The tips of Samanta-A brief history of pasta ca n ‘ Ciova

A few days ago, my husband decided to let me taste a poor dish of traditional Sicilian cuisine, in the most classic version of Palermo that is the pasta ca n ‘ Ciova. While he carefully prepared the ingredients (all of Slow food garrison and zero km), he told me the story of this first dish that retraces a little the history and vicissitudes of us Sicilians.

A poor dish with an unmistakable flavour made sweet by the tomato concentrate (the abstract) but by the decided taste thanks to the anchovies under salt with an even more rustic touch because of the muddica atturata (toasted breadcrumbs).
In the early ‘ 900, bring a plate of pasta to the table, it could be very difficult. It was necessary to develop the art of feeding an entire family with few ingredients, simple and inexpensive that came mainly from the work of the components of the household, what they themselves produced, the products of the land and the catch… Women, with such craftsmanship, created delicious dishes, dishes that we still appreciate and that combine the fruits of the land and the sea creating a harmony of unique and inimitable flavors…
But the story that really fascinated me, concerns the post-war period, when the southern people were forced to emigrate to the north leaving their land, their affections and even the flavors of culinary culture, in the hope of having a life Better, a roof over the head and a hot plate on the table. Well, at that time the pasta ca n ‘ Ciova also assumes another name: Pasta alla milani (Milanese pasta)!
It seems a paradox and instead indicates the habit of the emigrants to bring to the table this dish that rinverdiva in the minds the flavors of Sicily simply stocking preserves. And yes! The abstract and the anchovies under salt, are the 2 main ingredients of this first from the Siculi flavors, and were and still are, easily transportable. They put them carefully in the suitcases now consumed when, starting to return to the north after a short holiday, they brought with them the scents of their land and the sea.
From there the habit of calling it also pasta alla Milanese (where Milan represented all the north in the imagination of the Sicilians). The pasta of those Sicilians who, far from their origins, at the table and with a plate of pasta were feeling a bit ‘ at home!

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