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Salt Your Water

Recipe: Mezzanotte in California

Recipe: Mezzanotte in California

You know how it goes. You're out late with your friends, maybe you've had a few too many negronis, and then someone suggests a late-night snack. You order pizza, or perhaps hit a fast food joint. But would if that late-night meal were simple and satisfying, made up of things a savvy cook might  have in the fridge or pantry?

That's the theory behind the Italian "Spaghettata di Mezzanote" or Midnight Spaghetti, the classic midnight snack for the reveler. Satiating and easy-to-make, our riff on this classic ritual throws in a little chile for kick. Of course, this delicious dish makes a lovely lunch or dinner at any hour--no alcohol required.

Creste di Gallo di Mezznote in California

Serves 4-6 people

2 salt-packed anchovy filets, chopped fine (from one whole anchovy)
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped fine
3/4 cup golden raisins, soaked and chopped
3/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 fresh chile de arbol or 2 fresno chiles, seeded and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons salt packed capers, rinsed and patted dry
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
1/2 cup reserved pasta water
1 pound Semolina Artisanal Pasta Creste di Gallo


Soak the raisins in hot water until they plump, about 10 minutes, then roughly chop. Meanwhile, set a large pot of water to boil for your pasta, and season it with salt.

Toast pine nuts in a hot pan, and set aside.

In a small pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and fry the capers until they are crisp. Set aside on a paper towel to drain.

In a large sauté, heat a tablespoon of olive oil. Cook anchovy filets and garlic until anchovy melts and garlic begins to turn golden, about 1 minute. 

Add raisins, pine nuts and chiles and sauté about a minute, to bring the flavors together. Remove from heat.

Cook your pasta in the boiling water until just shy of al dente. Drain and add to the sauté pan with the garlic, etc. Add half a cup of the reserved pasta water, cook over high heat, about a minute, to coat the pasta in the sauce. Remove from heat and toss in the fried capers.

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