni

Boil the water until it makes big bubbles. Add salt, then break the macaroni and put it in. Cover the saucepan and boil for fifteen minutes. The saucepan should not be too small, otherwise the macaroni will stick to the bottom.

Prepare the sauce as follows:

Take a good slice of ham fat, and chop very fine with it a piece of onion, a piece of celery, and some parsley. Then put this into a frying-pan and cook until the grease is colored. (If desired, add a small lump of butter.) When well colored add two tablespoons of tomato paste dissolved in a little hot water. Boil all together for fifteen minutes.

Drain the macaroni, and put it into the frying-pan with the sauce, mix well with fork and spoon over the fire, so that the macaroni will be thoroughly seasoned, then add three tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese, mix again, and serve.

If no tomato paste is available make the tomato sauce as follows:

Chop up fine one-quarter of an onion, a piece of celery the length of a finger, two or three basil-leaves, and a small bunch of parsley. Slice seven or eight tomatoes (fresh or canned), add salt and pepper, and put all on together to cook in four tablespoons of good olive-oil. Stir occasionally, and when it becomes as thick as cream, strain, and add the macaroni as before directed.

Macaroni with Meat and Sauce (Maccheroni al sugo di Carne)

Take one-half pound of beef without fat. Prepare the ham fat as in the preceding receipt, chopped up with onion, celery, and parsley. Cut the meat into several pieces, put it with the fat, etc., into a frying-pan. Add salt and pepper. Cook until the meat is colored, then add two tablespoons of wine, white or red. When the wine is absorbed add two tablespoons of tomato paste dissolved in hot water. (Or tomato sauce as in preceding.) Boil all together for five minutes, with cover on the saucepan, then add one cup of boiling water, and allow it to simmer until the meat is thoroughly cooked — about one-half an hour. Boil and strain the macaroni as before, and pour over it the sauce from the meat. Mix well, and serve with the meat in the middle and the macaroni around it, with cheese (grated Parmesan) sprinkled over it.

This dish can be made with veal or mutton instead of the beef.

Macaroni with Butter and Cheese (Maccheroni al Burro)

Boil and drain the macaroni. Take four tablespoons of table-butter, three tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese, add to the macaroni in the saucepan, mix well over the fire, and serve.

Sicilian Macaroni with Eggplant

Slice one eggplant and put it under a weighted plate to extract the bitter juices. Then fry the slices delicately in lard. Make a ragout of chickens’ hearts and livers as follows: Put two tablespoons of butter into a saucepan, fry the hearts and livers, and when cooked add two tablespoons of tomato paste, thinned with hot water (or a corresponding amount of tomato sauce). Cook for fifteen minutes.

Prepare three-quarters of a pound of macaroni, boiled and drained, then put it into the saucepan with the hearts and livers, add the eggplant and three tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese. Mix well together and serve.

Vermicelli with Olive-Oil and Anchovies

Take one-half pound of vermicelli, boil in salted water and drain. While boiling put into a saucepan three anchovies, cut up fine, with four tablespoons of olive-oil. Fry the anchovies in the oil, then put the vermicelli into the saucepan, mix well for a few moments on the fire, then serve.

Vermicelli with Olive-Oil, Olives, Capers, and Anchovies

Take one-half pound of vermicelli and cover it well with salted water. Cook for about ten minutes. While it is boiling put into a saucepan four tablespoons of olive-oil, three anchovies cut up fine with six olives (ripe ones preferable) and one-half tablespoon of capers. When these are fried add the vermicelli (well drained), mix well, and put the saucepan at the back of the stove. Turn the vermicelli over with a fork every few minutes until it is thoroughly cooked.

Vermicelli with Fish

Boil one-half pound of vermicelli in salted water, drain, and mix with two tablespoons of olive-oil and a little chopped-up parsley. Then set to one side to get cool.

Take five smelts, split them, take out the bones, and fry them slightly in one teaspoon of olive-oil.

Butter a pan and sprinkle it with bread crumbs. Then put into it one-half of the cold vermicelli. Pour over this some thick tomato sauce (one tablespoon of tomato paste cooked in two tablespoons of olive-oil). Then put in the smelts cut in two, some anchovy, a few capers, and three or four ripe olives chopped up with one mushroom. Then add the rest of the tomato sauce, then the other half of the vermicelli, and on top a layer of bread crumbs. Season all well with salt and pepper. Put the pan into a moderate oven, and cook about an hour and a quarter, adding a little olive-oil when necessary, so that it will not dry up too much.

Any fish may be used instead of the smelts, cutting it into thin strips.

Spaghetti with Tunny-Fish

While one-half pound of spaghetti is boiling in salted water prepare the following: Take two ounces of tunny-fish and cut them into small pieces. Put them into a saucepan and fry them in their own oil. This oil is generally sufficient, but should it not be, add another tablespoon of olive-oil. When the tunny have been fried add a teaspoonful of chopped parsley and four tomatoes, peeled and the seeds removed, and a pinch of pepper. Let the tomatoes cook thoroughly. When they are cooked put the spaghetti into the saucepan and move them about with a fork and spoon until they are thoroughly mixed with the sauce and the tunny. Then serve.

