Storie culinarie: Tonnarelli con calamari, pomodorini freschi e basilico ** Culinary stories: Tonnarelli pasta with calamari, cherry tomatoes and basil

Tonnarelli con calamari
Tonnarelli

Come si mangiava in passato?

Iniziamo a curiosare nella storia dell’alimentazione… come si mangiava una volta?

Ci sono stati enormi cambiamenti nei secoli, non solo per ciò che riguarda quello che si mangiava un tempo e quello che si mangia oggi, ma anche i modi di consumare un pasto. 

Nei nostri precedenti articoli, abbiamo parlato della colazione e della merenda.  Ora introduciamo il pasto di metà giornata, di solito consumato tra le 12.00 e le 14.00, chiamato pranzo o formalmente colazione. 

In Italia è considerato il più importante, anche se negli ultimi tempi ha subito un cambiamento notevole.  Tradizionalmente è composto da più portate che terminano con dolce o frutta, ma negli ultimi tempi, per esigenze di lavoro, si è ridotto ad uno spuntino mangiato fuori casa, in base ai propri orari.

 Anche il modo di presentare il pasto ha avuto una sua evoluzione. 

Nell’antica Roma la tavola veniva imbandita con lo stretto necessario, e la frugalità era considerata molto più importante del rituale del pasto.  Questo cambiò alla fine dell’epoca repubblicana, quando mangiare e apparecchiare con cura iniziarono ad essere un’espressione di civiltà.  Così nacquero gli antenati della tovaglia da tavola, pesanti tappeti che attutivano i rumori e assorbivano i cibi liquidi. 

Fino al Medioevo si usava disporre tutto il cibo a tavola e ognuno era libero di servirsi. 

I ceti più alti potevano permettersi l’uso dei cucchiai, mentre gli altri mangiavano con le mani, fino all’arrivo della forchetta nella seconda metà del 1700. 

La tovaglia e il tovagliolo entrarono nell’uso quotidiano intorno alla metà del 1400. Si usavano tovaglie bianche e colorate, ornate con balze, che con il tempo diventavano sempre più elaborate e anche segno di prestigio. 

Per i più benestanti c’era il servizio alla francese, ovvero le pietanze venivano disposte direttamente sulla tavola, quindi su tavoli larghi e lunghi, imbanditi spesso in modo scenografico.  Dal periodo Rinascimentale, quando iniziarono ad esserci più portate, si usava sbarazzare la tavola prima di ogni portata, avendo sempre molta cura per l’estetica. 

Nel 1800, il Principe Kourakin, ambasciatore dello zar a Parigi, portò un nuovo modo di consumare i pasti, usando quello che fu da allora chiamato il servizio alla russa. Gli ospiti trovavano una tavola apparecchiata in modo elegante con piatti, tovaglioli, bicchieri e posate, e centri tavola di pregio. Una volta accomodati, era compito dei camerieri servire agli ospiti i piatti appena cucinati e ben caldi.

Adesso vediamo un pò cosa si mangiava a pranzo nella storia. . .

Continua su questo link:

 

http://caffebook.it/tecnologia/item/637-come-si-mangiava-in-passato.html

Tutti comunque erano soliti consumare tre pasti giornalieri:

il primo, chiamato jentaculum, generalmente composto da latte, pane, formaggio e avanzi;

il prandium, consumato a metà giornata, composto da verdura, uova e avanzi mangiati rapidamente;

la coena era, invece, il pasto consumato nel pomeriggio che poteva durava fino al tramonto. 

Questo consisteva in una polenta o pappa di farro e grano chiamat puls, e seguivano lenticchie, fave, ceci, carne di bue, agnello, asino, cinghiale, fagiano e pavone. Per dare sapore alle pietanze si usava il miele, i datteri e le pesche. 

Le famiglie benestanti avevano a disposizione il pesce fresco, mentre il popolo mangiava quello conservato.

Altri prodotti molto diffusi nell’epoca Romana erano gli asparagi, considerati afrodisiaci, e il cavolfiore che era considerato un medicinale che poteva curare molti mali.

