While we all dream of the day we can go explore Italy together again, Italy comes to us with the help of Chef Ernesto Iaccarino. We’ve paired him with Peruvian local and travel-obsessed blogger Tana Rendón to start our own at-home international cooking club.
Head chef at Michelin-starred Il Ristorante Don Alfonso 1890, Chef Ernesto used everything he’s learned growing up in his family’s trattoria to craft a dish that invites you to explore the flavors of the Amalfi coast. This traditional Italian recipe was designed for you to make at home, with special tips to help you along the way, and Tana is using her passion for cooking to help us test it out. Join the journey as we all get a taste of Italy, right at home.
Paccheri with Cheese, Pepper, Redfish and Spinach
What you’ll need (serves 4)
360 grams paccheri
2 redfish fillets
170 grams parmigiano cheese
65 grams pecorino cheese
280 grams milk
25 grams butter
25 grams flour (plain)
120 grams spinach
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
How to prepare it
Slightly burnish the spinach by taking 12 spinach leaves, frying in oil at 160°C for about 2 minutes. Remove from the oil and dry on paper without breaking the leaves. Place on a pan and put in the oven at 60°. Cook for 1 hour. Set aside to use as decoration over the pasta.
Tip: Burnishing spinach makes it crunchy to add texture and decoration to your dish.
Get the remaining spinach. Sauté the spinach in a pan with extra virgin olive oil over medium heat for 4/5 minutes until they wilt, do not add salt. Dry with paper.
Make an X incision on the tomatoes. Blanch them quickly in boiling water, then peel them and make small cubes – called concassé – to decorate the dish.
For the fondue
Prepare a roux by melting the butter and mixing in the flour. Add milk and bring it to a boil, cooking for about 2 minutes over medium heat. Incorporate the parmigiano and pecorino cheeses to make a fondue, cooking over medium heat for 2-3 minutes to thicken. Pour into a blender and blend for 5 minutes.
Cut the redfish into cubes of about 0.5 cm, stir-fry them quickly in a pan with olive oil over medium-high heat and season with salt. The redfish must remain moist, so cover it after cooking while waiting for the pasta. Or wait to make it last minute before serving.
Boil the rigatoni pasta in water with a little salt until al dente, then drain. Arrange the stir-fry spinach on the bottom of the plate. Then add the pasta and top with plenty of the hot pecorino fondue. Finish with a sprinkle of black pepper, the concassé of tomatoes, diced redfish and crunchy spinach leaves.
To follow along with Tana as she makes the full recipe, watch her video on Instagram.