In 1842, Ferdinand II, King of the Two Sicilies, went to visit small pasta producers in Gragnano, a town in Naples. A benevolent monarch, Ferdinand was always seeking to discover and propagate resources that would enhance the well-being of his subjects. The proprietors of these humble pasta factories were so enamored of Ferdinand’s attention that they created a product in his honor, “bucatini” (similar to spaghetti only larger and hollow at center), which they then gifted him with copious amounts of. Back in Naples, the kindly Ferdinand orchestrated an enormous fete to introduce this glorious culinary contrivance. And it is the recipe created by the king’s head chef for that ornate festival, intricate, sumptuous, that Chef Luisa Silvia will be drawing from for our weekend special.
Bucatini alla Principe di Napoli begins with homemade, extruded, semolina-and-egg bucatini, which is tossed with a light meat sauce (chicken, peas, julienned prosciutto, Emmental). It’s finished in the oven, au gratin, and then sprinkled with Burgundy truffles.