At the time we were living in the country, right outside of Urbino. One of the first times my mom and dad came to visit we went to eat at this "trattoria" that someone had told me about. It was right in the Rocca, the kitchen and bar area were downstairs and upstairs there were a couple of rooms used as dining rooms, as well as a terrace. If I recall we ate on the terrace. There was no menu to speak of and there was a flat price of 10,000 lira (we are talking late 1980s early 1990s). The lady who ran the place and was the cook brought us a frying pan full of sizzling "spaghetti mille sapori", a tray of sliced homemade cured meats - prosciutto, salami, lonzino - and delicious pecorino cheese, a dish of pickled vegetables in olive oil and a basket full of cresce sfogliate (a sort of flaky flat bread, baked on a cast iron griddle). We all loved the spaghetti and so I put together this recipe which is my version of "Spaghetti Mille Sapori". Ah, I almost forgot! Mille Sapori means a thousand flavours!
Ingredients for 2 servings:
Spaghetti, about 7oz
Fresh herbs: sage, parsley, basil (use your judgement on the amounts)
Dried herbs: oregano, about 1 tsp
1/2 small onion
1 clove garlic
hot pepper (I used two little hot peppers)
1/3 cup chopped plum tomatoes in their juice
1/3 cup cream or cream substitute
salt and pepper to taste
Put a large pot of water on to boil.
Chop the onion and garlic
Sauté onion and garlic in about 2T olive oil in a large non stick fry pan
While the garlic and onion are cooking, finely chop the fresh herbs.
Add the chopped herbs, the oregano and the hot pepper to the onion and garlic and cook for a minute or two to release the flavours
Add the chopped tomatoes, add salt and pepper to taste and cook for about 5 min
By now the water is boiling, so put in the spaghetti to cook
While the spaghetti is cooking, remove the onions, garlic and herbs from the heat and add the cream or cream substitute.
Stir until well-blended. You should have a creamy salsa rosa (pink sauce).
When the pasta is cooked "al dente", remove it from the water with a large fork or spaghetti fork directly to the fry pan with the sauce. If you choose to drain it in a colander, keep a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water to add to the sauce. Toss the spaghetti so that it is coated with the sauce.
Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese and... as Julia Child would have said had she spoken Italian...