Vermicelli alla Sangiuannìidde, the Apulian recipe – Italian Cuisine

Vermicelli alla Sangiuannìidde, the Apulian recipe


Everything is based on the taste of hot sun tomatoes and a sophisticated alchemy between sea and land. Here is the traditional recipe (with some variations) of one of the cornerstones of Apulian cuisine

The June 23 all of Italy celebrates the feast of San Giovanni. But in Bari this day is associated with a very special dish: i Vermicelli (vermecìidde) alla Sangiuannìidde. Tomatoes, garlic, anchovies, capers, parsley and a little chilli pepper: a few simple ingredients, which taste of sun and almost of summer heat, to prepare a dish with an overflowing flavor.

No quantity, we are from Puglia

Typical dish on the eve of the feast of San Giovanni, Vermicelli alla Sangiuannìidde are not often found in restaurant menus, not even the traditional ones. They prepare at home when you don't want to rack your brains over what to put on the table. Yet to make them unforgettable, there are a few things to watch out for. «I leave out the quantities, because it is a dish that is made by eye and personal taste. Let me explain better: the normal dose of vermicelli should be around 80 grams, but often this dish is prepared with more , he explains the journalist and gastronomy Sandro Romano.

The ingredients

To prepare the Vermicelli alla Sangiuannìidde we will need 400 grams of vermicelli, 500 grams of tomatoes, three cloves of garlic, six anchovy fillets ("although it is better to use the alisce du spuranchovies put in coarse salt , underlines Romano). The list is completed by a pinch of dry spicy chili pepper and extra virgin olive oil. "The quantity of anchovies depends on how much we want to hear them", explains Romano. "The same is true for garlic, which traditionally must be chopped, but if you do not like it, it can be put whole and then eliminated."

Method

Prepare the sauté with garlic and anchovies (keep some aside). Then add the tomatoes to make a sauce. Better to cut them into pieces, leaving some whole, which we will then break with a spoon. "This will serve to add tomato pulp to the sauce, which will have shrunk, which, although cooked, has not lost its liquid, kept in its natural container," points out the expert. After 30 minutes of cooking, the tomatoes that are still turgid can be broken with a wooden spoon. At this point, according to the Bari tradition, parsley and anchovies are kept aside with a little chilli pepper. After boiling the vermicelli, they are skipped in the sauce, to allow the pasta to absorb the fragrant sauce. Serve at the table.

Variants and fake news

Just as it happens around all the dishes symbol of a territory – Tomato and bacon, bacon and egg and the pugliesissimo Rice potatoes and mussels – variants and fake news were also born around the Vermicelli alla Sangiuannìidde. Among the changes made to this recipe is the addition of an ingredient that anticipates summer on the plate and its fresh, herbaceous aromas: oregano. "I prefer to add pickled capers and a little chilli pepper."

Among the false news that revolve around this recipe, the most important concerns tomatoes. «It is said that the tomato to be used to prepare these spaghetti must be the hanging ones. But it doesn't make sense: if we prepare it according to tradition, or in June, fresh ones abound ", explains Romano. "The hanging tomato is a method of preserving the vegetable and in the period of the feast of St. John there are in quantity". This does not mean that they cannot be used. Someone uses those hung, peeled, even tomato sauce even if not provided for. But for real Vermicelli alla Sangiuannìidde it is better to use fresh tomatoes. The important thing is that that warm taste, a little acid and a little sweet, brings a pinch of summer to our palate.

Text by Stefania Leo

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