When in Italy eat pasta. When in Napoli eat pizza. Any other Mediterranean dish is fine too but pizza, or better Neapolitan Pizza, is something special and – allow me to say – unique to this city. Astonishingly tasty, cheap and hard to replicate at home.
I’m not sure why. The secret of Neapolitan pizza is well kept. Here is my guess: the soil enriched by the volcanic ejecta (Yep, we have volcano overlooking us!) and the gentle sun that warms the fertile land even during the coldest months of the year, make the difference.
OK, I’m going off on a tangent. Here pictured there’s an unorthodox pasta dish, not a pizza. Not that I’ve already got enough of the carbs overload the yummy Italian cuisine comes with. Nor that I have intention to give in the plan I made with my boyfriend to enjoy a pizza every second day. Let’s just say I’m old enough to realize a quick break from refined white flours is necessary.
When I accidentally laid my eyes on this Farro* pasta I knew I had to grab the package, despite the price, significantly higher here in Italy than in the US. I knew I had to prepare this dish that I have just now baptized as “the unconventional high-fiber pasta”.
I did not know what to expect apart from a good amount of fiber (In doubt I added some little mozzarella balls aka bocconcini).
Surprise, Surprise, pasta made of nothing else than farro flour and water tastes exactly like whole wheat pasta. If there are differences in taste and texture between the two pastas, I was not able to notice them.
*Italian farro is Emmer wheat, a very “old” grain that was a staple of the daily diet in ancient Rome.
My brief healthy break from pizza is already over. Farewell my lovely farro pasta, hello terrible carbs.
p.s. Do you also know a dish whose taste is peculiar to a city and different everywhere else?
- 6 ounces uncooked short pasta (I used Farro pasta, whole wheat works great too).
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup sliced zucchini
- 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons small fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
- 3 ounces bocconcini, halved
- Cook pasta according to directions. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet stir-fry the zucchini and peppers in the olive oil (except two tablespoons) for about 10 minutes. Add salt and stir.
- Combine mozzarella bocconcini and tomatoes in large bowl. Slowly add the remaining oil and toss well.
- When cooked, drain the pasta and add it to the vegetable mixture. Set aside a few minutes to cool down and absorbs the flavours then top with bocconcini, tomatoes and oregano.