- 11.2 oz of smooth penne
- 20 peeled tomatoes
- 2 cloves of garlic
- parsley to taste
- olive oil to taste
- fresh chili peppers, if desired
Every dish has its story. Over the years, this story becomes part of every family, its edges blur, but the sense remains unchanged. For this reason, we can learn universally important details from every family recipe. This one, probably less known than others, reveals something in its name about the Neapolitan culture. While in standard Italian “disgraziato” (disgraced) means “person who has fallen in disgrace, wretched, unfortunate, miserable”, in Neapolitan families, for the most part, it is used as an affectionate nickname, a way to define a rogue or a rascal with benevolent – and as such, fake – disapproval. The point being that in real life ‘disgraced’ people don’t exist in Naples. Penne “alla disgraziata” is a dish that is worthy of its name where simplicity and craftiness build a combination of unique flavors. Tradition calls for fresh tomato to be cooked with basil. In this recipe though, we have parsley, slightly cooked peeled tomatoes, minced garlic, and, for those who prefer a hot and spicy taste, chili pepper. This is the story of my family: my “disgraced” father often tells me about this recipe with dreamy eyes.
Garlic is fundamental in this preparation. After having removed the core, roughly cut it with a knife.
"In a pan, with a relatively large amount of oil, cook the minced garlic, just for a few seconds, before it becomes brown. Then, add the peeled tomatoes, without the juice in which they are preserved, and cut the bigger pieces to a pulp by hand. Add the salt and cook for a few minutes."
Mince the previously washed and dried parsley with a knife. It must be chopped very finely, because it is a fundamental ingredient of this dish.
Add the chopped parsley to the sauce during the last stages of cooking, and then turn off the heat. Cook the penne al dente, carefully drain them, and add the sauce. If you like chili pepper, use it fresh and raw before serving.