A partire dall’età di Augusto e la conquista dell’Oriente, i rapporti commerciali con l’Asia s’intensificarono, e l’alimentazione romana diventò più raffinata. Si diffuse l’uso delle spezie e cambiò la cultura del cibo, prima considerato puro sostentamento, ora anche gusto e piacere. 

Gli antichi prestavano molta attenzione alla scelta del cibo per una buona salute, oltre ad essere motivo di convivialità, quindi anche la cottura e la preparazione erano molto accurate. Famosa è la frase di Ippocrate “Fa che il cibo sia la tua medicina e che la medicina sia il tuo cibo.

Non sappiamo se gli antichi conoscevano i calamari… ma sicuramente questo piatto che vi proponiamo lo avrebbero gradito anche loro.

Abbiamo fatto i tonnarelli con calamari, pomodorini freschi e basilico.

Ingredienti per 4 persone:

400 gr di tonnarelli

4 calamari di media grandezza

4 cucchiai di olio extravergine d’oliva

1 scalogno

½ bicchiere di vino bianco

Basilico

Sale, pepe

Peperoncino (facoltativo)

 

Mentre bolle l’acqua per la pasta, in una larga padella versiamo l’olio e lo scalogno tritato. Facciamo imbiondire leggermente, versiamo i calamari tagliati a rondelle, lasciando i tentacoli interi, aggiungiamo il vino bianco e lasciamo sfumare. 

Uniamo i pomodorini tagliati a metà, alziamo la fiamma, regoliamo di sale e pepe, togliamo i calamari e li teniamo in un piatto a parte.  Nel frattempo la pasta sarà cotta, scoliamo i tonnarelli al dente, e li mettiamo nella padella con il condimento. 

Li facciamo insaporire, aggiungiamo i calamari e il basilico e serviamo!

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How did one eat in the past?

 Let’s start our new articles by taking a look into the history of nutrition… how did one eat in the past?

There have been enormous changes over the centuries, not only with regard to what was eaten, but how it was eaten too. 

In our previous articles we covered breakfast and snack options, now we want to introduce the mid-day meal, which is usually consumed between 12.00 and 2 p.m. 

In Italian it is called pranzo, or second breakfast, but abroad it’s a different story.

The name and time change greatly, depending on a country’s lifestyle and culture, and in English the name itself can cause quite a bit of confusion.

As we know, breakfast is the morning meal that breaks the overnight fast, but lunch can be a mid-day light and informal meal; afternoon tea is usually tea and biscuits between 4 and 5 p.m.; dinner can be a larger and more formal end-of-day meal, in some countries followed by supper, a small informal meal eaten before going to bed. 

In the past, for the British working class families, dinner was traditionally the mid-day meal, and in the evening they ate a light meal called tea, which for the Americans is simply a hot beverage, but is a tradition still greatly used today in Britain. 

In American English, lunch is the mid-day meal, however large it may be, while dinner or supper is the evening meal.

If we consider farm life, breakfast was at dawn, lunch was a small meal eaten around 10.30 a.m., dinner was a hot meal eaten around 4 p.m., and supper was the larger hot meal eaten after the long day’s work after dark.  So we will simply refer to mid-day meal for our article.

In Italy it has always been the most important meal of the day, with many courses that end with dessert or fruit.

However, recently it has undergone quite a change due to work schedules, and for many people today it is simply a snack eaten out of the home.

Presentation has undergone quite a change too.  In ancient Rome meals were quite frugal and simple, not so much a ritual.  This, however, changed in the Republican era when meals and table setting became a sign of civilization.  The first tablecloths came into use, these were heavy carpets used to muffle sounds and absorb liquids.

In Europe, up to the middle ages, food was simply placed on tables and everyone helped themselves. 

Tablecloths and napkins arrived on tables in the mid-1400s and were white, coloured, ornate and a sign of prestige.  The upper class used spoons while others ate with their hands, up until the mid-1700s when forks arrived. 

