As a chef specialized in Italian cuisine, it’s always a pleasure for me to discover different products and meet new people in the industry. Recently, I went to a supper showcasing the pastas from the company Rustichella d’Abbruzzo prepared by the talented, Michelin-starred chef William Zonfa.
To celebrate its 90th anniversary, Rustichella came out with a new product; Spaghetti 90” Rapida, made with the same great quality it is known for. The company patented a process in which the spaghetti cook in 90 seconds, because they were able to give a horseshoe shape to each spaghetto, increasing the surface in contact with the water during cooking and regaining its normal round shape in the(cooking) process.
The evening was put in the very able and talented hands of Chef William Zonfa, who showed innovative ways to serve the different pastas. We started off with a fusillo al ferretto, crema di basilica, spuma di caciotta e mandorle tostate. This pasta is widespread in the south of Italy, though may have different lengths and different names. When made at home, we use a stick (wooden or one from a bicycle wheel – explaining the name al ferro or al ferretto) rolling the string of pasta around, giving the shape.
Next course is fregola sarda, pomodoro e basilica con bon bon di gamberi e mozzarella di buffalo. The fregola is a pasta from Sardegna. They are little balls of pasta that are lightly toasted. Once cooked, it resembles Israeli couscous, and can be used in cold salads, soups, or in lieu of risotto.
The 3rd course was the linguine al nero di seppia con concentrato di scampi, scampi crudi e limone candito. In this case, the dough has squid ink added to it, turning the pasta black. This pasta is often paired with fish and seafood. The next course was not pasta, but spelt; farro, crema di fagioli bianchi, parmigiana e caffe. In this case, it is served like a creamy risotto. It is often used in that manner as it resembles barley, and is a great substitute for it.
We then finished with the 90” Rapida, con porro fondente, zafferano, guanciale e pecorino. As the chef explained, because it takes so little time to cook, it is easy to over-cook. The first time trying it is rarely a success! In true Italian style, sauce must be hot and ready in a pan to receive the cooked pasta and toss them together. The 90 seconds almost includes that step! So don’t forget to completely immerse the pasta in the salted boiling water and get a timer! I wish all the brave ones luck, and to the successful ones, you will see how great it is.