1. Garlic and oil: under rated
Well under ten minutes to prepare one of Italy’s most iconic dishes. Prepared by penniless students after midnight, renewed chefs in fancy restaurants and hasty mothers coming home late from work.
And with so few ingredients every detail matters. Crush a clove of garlic without peeling it. Use the best oil you can lay your hands on. And finish the cooking of the pasta in the pan. Stir as you never stirred before. Made in under ten minute, eaten in less. Alas.
2. Under the weather: pastina
This small pasta comes with diminutive names. ‘Stelline’, little stars, ‘pastina’ little pasta, ‘tempestina’, little tempest or ‘quadratine’ little squares.
In Italy young children start their culinary life eating pastina, mainly for the reduced risk of choking.
Whether in broth or water, it takes no longer than 5 minutes to boil. And topped off with some cheese, you have yourself a decent meal.
3. Picchi pacchi
This unusual name may be onomatopoeic. Describing the sound the tomato makes when hitting the hot oil. Spatter, crackle, sputter and dabble sound far less exiting.
Apart from tomato there are few more ingredients. Garlic, oil and some fresh basil. It is therefore of utter importance they are fresh. Picchi pacchio is a summer dish. Because only in summer there are nice and fresh tomatoes. Garlic is an essential part. Take it away and you have yourself an orphaned dish. Good olive oil is fundamental. It makes or breaks the dish.
Basil should not be cut up. Leave the leaves as they come.
4. Pasta with breadcrumbs
Pasta ca’ muddica atturrata translates as pasta with toasted breadcrumbs. It doesn’t get much easier than this. Few and inexpensive ingredients. All ready available. And ready in under ten minutes.
Most Italian and Sicilian kitchens have the ingredients stored, even in dire times. Pay attention on the details, since there is nowhere to hide the final result.
5. Sauce from a can?
This is a cheat code. Elegant pasta in under ten minutes.
You will need a can of peas, salt peper and milk or cream. The can must be large enough to emerge your hand held blender in. Use between fifty and one hundred grams of peas per person. Use two and a half spoons of milk per person. Two spoons when using cream. The ideal pasta for this dish are spaghetti. Avoid short pasta, especially for scenic reasons.