spaghettoni shiitake chilli

Spaghettoni with shiitake and chilli

spaghettoni shiitake chilliThis little recipe is quick, easy and very, very satisfying. I’ve used the wonderful, dark organic spaghettoni (thick spaghetti) by Bio Alberti made with Senatore Cappelli, an old type of wheat which after the 60’s was almost forgotten and has – luckily – seen a fierce come-back in the Southern regions of Italy. It was originally “created” by Italian genetist Nazareno Strampelli in 1915 in Puglia, where it started to be planted and used for bread, pasta and other quality products like these spaghettoni with a wonderful bite (they need about 18 minutes to cook and are always nice and al dente!).

I discovered this great artisanal pasta during one of my show cooking gigs at Little Italy in Amsterdam last weekend and I fell in love with it. I met the youngest generation (brother and sister Andrea and Benedetta) of the Alberti family at Bellavita London last June where I was working as Resident Chef. There I tried their fantastic olive oil and legumes and was very glad to find them here in Amsterdam too and to cook with one of their wonderful organic pastas.

spaghettoni shiitake chilli The Alberti family was at the Little Italy together with a consortium of producers from Umbria, the region considered to be the green heart of Italy. There I was also able to taste some amazing olive oils  which we – chef Lucio Tabarrini and myself – used to finish off the spaghettoni after preparing them with red onion and Sella di San Venanzo, an incredibly tasty and yet delicate cured meat typical of Umbria.

cooking at Little Italy Nicoletta Tavella BioAlberti

With Lucio Tabarrini (left) and Andrea Alberti (centre).


Once at home I immediately tried the artisanal spaghettoni in this vegetarian/vegan version with shiitake mushrooms, tomato and chilli flakes. Here too I’ve used one of the great olive oils from Umbria, an organic extra vergine from Decimi, drizzling it over the cooked pasta as a finishing touch.

Ready in just a few minutes, this dish fills and satisfies immensely also thanks to the great texture of the spaghettoni. Try it and you’ll love it!

Spaghettoni BioAlberti con shiitake e peperoncino

Serves 2

160 gr. spaghettoni BioAlberti
extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium-sized onion, peeled
2 garlic cloves, peeled
a small bunch of flat-leaf parsley
a pinch of chilli flakes
6-8 plum cherry tomatoes
80-100 gr. shiitake mushrooms
salt and black pepper
organic extra virgin olive oil Decimi

Gently fry the chopped onion, the peeled garlic cloves, half of the chopped parsley and some chilli flakes in a few spoons of olive oil until onion and garlic are tender.
Add the halved plum cherry tomato and let them cook for a few minutes until soft.
Add the shiitake, cut in strips, and leave to cook until tender.
Season with salt and pepper and remove the garlic cloves.

Cook the spaghettoni in abundant boiling salted water until al dente.
Drain, add to the pan with the mushrooms, toss and cook for one more minute.

If necessary, add a little pasta cooking water for extra moisture.

Serve garnished with some fresh parsley and a drizzle of Decimi extra virgin olive oil.