Timbale of Vermicelli with Tomatoes (Neapolitan Receipt)

Take ten medium-sized fresh tomatoes and cut them in two crosswise. Put a layer of these into a baking-dish with the liquid side touching the bottom of the dish. Now put another layer with the liquid side up, sprinkle on salt and pepper. Break the raw vermicelli the length of the baking-dish and put a layer of it on top of the tomatoes. Now add another layer of the tomatoes, with the skin side touching the vermicelli, a second layer with the liquid side up, salt and pepper, and another layer of the raw vermicelli, and so on, the top layer being of tomatoes with their liquid side touching the vermicelli. Heat three or four tablespoons of good lard (or butter), and when the lard boils pour it over the tomatoes and vermicelli; then put the dish into the oven and cook until the vermicelli is thoroughly done. After cooling a little while, turn it out into a platter.

Macaroni “Alla San Giovannello”

While three-quarters of a pound of macaroni are boiling in salted water prepare the following: Chop up fine two ounces of ham fat with a little parsley. Peel six medium-sized tomatoes, cut them open, remove the seeds, and any hard or unripe parts, and put them on one side. Take a frying-pan and put into it one scant tablespoon of butter and the chopped ham fat. When the grease is colored put in the sliced tomatoes with salt and pepper. When the tomatoes are cooked and begin to sputter put the macaroni into the pan with them, mix well, add grated Parmesan cheese, and serve.

Ribbon Macaroni (Pasta fatta in Casa. Fettuccini)

2 1/2 cups of flour
2 eggs
3 tablespoons of cold water
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Put the flour on a bread-board. Make a hole in the middle of it, and break the eggs into it. Add the water and the salt, and mix all together with a fork until the flour is all absorbed and you have a paste which you can roll out. Then take a rolling-pin and roll it out very thin, about the thickness of a ten-cent piece. Leave it spread out like this until it has dried a little. Then double it over a number of times, always lengthwise, and cut it across in strips about one-half inch wide. Boil two quarts of salted water, and put the ribbons into it, and cook for ten minutes, then drain. Serve with the meat and sauce as in receipt for Macaroni with Meat and Sauce, or with the tomato sauce and cheese only, as desired.

Ravioli with Meat

Prepare the paste as in the preceding receipt.

Take whatever meat is desired — chicken, turkey, or veal — this must always be cooked. (Left-over meat may be utilized this way.) Chop the meat very fine, add one tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese, one egg, a dash of nutmeg, a dash of grated lemon-peel, one tablespoon of butter, cold. Mix these ingredients in a bowl. Take a teaspoon of the mixture and put it into the extended paste, about two inches from the edge. Take another spoonful and put it about two inches away from the first spoonful. Continue to do this until you have a row of teaspoonfuls across the paste. Then fold over the edge of the paste so as to cover the spoonfuls of mixture, and cut across the paste at the bottom of them. Then cut into squares with the meat in the middle of each square; press down the paste a little at the edges so the meat cannot fall out. Continue to do this until all the meat and the paste are used up.

Put the little squares of paste and meat into the boiling salted water a few at a time, and boil for ten minutes. Serve with tomato sauce, or butter and grated Parmesan cheese.

Ravioli with Brains

Take one lamb’s brains and parboil in slightly salted water for five minutes. Put into a bowl with a small quantity of curds, one egg, salt and pepper, dash of nutmeg, and a little grated Parmesan cheese, and mix all together. Then put by teaspoonfuls on the paste as in preceding receipt. Cook for ten minutes in boiling salted water, and serve with tomato sauce.

Ravioli of Curds and Spinach

1 small bunch of spinach
1/2 pound of curds

Cook the spinach, drain, and chop up fine, add the curds, one egg, salt and pepper, dash of nutmeg, and a little grated cheese. Add to the paste, and boil as before.

Sweet Ravioli (Ravioli Dolce)

These ravioli can be used also as a dessert by preparing them as follows:

Take 1/2 pound of flour
1 tablespoon of butter
2 tablespoons of lard

Work this into a paste and roll out thin.

Take one-half pound of curds, add one egg, and the yolk of a second egg, two tablespoons of granulated sugar, a few drops of extract of vanilla. Mix well together and add to the paste as before. Then fry in lard until a golden brown. Serve with powdered sugar.

Timbale of Macaroni

Take a small piece of ham fat, one-half of onion, piece of celery, parsley, small piece of carrot. Chop up fine together. Put into a saucepan, and when the vegetables are fried add two or three mushrooms which have been chopped fine; after five minutes add two tablespoons of tomato paste, thinned with five tablespoons of hot water (or equal quantity of tomato sauce without water). When the sauce is cooked take out the mushrooms and put them on one side.

Take one-half pound of macaroni. Boil in salted water for fifteen minutes, drain, and add the sauce described above. Add two tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated, and one tablespoon of butter.

Butter well a mold, then cover with a thin layer of bread crumbs the bottom and sides. Pour into the mold one-half the macaroni, then place on it a layer of mushrooms which you have taken out of the sauce. Now add the other half of the macaroni, and then another thin layer of bread crumbs. Put the mold into the oven without turning it over, and bake in a slow oven until well browned. Then turn out and serve.

To this timbale, if desired for variety, cold meat of any kind cut up fine may be added to the sauce; and one egg, hard boiled, and cut into four pieces. Add the egg, and the pieces of meat which you have removed from the sauce, to the timbale at the same time that you add the mushrooms.

Rice Timbale

This timbale is made in the same way as the preceding one, only substituting rice for macaroni. One-half cup of rice.

Timbale of Ribbon Macaroni

This is prepared as the two preceding ones, using Ribbon Macaroni instead of rice or ordinary macaroni.

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Last updated Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 20:38