Spaghetti Alla Milanese
Spaghetti alla milanese was brought to my attention by a New York City police officer. He’s a friend of a friend and I began following his Italian Sunday cooking adventures. He in turn, credits Pasquale Sciarappa for the recipe and it’s veramente buono!
My first draft said he cooks so well he missed his calling, but that’s not true. He’s a dedicated NYPD detective and was stricken by and recovered from covid-19. He contracted the virus while doing his job for the citizens of New York City. Kudos to him and all public servants and health care workers for putting their lives on the line for us.
Spaghetti Alla Milanese
This is a southern Italian version of a northern Italian classic. It’s a simple recipe that a beginning cook can execute flawlessly and an experienced one can appreciate for the beautiful color and flavor. Pancetta wasn’t available, so I had to substitute black forest ham. That in return required a little olive oil to fry the ham, but beyond that I prepared the recipe as written.
I served this with a toasted French baguette and butter. It took less than one hour, start to finish including prep and was a big hit with my toughest cooking critic. This was our 50th anniversary dinner – well, it and a bottle of champagne. Enjoy the photos and give this a try, you’ll like it.
- 8 oz spaghetti
- 4–5 oz pancetta (may substitute ham)
- Olive oil
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 garlic cloves – chopped
- 1 TBL butter
- 1/2 cup pecorino romano cheese – grated
- Pinch of saffron
- 1/4 cup parsley – chopped for garnish
- 1/4 cup basil – chopped for garnish
- Bring a well salted pot of water to a rolling boil
- While waiting for the pasta water to boil, begin frying the pancetta over medium heat with a few drops of olive oil
- Stir to cook evenly and fry for about 5 minutes
- Add the garlic and reduce the heat to low.Continue to cook until the garlic is golden, about 3-5 minutes
- Cook the pasta for only half the time listed on the package, about 5-6 minutes
- Meanwhile, bring the chicken stock and saffron to a boil in a separate pan while the pasta is cooking
- When the pasta is ready, quickly drain in a collander and add to the cooked pancetta and garlic
- Raise heat back to medium, add the chicken stock and wine.
- Stir together and continue to cook untilthe spaghetti absorbs the remaining liquids, about another 5-6 minutes
- Remove from heat and stir in the butter. When fully melted add the pecorino cheese and stir until incorporated
- Garnish with the parsley and basil and serve immediately