Flavours from Naples

The event "Bellavita", held in Brick Lane at the Truman Brewery has brought nearly 200 hundreds food companies from Italy, mostly family run businesses. Among lots of delicious products I've attended a masterclass by the Chef Giuseppe Ruotolo, who has been in charge of the opening of the Gordon Ramsey restaurant at Terminal 5 in Heathrow as well as being a TV Chef in Italy and a working for the best Italian restaurants in the Campania region and in Rome. For the "Bellavita" guests Giuseppe Ruotolo has teamed up with a couple of brands in a very tasty affinity branding.
This shape of pasta is called " Pacchero" and it has been served with a tomato sauce and basil. A very easy pasta dish but the ingredients used are of the top top quality in Italy and typical from Naples. Basil is something that we can find in UK as well obviously, so use it generously shredding it with your hands to retain its fantastic flavour, while added to the sauce.
The pasta used for this recipe is from "Le Antiche Tradizioni di Gragnano". Now pasta from Gragnano is the best pasta of the world, can't be compared with all the industrial pasta brands which maybe are very good, but at Gragnano the industry of pasta is just the best. The Cesarano family who owns the factory has got a long tradition and now they are at the fourth generation in the company. "Le Antiche Tradizioni di Gragnano" has got all kind of shapes and they are bronze die. www.leantichetradizionidigragnano.com
The sauce has been prepared using a special tomato called " Pomodorino del Piennolo" a particular product at the feet of the Vesuvius volcano. The company " Sapori Vesuviani" was present at this masterclass with its products, fresh tomatoes that look like cherry tomatoes but they have a different shape. The characteristic of this vegetable is that it can be stored for up to one year and it doesn't shrink or grows mould and the taste becomes unique. The name "Piennolo" comes from the dialect word of "pendolo" (pendulum) because it is the way these tomatoes are stored like you can see in the picture. www.saporivesuviani.it
Giuseppe Ruotolo is explaining the virtues of this tomato while preparing the sauce for the " Paccheri". It is very easy, just chop the tomatoes and then put them in a pan with oil, salt and pepper so that the tomatoes can be cooked but still they retain their colour and body. Add the hand shredded basil leaves and when the pasta is ready toss it in the pan. It literally takes 15 minutes from when you pour the pasta in boiling water and make the sauce. A fresh summer dish.


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