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4am Spaghetti

From the family home in North London with his wife, Plaxy, and their now grown-up ‘kids’ Jack and Margherita, to his acclaimed restaurant Locanda Locatelli in Marylebone, and back to Northern Italy where he grew up – 'Made at Home' is renowned chef Giorgio Locatelli’s ode to the foods, flavours and favourites he’s collected along the way.

Created with fresh, seasonal ingredients (in true Italian style), some of our favourite recipes from his latest culinary instalment are these flavoursome spaghetti dishes, explained by Giorgio as the ultimate afterparty cure. And what's more rock 'n' roll than eating pasta straight from the pan at 4am? 


T H E  P I L L A R S  O F  I T A L I A N  P A S T A 

"These are the classic store-cupboard-and-fridge pastas that every Italian teenager knows; the ones you make almost on autopilot when you come home after a night out with your friends, and go straight to the cupboard or the fridge, desperate for some carbohydrates. Later on, they are the pastas you make when you arrive home late from holiday and your kids are calling for food. Then when they get older and are going out with their own friends, the cycle repeats itself when they fall back on the same recipes when they come home in the early hours, albeit with their own twist, according to what they like, or can lay their hands on. I have often opened the fridge in the morning to find a little bowl of spaghetti left over after Margherita or Jack have been cooking in the early hours, and they always taste amazing."

S P A G H E T T I  O N  S C R E E N 

" Aglio, olio e peperoncino (aka spaghetti with oil, garlic and chilli) has become famous after it featured in the sexiest scene of the film Chef, in which John Favreau plays a guy who loses his restaurant job after a bad review, so he buys a truck and goes off on the road selling Cuban food. In a late-night scene he makes this unctuous, oily, garlicky spaghetti for the character of Molly, his former restaurant manager, played by Scarlett Johansson, winding it around a big toasting fork and handing it to her in a little bowl, then watching her as she is totally seduced by the flavours. It is a moment of genius. The way she watches him making the spaghetti, and then he watches her eat it, it is so much more powerful than if he had just given her a plate of expensive oysters and caviar."


A G L I O , O L I O  E  P E P E R O N C I N O

(Garlic, oil and chilli)

Serves 6

I N G R E D I E N T S

500g Spaghetti
1 Chilli
4 Cloves of garlic
200ml Extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp Fresh parsley
Parmensan or pecorino to garnish

M E T H O D 

Start cooking 500g of spaghetti in plenty of boiling salted water, and slice your chilli (around a tablespoonful, or more if you prefer) and around 4 cloves of garlic about a millimetre thick.

You need around 200mI of good extra virgin olive oil, but start with a little of it, cold, in the pan. Put in your garlic, then keep taking the pan off the heat and adding a little more cold oil, then returning it to the heat so that you don't burn the garlic.

Once all the oil is in, you can let the garlic begin to take on a little bit of colour and put in your chopped chilli. Let it cook very briefly, stirring it into the garlic, then pull the pan from the heat and stir in a couple of spoonfuls of the cooking water from the pasta - take care, as it may spit.

When the pasta is cooked but still al dante, lift it out and drain it, but keep back the cooking water.

Toss the pasta really well through the oil, garlic and chilli, adding a little more cooking water from the pasta if it is too dry, as you want the garlicky hot oil to really cling to the spaghetti, and serve straight away. Ifyou like, you can toss through a tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley and finish with some grated Parmesan or pecorino.


C A C I O  E  P E P E

(Cheese and pepper)

Serves 6

I N G R E D I E N T S

500g Spaghetti
5 tbsp Pecorino romano 
2 tsp Black peppercorn 
Olive oil

M E T H O D 

Grate around 5 tablespoons of young pecorino romano, or more to taste.

Start boiling your water for the pasta. For this recipe, because it contains only cheese and pepper, the water becomes an important ingredient that binds these ingredients to the pasta, therefore you want as much starch from the pasta in it as possible. So only use 3 litres of water for 500g of pasta. This also means using less salt (a teaspoon) and stirring the pasta around in the water becomes pivotal, so that it doesn't stick to itself. So give it your full attention: it is only for 5-6 minutes, until al dante.

Once the spaghetti is in, crush around 2 teaspoons of black peppercorns in a saute pan using a steak hammer or the end of a rolling pin - it is easier to do this in the pan than on your work surface, otherwise the peppercorns will fly everywhere - add a little olive oil, stir in a ladleful of the cooking water from the pasta and bubble up.

Now drain your spaghetti (reserving the cooking water), add it to the saute pan along with the grated cheese and toss everything together really well - the spaghetti will carry on cooking a little more, and so will release more starch into the pan.

Add a little more of the cooking water from the pasta as necessary so that it combines with the melting cheese to give a creamy consistency. 


T U N A , T O M A T O  A N D  O L I V E S 

Serves 6

I N G R E D I E N T S

500g Spaghetti
4 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
2 Cloves of garlic
1 tsp Chopped chilli
Tin of chopped tomatoes 
2x 200g Tins of drained tuna 
Handful of Taggiasche olives
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh mint, to serve 

T I P S

Substitute sardines for the tuna if you prefer or use green olives, but good black ones such as Taggiasche are best. Buy them with the stone in and crush them, so that the bitterness from the stone is released into the flesh, before pitting them. If you have some capers in ajar, you could rinse and drain them and add those too. I suggest finishing the pasta with some chopped fresh mint leaves, but you could use parsley, oregano or marjoram, whichever you have, but no cheese with fish, please.

M E T H O D 

Heat 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a saute pan, add 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic, a teaspoon of chopped chilli and a tin of chopped tomatoes, bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer for 10 minutes.

Cook 500g of spaghetti in plenty of boiling salted water.

Just before it is ready, add 2 x 200g tins of drained tuna and a small handful of good black olives to the tomato sauce, then taste and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Drain the pasta, reserving the cooking water, and toss with the sauce and a spoonful of the cooking water.

Scatter some chopped fresh mint leaves over the top, and serve.


C A R B O N A R A

Serves 6

I N G R E D I E N T S

500g Spaghetti
10 slices of guanciale or pancetta
Knob of butter
1 tsp Black peppercorns 
5 Egg yolks
1 Egg
3 tbsp Grated young pecorino romano

M E T H O D

Chop about 10 slices of guanciale or pancetta.

Begin to cook 500g of spaghetti in plenty of boiling salted water. In a saute pan, heat a knob of butter, then put in the guanciale or pancetta and fry until golden and crispy. Take off the heat, and lift out the guanciale or pancetta to a warm plate, so that it stays crunchy.

Put about a teaspoonful of black peppercorns into the pan and crush with a meat hammer or the end of a rolling pin, then add a couple of spoonfuls of the cooking water from the pasta and stir it around to take up all the bits of guanciale or pancetta which may have stuck to the bottom of the pan.

Beat 5 egg yolks and a whole egg in a warm bowl with 3 tablespoons of grated young pecorino romano.

One minute before the spaghetti is ready, start to mix in a ladleful of the cooking water at a time to the eggs and cheese until they become creamy.

Drain the pasta (but reserve the cooking water) and toss it in the pan of pepper, together with the reserved guanciale or pancetta.

Add a little more cooking water if the pasta seems too dry, then transfer it to the bowl of eggs and cheese and toss well, until coated in the silky mixture. The heat of the spaghetti will cook the eggs without scrambling them. Add more black pepper, if you like.


Recipes from 'Made at Home: The food I cook for the people I love' by Giorgio Locatelli, available now! 

Tags: foodpastadinnerrock 'n' rollgiorgio locatelli
Posted on 13th November 2017 by Hush

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