Killer spaghetti (spaghetti all'assassina) is a regional dish prom Puglia, in particular from Bari. This recipe is far less bloodthirsty than its name. The name refers to the very special preparation of this pasta, which throws everything familiar overboard. Because the pasta is roasted, infused and stirred like risotto.
Killer spaghetti was invented in a restaurant in Bari in the late 1960s. Since then, this pasta gained many enthusiastic fans and the "Academy of Spaghetti all'Assassina", which protects the original recipe. The unusual preparation naturally affects the taste. It requires a lot of attention so that the pasta caramelises in the pan without burning or sticking.
The iron pan
The choice of the pan is crucial. Traditionally it has to be an iron pan. The pan must be prepared so that the pasta toasts but does not stick. To do this, oil the pan first, then heat it until it begins to smoke. Then wipe the pan out with newspaper. The surface should be covered with an even layer of oil. A coated pan serves the same purpose.
Homemade fresh pasta and short tubular pasta are unsuitable for this recipe. Pasta with a high starch content, such as pasta made from soft wheat, is also not good. So go for pasta shapes made from durum wheat that are as long as possible. The thinner the pasta, the quicker you can finish cooking. Pre-cooking the pasta in salted water to shorten it is, of course, sacrilege for the Accademia dell'Assassina. After all, cooked pasta can no longer be toasted.
- 320 g spaghetti
- 100 ml oil
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 1 pinch chilli flakes, dried
- 100 g strained tomatoes
For the stock
- 400 ml water
- 400 g strained tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 good pinch salt
- Mix all the ingredients for the stock in cold water and heat.
- Heat the oil in a coated pan or an iron pan treated as described above. Fry the finely chopped garlic and chilli (without seeds) in the oil. Now add the 100 g tomato sauce and cook for a few minutes.
- Then place the spaghetti well distributed in the pan and leave untouched until the noodles start to "sizzle". Turn the noodles over and toast the other side nicely too. Now add the tomato broth to the pasta ladle by ladle. Be careful, it splatters!
- Cook the pasta al dente, stirring, turning and tossing constantly. This takes 8 to 9 minutes.
Tips for variations
Contrary to the "purity law" of the Accademia, there are some variations of the recipe outside Bari. Some refine the spaghetti with parmesan or pecorino, others add creamy stracciatella cheese to the finished pasta. Olives and oregano are also popular in the sauce, or even squid and prawns (assassina di mare).