Pasta "arriminata": bucatini Palermo style

“Pasta arriminata: bucatini Palermo style” recipe – Bucatini “arriminati” alla palermitana

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    • Cook Time
    • Minutes
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Pasta "arriminata" Palermo style - the ingredients

Total Cost: UK/£ 4,89*

Cost/portion: UK/£ 1,63*

“Arriminata”: tossed and stirred

Pasta “arriminata” is a traditional dish in Sicily. The word “arriminata” refers to the tossing and stirring that makes it creamy and smooth. There are variations of the dish made without any tomato passata, or with garlic instead of onion, and I had to ask some Sicilian friends and uncle A. (he is Sicilian) to be sure I was giving you an authentic recipe.

Broccoli, sultanas, anchovies… What the hell are you cooking?!

Odd but true: sultanas and anchovies go perfectly well together!  And I believe their sweet-and-sour combination is the trick that makes the real magic. Then the toasted breadcrumbs and peanuts add their crunchy texture, while the broccoli and the saffron blend into each other giving the sauce its persistent flavour.

Curiosity: toasted bread crumbs are a good alternative to cheese. Plain or flavoured with salt, anchovies (again!) or wild fennel, they can make even the simplest pasta ever taste like a unique delicacy.

Note for the users: please click on the label “HOW TO” to watch the slide-show of each cooking step.

* Please note that both total cost and cost per portion are approximate and that can vary according to seasons and to different conditions.

Recipe Rating

  • (1 Rating)

Ingredients

  • for the sauce

  • Bread crumbs - 50gr

  • Pine nuts - 50gr

  • Broccoli - 120 to 150gr

  • Sultanas - 50gr

  • Black pepper corns - 2gr

  • Red chili pepper (dry or fresh) - to taste

  • Saffron - 15 to 18 pistils (or powder)

  • Lukewarm water - 4tbs [part 1 of 2]

  • Lukewarm water - 300 to 400ml [part 2 of 2]

  • Onion - 60gr

  • Extra virgin olive oil - 60gr

  • Anchovies - 20gr

  • Tomato passata - 80gr

  • for the pasta

  • Water - 5lt

  • Salt* - 35gr

  • Bucatini - 240gr (or spaghetti)

  • *If you want to use less water (not less than 3lt - see the main note about boiling pasta) then you can reduce the salt to 25gr. This dose of salt is very low, since the guanciale will be savoury itself.
  • Utensils for the sauce

  • One frying pan

  • One small bowl

  • One medium bowl

  • One chopping board

  • One paring knife

  • One sharp chef knife

  • One steaming basket

  • One pestle and mortar

  • Utensils for the pasta

  • One 6-8lt saucepan

  • One ladle

  • One large strainer or a pasta server

  • Two wooden spoons or silicon spatulas (if necessary)

Instructions

  • 1.
    Boiling the water and toasting bread crumbs and pine nuts

    • Bread crumbs - 50gr
    • Pine nuts - 50gr
    • Water - 5lt
    • One 6-8lt saucepan
    • One frying pan

      Put the saucepan with the water on a high heat and cover with a lid. The water will take from 18 to 20 minutes to get to a stable boiling.
      Put the frying pan on a high heat and let it worm up fro a minute. Then put the breadcrumbs in and toast them for about 2 minutes stirring constantly. They need to dry out completely and brown (step 1 - pic. A). Empty the pan and set aside.
      Lower the heat to a medium power and add the pine nuts. Toss them continuously until they release theis natural fat which will coat lightly the bottom of the pan. this will take no longer than a minute. Then brown them lightly for a few seconds (step 1 - pic. B).

    Note about salt and water for pasta

    If you think you might forget to salt water before adding pasta, you can salt water right after putting it on heat. This can become a safe routine, but the commonly unknown result of this is that it will require a longer time to come to the boiling temperature of 100ºC. It would be better instead to wait for the boiling to start and then carefully add the salt. The addiction of salt at this stage causes a sudden increase of the temperature of the solution for a couple of seconds during which the water increases the bubbling and risks to pour out if the pan’s sides are not sufficiently high.

    So the right pan should be taller than its diameter and capacious enough to contain a good amount of water.

    The minimum ratio between water and pasta is 1lt every 100gr. Although, for small amount of pasta it’s better to use a fairly large and deep pan which will keep the water to temperature also after dropping the pasta in. So that’s why I prefer to use 5lt of water even just to cook a single portion of pasta.

    Another important detail of which to take care, is the right quantity of salt to add to the water. It depends on the quantity of salt the condiment for pasta is going to contain and the cooking time that pasta requires; not only on your personal taste.

    A normal dose of salt is 11-12gr per litre of water and it can be increased to a maximum of 14-15gr for those who like their food to be particularly savoury. When using ingredients which are already salty themselves, like bacon or ham, the dose can be lowered to a minimum of 9-10gr per litre of water, as well as when you know that you will bind pasta with a lot of its own cooking water.