The wealthy people had what was called French style service, where the food was displayed on wide, long tables in scenographic ways. During the Renaissance, when meals began to have more courses, well-decorated tables were cleared before a new course was brought out. 

In 1800, Prince Kourakin, ambassador of the zar to Paris, brought a new way of eating that became known as the Russian style service.  Elegantly-set tables were prepared, and when the guests were seated, waiters served freshly cooked, hot meals.

Let’s take a look now at food in our past… what did our ancestors eat?  Primitive men probably ate game that they hunted, roots and tubers, up until the discovery of farming and animal breeding, when they started to eat cereals and other animals.  Fire later allowed for them to cook their food. 

As we mentioned in our previous articles, ancient Egyptians discovered how to make bread with wheat and barley, and this accompanied their meals of smoked or sun-dried fish, cheese, pulses and fruit.

In Mesopotamia they ate cornmeal, onions, leaks, garlic, cheese and aromatic herbs.  Some foods were boiled and seasoned with sesame or olive oil, and honey. 

In ancient Greece lunch was a quick meal of olives, pulses, fish or cheese, barley bread and fruit. 

The Phoenicians ate spelt or pulses soup, bread, onions, roots and fish, while the richer families also ate game.  They also ate figs, grapes, dates and pomegranates, and used oil and honey as condiments. 

The Etruscans ate ground grains, spelt, broad beans, peas, figs, goat milk and cheese.  They also ate pork, venison, hares and roast bear, besides eels and fish. 

Poor families basically ate bread, olives, cornmeal, vegetables, pickled fish, giblets and chestnuts. 

Bread was widely used and could be black, white, prepared with different types of grains, simple or refined.  There was much fruit, apples, pears, cherries, peaches, melons, apricots, plums, walnuts, almonds, and chestnuts.

In ancient Rome there was a big difference between what the rich and the poor ate at their meals. 

The wealthier people usually had evening banquets with a large variety of food, while the poor simply had grains, vegetables, pulses, olives and herbs.  They all had, however, three meals a day: 

the first one was called jentaculum which was milk, bread, cheese and leftovers;

the prandium was vegetables, eggs and leftovers eaten quickly at mid-day;

the coena was the last meal of the day and began in the afternoon and lasted, quite often, until sunset. 

This meal included a mix of cornmeal or spelt flour and grain, called Puls, and a variety of lentils, chickpeas, ox meat, lamb, mule, wild boar, pheasant and peacock. Honey, dates and peaches were used to give flavour to the foods.  The rich families ate fresh fish, while the poor ate salted fish. 

Other products widely used in ancient Rome were asparagus that were considered an aphrodisiac, and cauliflower that was used also for medicinal purposes. 

At the time of Augustus and the conquest of the Orient, trade with Asia increased, so the meals improved and became more refined.  The use of spices increased, and eating for simple sustenance soon became eating also for taste and pleasure.

The ancient Romans paid much attention to the concept of eating good food in order to be healthy, besides the fact that eating in company was a reason for conviviality, so they were very careful in their choice and preparation of food. 

There is a famous saying by Hippocrates “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

We don’t know if our ancestors had squid, or calamari… but they would have surely appreciated this dish we present to you today. 

We’ve prepared tonnarelli, a fresh pasta that looks like square spaghetti, with fresh cherry tomatoes and basil.

Ingredients for 4 people:

400 gr of tonnarelli

4 medium size calamari

4 tbsps of extra virgin olive oil

1 shallot

½ glass of white wine

Basil

Salt, pepper

Hot pepper (optional)

While the water is boiling for the pasta, we put the olive oil and the chopped shallot in a large frying pan. 

We let it colour a bit, then we add the calamari cut into rings, leaving the tentacles whole, then we add the wine and let it evaporate. We then add the tomatoes, cut into halves, raise the flame a bit, add salt and pepper and simmer.   We then take the calamari out and put them aside. 

In the meanwhile, the pasta will be ready and al dente, so we drain it and add it to the condiment in the frying pan.  We let all the flavours blend, then add the calamari and the basil and serve!

 

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