This traditional recipe from the kitchen of our Secret Garden Positano Program is served every Christmas Eve and the recipe comes from the Amalfi Coast.
1 ½ cloves garlic
10 tbsp olive oil
Fresh Parsley, rinsed and dried
3 walnuts, shelled
7 salted anchovy filets
2 cherry tomatoes
Spicy Red pepper, as desired
Clean the salted anchovies under running water and remove bones. Smash the garlic by hand and chop the parsley and spicy red pepper. Break the walnuts into small pieces and slice the cherry tomatoes in quarters.
In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil until hot then add garlic. Sauté until the garlic is blonde, not brown, then remove from heat. Add the anchovies, spicy red pepper, and walnuts and put back on the flame, reducing to medium heat. After about a minute add the chopped parsley and cherry tomatoes and stir together.
Add a spoonful or two of ‘magic water’ (the water from the boiling pasta pot) and cook until the tomatoes are soft, about 2-3 minutes.
In the meantime, in a pot of boiling salted water, add vermicelli pasta and cook until al dente. When cooked, drain (saving a bit of the water) and add the pasta to the frying pan with the anchovy walnut sauce. Add another scoop of the ‘magic water’ to the pan and toss together over high heat for about 2 minutes.
Serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley on top.
Polpette Alla Romana ~ Roman Meatballs
Recipe from the kitchen of our Roman Holiday Program.
1 lb chopped Sirloin
1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 cup red wine
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 small bunch parsley, finely chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 cup cracked green Sicilian olives
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix all the ingredients, except the olives and breadcrumbs, in a bowl. Form small balls by molding meat around one green olive. Once firm, roll the meatball in breadcrumbs, making sure it is thoroughly covered.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Zeppole di Natale ~ Christmas Fried Dough
Recipe from the kitchen of our Secret Garden Positano Program.
20g yeast, crumbled and mixed by hand in a little milk
Pinch of salt
Lemon zest, as needed
Oil for frying
Sugar and cinnamon as needed
Boil potatoes, and peal with your fingers while they are still hot. Allow to cool and then pass the potatoes through a ricer.
In a large bowl, mix riced potatoes, flour, yeast mixture, eggs, sugar, salt and lemon zest to form a smooth dough. Mix at first with a fork, and then use your hands to knead the dough together for several minutes, making sure it is well incorporated. Cover the dough loosely and allow to rise in a warm place for about ½ hour.
Slice off about 2 tbsp of dough and roll into a short rope, about ¾ inch in diameter. Form the rope into a ring and twist the ends to seal the ring. It will look like a ribbon. Set aside and allow to rise again for about ½ hour.
In a large frying pan, heat oil. Test the oil with a bit of dough, and fry zeppole until golden on both sides. Remove from pan and drain for a moment on a paper towel.
Add cinnamon and sugar to a wide bowl. Roll the zeppole in the sugar and cinnamon while still hot. Set aside and serve hot or allow to cool and serve at room temperature