I’ve always found the name “schiaffoni” (also called “paccheri”) very funny. The name of this type of pasta means literally: a slap in the face. I learnt this –and so many other things- during the year that I lived in Italy. Schiaffoni are pretty big so the first time you see them you’ll probably think they are difficult to eat because of their size, but they are not. What’s more, they are perfect for dense sauces and that’s why I love them. Schiaffoni alla siciliana is one of my favorite recipes with this type of pasta. A key ingredient for the recipe is the doubled concentrated tomato sauce that I buy at Gadis Supermercados.
This ingredient is basic in any self-respecting Italian kitchen. It is used with meats, soups ragù, minestrone or to marinate fish. On this blog, it is used in another recipe: pasta alla puttanesca, because it highlights the flavor of tomato, but using a small amount. Just to give you an idea: you need 6 kilos of tomatoes to produce 1 kilo of concentrate!
If you’ve never used it I suggest you give it a chance and I hope you try this delicious recipe for schiaffoni alla siciliana.
INGREDIENTS for two people
160 gr schiaffoni
8 dried tomatoes in olive oil
One garlic clove
Capers to taste
1 chili pepper
1 tbsp double concentrated tomato sauce
A handful of pine nuts
Extra virgin olive oil
Chop the tomatoes, the chili pepper, and the garlic, then put some extra virgin olive oil in a pan and fry the anchovies over medium-low heat until golden.
Now cook the pasta in a casserole with boiling water. We will not add salt because the ingredients are already salty. Follow attention to instructions in the packaging to obtain pasta “al dente”.
Now add chopped tomatoes, chili pepper, and garlic to the pan and stir for about 3-4 minutes. Then add the pine nuts and stir for about one more minute. Drop the capers, a ladleful of the pasta water, and tomato concentrate. Mix well. Later, drain the schiaffoni when they are ready and put them into the pan. Mix, so that the pasta is thoroughly soaked with the sauce. Serve and…buon appetito!!
Traditionally, in Italy, you would not add grated cheese to pasta dishes that contain fish or seafood. I can’t resist the temptation and I do add just a little bit. If you feel like it, by all means, do.