Spaghetti from Aquila: Spaghetti all'Aquilana
- 2 cups extra-virgin olive oil, plus 4 tablespoons, for frying
- 12 squash blossoms, center parts removed
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bunch Italian parsley, finely chopped to yield 1/4 cup
- Large pinch saffron threads, crushed in a mortar and dissolved in water
- 1 cup brown chicken stock, recipe follows
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup freshly grated pecorino Romano
- Brown Chicken Stock:
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 1/2 pounds chicken wings, backs, and bones
- 3 carrots, coarsely chopped
- 2 onions, coarsely chopped
- 4 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 bunch parsley stems
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons salt.
In a tall-sided pot, heat the 2 cups oil to 350 degrees F. Cook the squash blossoms in the hot oil for 30 seconds, the remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.
In a 12 to 14-inch saute pan, heat the remaining oil over high heat, and add the onion. Cook for 5 minutes, until golden brown, then add the parsley, saffron, and chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Cook over high heat until reduced by half, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Cook the spaghetti in the boiling water until tender yet al dente, then drain and add to the pan, along with the flowers and egg. Toss over high heat 2 minutes, until the egg is lightly cooked and coats the pasta. Divide evenly among six warmed pasta bowls, top with grated cheese and serve immediately.Brown Chicken Stock:
In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil over high heat until smoking. Add all the chicken parts and brown all over, stirring to avoid burning. Remove the chicken and reserve. Add the carrots, onions, and celery to the pot and cook until soft and browned. Return the chicken to the pot and add 3 quarts of water, the tomato paste, peppercorns, and parsley. Stir with a wooden spoon to dislodge the browned chicken and vegetables bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring almost to a boil, then reduce heat and cook at a low simmer until reduced by half, about 2 hours, occasionally skimming excess fat. Remove from heat, strain, and press on the solids with the bottom of a ladle to extract out all liquids. Stir the stock to facilitate cooling and set aside. Refrigerate stock in small containers for up to a week or freeze for up to a month.
Yield: 1 1/2 quarts