Tonight was going to be the night of aubergine curry, but that will have to wait until next week. Something happened and I’d like to give it some attention here.
The weather in the north of Italy has been somewhat dramatic. Heavy rain in the south-east of Liguria has caused some usually tranquil rivers to flood and two of the five towns known as Le Cinque Terre have been damaged severely by the water. Furthermore six deaths have been confirmed and more people are still missing.
Le Cinque Terre are five gorgeous fishermen’s towns on the Ligurian coast. Hundreds of thousands of tourists go there every year to admire the towns and to see the beautiful nature that surrounds them: clear blue sea on one side, green hills on the other, often separated by dramatic cliffs. One of the reasons that the towns look so gorgeous is that the houses, that have been built helter-skelter on the hills, are all painted in different colours. This is typical of the fishermen’s towns in this region: the men out on the sea could recognise their own house from far away thus emotionally reducing the distance and feeling a little less lonely.
In Monterosso and Vernazza, as it is now, the streets are full of mud and rubble. But I was there a few times when it was still lovely. In Vernazza I once ate a gorgeous, super simple pasta with anchovies and tomato. The sun was shining, the waiter was feeling cheekily flirtatious, business was going well, the town was full of people. I really do hope they’ll be able to clean up and rebuild these places, and that the inhabitants will soon be able to get back to their normal lives. And maybe one day I’ll be there again, and maybe I’ll order that pasta from the same cheeky waiter and that it will be as lovely as that one time.
Pasta with tomatoes and anchovies, for 2:
5 anchovies, from a tin is fine
a couple of tomatoes
2 big(ish) cloves of garlic
1 dried chilli
Boil the pasta in water with enough salt. Cut the tomato into wedges. Grind or finely chop the chili, slice the garlic into thin slices. Fry both in some oil but be careful, you absolutely don’t want the garlic to go brown, so low fire, or medium at the most. Add the anchovies. Once that seems to go softish, add the tomato, it only needs a few minutes. Drain the pasta and add to the concoction, drizzle over some more oil if you fancy it and eat it immediately.