    Keep also in mind that longer cooking time require smaller doses of salt whereas quicker cooking will need a larger dose.

  • 2.
    Preparing the spices, sultanas and boiling the broccoli

    • Broccoli - 120 to 150gr
    • Sultanas - 50gr
    • Black peper corns - 2gr
    • Red chili pepper (dry or fresh) - to taste
    • Saffron - 15 to 18 pistils
    • The boiling water in the saucepan
    • Lukewarm water - 4tbs [part 1 of 2]
    • Lukewarm water - 300 to 400ml [part 2 of 2]
    • One chopping board
    • One chef knife
    • One paring knife
    • One small bowl
    • One medium bowl
    • One pestle and mortar
    • One steaming basket

      Finely crush the black pepper corn into the mortar and finely chop the red chili pepper with the chef knife.
      Put the sultanas into a medium bowl and cover them with about 400ml of lukewarm water. Also soak the saffron pistils in 4tbs of lukewarm water (do the same with saffron powder) (step 2 - pic. A).
      Thoroughly wash the broccoli, then cut its florets. Then peel the hard green skin of the main stalk and get to its whiter and tender core. Chop it and place it into a steaming basket with the rest of the broccoli (step 2 - pic. B).
      As soon as the water starts boiling, put the broccoli in (step 2 - pic. C) and boil them for 4 to 5 minutes Or as long as they are thoroughly cooked but still firm.

  • 3.
    Frying the onions, the anchovies and the broccoli

    • Onion - 60gr
    • Extra virgin olive oil - 60gr
    • Anchovies - 20gr
    • The boiled broccoli
    • One frying pan
    • One wooden or silicon spatula

      Put the frying pan with the extra virgin olive oil on a medium high heart and let it warm up.
      Meanwhile, with a paring knife, clean the roots of both the onion, then finely cut it into a nice brunoise. Then add it to the hot oil and fry it for about 3 minutes, so it will soften and get golden (step 3 - pic. A).
      Then add the anchovies, stir and brake them with a spatula and mix them evenly with the onion (step 3 - pic. B). The anchovies will take about one minute to dissolve completely.
      When ready, add the broccoli and stir evenly, so they will gain flavour from the onions and anchovies (step 3 - pic. C).

      Note about cutting the onion into brunoise

      With a paring knife, chop off the tip of the onion. Clean the roots, halve it and peel off the tunics. Put each half facing down on a chopping board. With either the paring knife or the tip of the chef knife, make vertical cuts - 2millimeters apart from each other - driving the tip of the knife as close to the roots as possible. Hold the onion together with one hand’s fingers, get the chef knife and with a fulcrum movement complete the mincing with narrow cuts.

  • 4.
    Finishing the sauce and colouring the water with saffron

    • The broccoli base in the frying pan
    • The drained sultanas
    • The chopped red chili pepper
    • The saffron water - half of it
    • Tomato passata - 80gr
    • The boiling water in the saucepan

      Drain the sultanas and add them to the broccoli with the tasted pine nuts and the red chili pepper, then stir evenly (step 4 - pic. A).
      Add half of the saffron yellow water to the boiling water for pasta (step 4 - pic. B).
      Add the tomato passata to the sauce and stir evenly (step 4 - pic. C). Lower the heat power if necessary: the sauce must not reduce too quickly.

  • 5.
    Boiling the bucatini

    • The boiling coloured water
    • Salt* -35gr
    • *If you want to use less water (not less than 3lt - see the main note about boiling pasta) then you can reduce the salt to 25gr. This dose of salt is very low, since the guanciale will be savoury itself.

    • Bucatini - 240gr (or spaghetti)

      Add the 35gr of salt to the boling water for pasta and add all bucatini in. Keep stirring them frequently for the first few minutes, so they will not stick to each other. If needed, cover with a lid but leaving a gap.

      Note about the correct cooking point "al dente”

      “Al dente” literally means “to the tooth”. It indicates the perfect consistency that pasta, or any other food, should have at the end of the cooking process: not too soft and not too hard at chewing. Pasta cooked “al dente” maintains a harder consistency at the centre of the dough sheet which gives the diners a pleasant feeling of “biting” rather than “mushing” something under their teeth..

