Easter in Positano…

Easter is at the doors and Positano is filled with frantic activity, painters rushing around with overflowing buckets of color touching up weather beaten façades, workmen being unceremoniously ushered out of hotels,  while patient cleaning women are left to deal with the dust.  All of this, as the first guest arrive searching for some reprieve from a dull gray winter…

Each year the same pattern repeats itself: the season ends, long discussion begin, architects are summoned, workmen consulted and large bowls of pasta consumed, while days follow one and other.

Finally Christmas arrives and with it a new festive season spent joyfully embracing family and mouth watering recipes such as “Scorfano all’acqua pazza”, “Spagetti alle vongole veraci” and others cooked to perfection.  All while the sea infuriates, the steps of the village turn into streams of endless water and sad fish scramble to make themselves scarce, knowing their end should they fall into one of the fishing nets waiting to usher them to eternity.

Oh bliss, oh joy, a holiday will soon follow in  far away destinations, where the inhabitants of Positano can at last sit in cafés enjoying a simple espresso, without the worries of home.  Only then will the remodeling work finally start and with it a frantic rush against time, the season is at hand and each and every Positanese swears that the following year the work will start the day the season ends.

LINGUINE ALLE VONGOLE VERACI

Ingredients:

  • 1,2kg/2 1/2lb fresh clams in their shells
  • 600g/22oz spaghetti
  • 125ml/1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • a pinch of ground chili pepper
  • 4 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Scrub the clams well under cold running water. Place them in a large bowl of salted water for two hours. Rinse well, discarding any that are broken or dead.

Bring a large pan of water to the boil for the pasta.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the garlic and chili pepper and cook until the garlic is golden then discard.

Add the clams to the pan. Cover for 2-3 minutes. As soon as the clams open, lift them out using a slotted spoon. When all the clams have opened (discard any that do not), strain the liquid in the pan through a layer of cheese cloth or paper towels and reserve.

Return the clams and the strained liquid to the frying pan. Add the parsley and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Meanwhile add salt and the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente.

Drain the spaghetti. Tip in into the frying pan with the sauce and stir well over moderate heat for 2-3 minutes more. Taste for seasoning. Serve at once without cheese.


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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Easter in Positano…

  1. Aislinn

    Antonio, your vivid descriptions of Easter preparations in Positano, and the hustle and bustle of the locals preparing for the impending warm weather, only increases my desire to visit your beautiful city.

    Thank you for sharing the Linguine Alle Vognole recipe. It is one of my favourite dishes, and perhaps it will serve as my breakfast today. It’s never too early in the day for garlic and clams.

  2. snc

    Positano is a perfect Easter city. Great post, particularly the images of the stairs as streams, and the poor panicked fish.

  3. Catherine

    Antonio, wonderful post! Now I’m hungry, want to vacation in Positano immediately and can’t wait for Christmas. I wouldn’t even mind being one of those fish, trying to escape the nets, for a chance to be in that water.

  4. Engred

    Congratulations Antonio on another fantastic post. As I was born and raised in a small town on the Oregon coast, I understand and appreciate your description of the rhythm of a tourist town! I can’t wait to visit in 2012!

  5. Mary Lynn

    Hey Antonio — It has been Easter in Positano for a long time now — new posts please! I’m sure you are busy, but we are still checking in with you . . . are you on Facebook, or Twitter? I’ve abandoned many a blog in my day . . . but this one is so special, please give us a little glimpse into your life.

    • Dear Mary,

      Thank you for your kind words of support,
      the problem is that I have been travelling all through south America, however as of next week I will be back in Positano full time and will be able to dedicate more time to my writing… I promise I will be good and write again!!
      Ciao ciao..

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