One of our favorite restaurants in Praiano is Il Pirata. The easiest way to get there is by boat! Make a reservation and get there early to sit out on the deck above the sea. It’s the perfect location to enjoy a bottle of wine on the water as the sunsets. Their potato croquettes are amazing. You can find the recipe here.
Il Pirata has graciously shared another one of their famous recipes with us, Spaghetti Zio Rino. It’s a simple and delicious pasta that’s similar to Spaghetti Aglio e Olio or Spaghetti Cetara, but it was created at Il Pirata. The perfumed bread crumbs with herbs and anchovies are heavenly.
Spaghetti Zio Rino
- one half of a loaf of old bread, for breadcrumbs
- 2 anchovies, minced
- 1 tablespoon basil, minced
- 1 teaspoon rosemary, minced
- 1 teaspoon thyme, minced
- 1 Italian chili pepper, minced
- 40 grams olive oil, plus extra for bread crumbs
- 3 garlic cloves, minced and divided
- 160 grams spaghetti
- Prepare the bread crumbs by cutting the bread into 1-inch cubes and toasting it in the oven for a few minutes to dry it, then pulse it in a food processor. Once it becomes fine like breadcrumbs, add one clove of minced garlic, the basil, rosemary, thyme, and dried peppers. Add the anchovies to the food processor and pulse. Finally, drizzle in a small amount of olive oil while pulsing the food processor until it looks just slightly moist from the oil. You will have about one cup of bread crumbs mixture.
- Fill a large pot with water and add enough salt to make it taste like the ocean. Bring to a boil, and cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than the package instructions. Reserve a cup of pasta water and drain the pasta.
- Add 40 grams olive oil and 2 cloves of minced garlic to a large skilletor saute pan. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes, until the garlic begins to soften, then add the pasta to the pan and increase the heat slightly. Add a half-cup of pasta water. Cook until the sauce thickens slightly, then divide the pasta into serving bowls and sprinkle with the perfumed bread crumbs. Serve immediately with a glass of light-bodied red wine.