  • 6.
    Straining the pasta and binding it with the sauce

    • The frying pan with the sauce
    • The strained bucatini
    • The saffron and its water
    • Cooking liquor - as needed
    • The toasted bread crumbs
    • One ladle
    • One large strainer or a pasta server
    • Two wooden spoons or silicon spatulas (if necessary)

      Check the cooking time instructions on the pasta bag and remember that you will need to take the bucatini out of the water just one or two minutes earlier.
      Collect about 20ml or 25ml of cooking water with a ladle and put it aside in a small receptacle.
      Meanwhile, the sauce has become creamy and smooth as broccoli have melted almost completely. Drain the pasta thoroughly with a strainer. As an alternative, you can use a pasta server and move the pasta directly from the saucepan to the frying pan (step 6 - pic. A).
      Add the saffron with its water and stir and toss quickly, then add a ladle of cooking liguor (step 6 - pic. B-C).
      Stir continuously and let the liquids reduce. Keep adding cooking liquor one ladle at a time until bucatini are perfectly cooked, always allowing the added water to reduce completely before adding more of it.
      Add three quarters of the toasted bread crumbs ad stir, so they will absorb the moist and coat the bucatini as well (step 6 - pic. D).
      Serve immediately with a sprinkle of toasted bread crumbs on top.

      Note about binding pasta

      As well as for rice, almost all recipes require pasta to be bound together with its sauce and tossed over heat. This allows the sauce to grab on the surface of pasta, wether it is smooth or lined or copper drawn, so that every forkful will have its perfect balance of flavours and textures. Otherwise, sauce would slip away while eating and you would end up with a good quantity of the sauce still on the bottom of the bowl.
      Another very good idea, even if not allowed by etiquette, is to eat pasta, any kind of pasta, with some nice fresh crusty bread. Bread’s starchy flavour enhances both flavours of sauce and pasta dough itself.

  • Instructions

    • 1.
      Boiling the water and toasting bread crumbs and pine nuts

      • Bread crumbs - 50gr
      • Pine nuts - 50gr
      • Water - 5lt
      • One 6-8lt saucepan
      • One frying pan

        Put the saucepan with the water on a high heat and cover with a lid. The water will take from 18 to 20 minutes to get to a stable boiling.
        Put the frying pan on a high heat and let it worm up fro a minute. Then put the breadcrumbs in and toast them for about 2 minutes stirring constantly. They need to dry out completely and brown (step 1 - pic. A). Empty the pan and set aside.
        Lower the heat to a medium power and add the pine nuts. Toss them continuously until they release theis natural fat which will coat lightly the bottom of the pan. this will take no longer than a minute. Then brown them lightly for a few seconds (step 1 - pic. B).

      Note about salt and water for pasta

      If you think you might forget to salt water before adding pasta, you can salt water right after putting it on heat. This can become a safe routine, but the commonly unknown result of this is that it will require a longer time to come to the boiling temperature of 100ºC. It would be better instead to wait for the boiling to start and then carefully add the salt. The addiction of salt at this stage causes a sudden increase of the temperature of the solution for a couple of seconds during which the water increases the bubbling and risks to pour out if the pan’s sides are not sufficiently high.

      So the right pan should be taller than its diameter and capacious enough to contain a good amount of water.

      The minimum ratio between water and pasta is 1lt every 100gr. Although, for small amount of pasta it’s better to use a fairly large and deep pan which will keep the water to temperature also after dropping the pasta in. So that’s why I prefer to use 5lt of water even just to cook a single portion of pasta.

      Another important detail of which to take care, is the right quantity of salt to add to the water. It depends on the quantity of salt the condiment for pasta is going to contain and the cooking time that pasta requires; not only on your personal taste.

      A normal dose of salt is 11-12gr per litre of water and it can be increased to a maximum of 14-15gr for those who like their food to be particularly savoury. When using ingredients which are already salty themselves, like bacon or ham, the dose can be lowered to a minimum of 9-10gr per litre of water, as well as when you know that you will bind pasta with a lot of its own cooking water.

      Keep also in mind that longer cooking time require smaller doses of salt whereas quicker cooking will need a larger dose.

  • 2.
    Preparing the spices, sultanas and boiling the broccoli

    • Broccoli - 120 to 150gr
    • Sultanas - 50gr
    • Black peper corns - 2gr
    • Red chili pepper (dry or fresh) - to taste
    • Saffron - 15 to 18 pistils
    • The boiling water in the saucepan
    • Lukewarm water - 4tbs [part 1 of 2]
    • Lukewarm water - 300 to 400ml [part 2 of 2]
    • One chopping board
    • One chef knife
    • One paring knife
    • One small bowl
    • One medium bowl
    • One pestle and mortar
    • One steaming basket

      Finely crush the black pepper corn into the mortar and finely chop the red chili pepper with the chef knife.
      Put the sultanas into a medium bowl and cover them with about 400ml of lukewarm water. Also soak the saffron pistils in 4tbs of lukewarm water (do the same with saffron powder) (step 2 - pic. A).
      Thoroughly wash the broccoli, then cut its florets. Then peel the hard green skin of the main stalk and get to its whiter and tender core. Chop it and place it into a steaming basket with the rest of the broccoli (step 2 - pic. B).
      As soon as the water starts boiling, put the broccoli in (step 2 - pic. C) and boil them for 4 to 5 minutes Or as long as they are thoroughly cooked but still firm.

