As Billy Joel would say, “I’m in a New Amsterdam state of mind.” I love it there, especially in the winter, when most people don’t. Cold yes, but paradoxically even more friendly than usual. Of course, it might be nice to travel to some distant lands. Perhaps a visit to Peking, for some duck, or to Bombay for a curry, though certainly never during the summer! I’ve been to Saigon, and that was nice (except for the war museum), but boy was it crowded. Londinium is a perennial favorite, but a wee bit too wet for year-round enjoyment, in my humble opinion. Of course, Leningrad has got some great art too, so I’d like to go there. Maybe to see Pussy Riot sing. As for Edo, it’s about the cleanest city I’ve ever been to. The garbage trucks are cleaner than new cars and the garbage men wear white gloves. Rhodesia is on my short list. I’ve made it to Bohemia too, but didn’t find anyone singing a rhapsody. As for Persia and Mesopotamia, I think I will avoid them for a while, lest I end up in jail for thinking outrageous thoughts, which is bound to happen. As for Yugoslavia, all I know is that it used to be close to Italy – to the east, I believe, but who can keep track of that?
Fortunately for all of us, all roads lead to Roma, and 2,000 years later, the Eternal City is still called Roma. I thank God for that since it’s about my favorite place and I wouldn’t react well to a name change. And when in Roma… all roads lead to spaghetti al pomodoro. Until my next visit, I will eat this at home, and if fresh tomatoes aren’t in season, sun-dried or oven-dried tomatoes will due just fine.
Buon Viaggio and Buon Appetito!
p.s. Check out our wine pairings to compliment this dish.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
If using pomodori sott’olio (tomatoes under oil), drain the oil and chop them into bite-sized strips or squares. (If air dried, then soak in warm water for 10 minutes, and then chop.)
In a non-stick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and then add the breadcrumbs. Stir over medium-high flame until golden, but not burned. Set aside.
In another large skillet, sauté the garlic in the remaining olive oil for a few moments. When golden, add the tomatoes, 1/2 cup of water, and salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat until the water evaporates.
Cook the pasta until al dente and drain, retaining 1 cup of the cooking water. Add the spaghetti to the pan with the tomatoes and cook over medium heat. Add some of the retained water until sufficiently moist. Mix in the breadcrumbs and then the parsley.