  • 3.
    Frying the onions, the anchovies and the broccoli

    • Onion - 60gr
    • Extra virgin olive oil - 60gr
    • Anchovies - 20gr
    • The boiled broccoli
    • One frying pan
    • One wooden or silicon spatula

      Put the frying pan with the extra virgin olive oil on a medium high heart and let it warm up.
      Meanwhile, with a paring knife, clean the roots of both the onion, then finely cut it into a nice brunoise. Then add it to the hot oil and fry it for about 3 minutes, so it will soften and get golden (step 3 - pic. A).
      Then add the anchovies, stir and brake them with a spatula and mix them evenly with the onion (step 3 - pic. B). The anchovies will take about one minute to dissolve completely.
      When ready, add the broccoli and stir evenly, so they will gain flavour from the onions and anchovies (step 3 - pic. C).

      Note about cutting the onion into brunoise

      With a paring knife, chop off the tip of the onion. Clean the roots, halve it and peel off the tunics. Put each half facing down on a chopping board. With either the paring knife or the tip of the chef knife, make vertical cuts - 2millimeters apart from each other - driving the tip of the knife as close to the roots as possible. Hold the onion together with one hand’s fingers, get the chef knife and with a fulcrum movement complete the mincing with narrow cuts.

  • 4.
    Finishing the sauce and colouring the water with saffron

    • The broccoli base in the frying pan
    • The drained sultanas
    • The chopped red chili pepper
    • The saffron water - half of it
    • Tomato passata - 80gr
    • The boiling water in the saucepan

      Drain the sultanas and add them to the broccoli with the tasted pine nuts and the red chili pepper, then stir evenly (step 4 - pic. A).
      Add half of the saffron yellow water to the boiling water for pasta (step 4 - pic. B).
      Add the tomato passata to the sauce and stir evenly (step 4 - pic. C). Lower the heat power if necessary: the sauce must not reduce too quickly.

  • 5.
    Boiling the bucatini

    • The boiling coloured water
    • Salt* -35gr
    • *If you want to use less water (not less than 3lt - see the main note about boiling pasta) then you can reduce the salt to 25gr. This dose of salt is very low, since the guanciale will be savoury itself.

    • Bucatini - 240gr (or spaghetti)

      Add the 35gr of salt to the boling water for pasta and add all bucatini in. Keep stirring them frequently for the first few minutes, so they will not stick to each other. If needed, cover with a lid but leaving a gap.

      Note about the correct cooking point "al dente”

      “Al dente” literally means “to the tooth”. It indicates the perfect consistency that pasta, or any other food, should have at the end of the cooking process: not too soft and not too hard at chewing. Pasta cooked “al dente” maintains a harder consistency at the centre of the dough sheet which gives the diners a pleasant feeling of “biting” rather than “mushing” something under their teeth..

  • 6.
    Straining the pasta and binding it with the sauce

    • The frying pan with the sauce
    • The strained bucatini
    • The saffron and its water
    • Cooking liquor - as needed
    • The toasted bread crumbs
    • One ladle
    • One large strainer or a pasta server
    • Two wooden spoons or silicon spatulas (if necessary)

      Check the cooking time instructions on the pasta bag and remember that you will need to take the bucatini out of the water just one or two minutes earlier.
      Collect about 20ml or 25ml of cooking water with a ladle and put it aside in a small receptacle.
      Meanwhile, the sauce has become creamy and smooth as broccoli have melted almost completely. Drain the pasta thoroughly with a strainer. As an alternative, you can use a pasta server and move the pasta directly from the saucepan to the frying pan (step 6 - pic. A).
      Add the saffron with its water and stir and toss quickly, then add a ladle of cooking liguor (step 6 - pic. B-C).
      Stir continuously and let the liquids reduce. Keep adding cooking liquor one ladle at a time until bucatini are perfectly cooked, always allowing the added water to reduce completely before adding more of it.
      Add three quarters of the toasted bread crumbs ad stir, so they will absorb the moist and coat the bucatini as well (step 6 - pic. D).
      Serve immediately with a sprinkle of toasted bread crumbs on top.

      Note about binding pasta

      As well as for rice, almost all recipes require pasta to be bound together with its sauce and tossed over heat. This allows the sauce to grab on the surface of pasta, wether it is smooth or lined or copper drawn, so that every forkful will have its perfect balance of flavours and textures. Otherwise, sauce would slip away while eating and you would end up with a good quantity of the sauce still on the bottom of the bowl.
      Another very good idea, even if not allowed by etiquette, is to eat pasta, any kind of pasta, with some nice fresh crusty bread. Bread’s starchy flavour enhances both flavours of sauce and pasta dough itself.

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