Just by simply walking into Eataly you have teleported yourself to Italy. The moment you enter you feel the energy of people enjoying authentic Italian dishes, groups by the counter enjoying their sips of Italian vino as they wait for their carry-out orders, packed isles of shoppers in the retail and marketplace and a class of eager, beginner chefs in the making as they take direction from one of the executive chefs cooking class.
As a frequent patron, I was thrilled to partner with Eataly Chicago to promote a special dish that’s on one of the restaurants menu. Their flagship restaurant, La Pizza & La Pasta took on a new, updated menu. Their signature dish, Lo Spaghetto al Pomodoro. Eataly’s Executive Chef, Enrico Panero, embarked on a quest to develop the perfect Spaghetto al Pomodoro. He wanted to simplify the recipe from its traditional approach. The dish is being referred to as, “A revolution in 5 ingredients.” After months of research and taste testing of the products, Chef Enrico, mastered the dish.
Eataly Chicago provided me with the same 5, high quality ingredients from their Italian marketplace to replicate the dish at my home. They are exclusively available at Eataly Chicago. Shop the links below and get them delivered right to your front door.
Lo Spaghetto al Pomodoro
Yield: 4 servings
1 (17.6 once) package of Spaghetti di Gragnano IGP Carta Paglia by Afeltra
2 (12 ounce) jars of Cosi Com’e Whole Red Datterino Tomatoes, unpeeled in tomato juice
1/4 cup ROI Monocultivar Taggiasca Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for serving
1 1/2 teaspoons Sicilian Sale Integrale Sea Salt by Mercante di Spezie
3 to 4 springs fresh basil
Kosher salt, for cooking the pasta
Crush the tomatoes between your fingers, letting them fall into the saucepan. Stir in the tomato juices, olive oil and season with the Sicilian sea salt to taste.
To cook the pasta, heat a large pot of water. When the water reaches a boil, add a palmful of kosher salt until the water is salty. Add the spaghetti and cook for 11 minutes. If you have any distractions while in the kitchen, set your timer. You want to make sure that the pasta is cooked al dente.
Add half cup of the pasta water to the tomatoes. To combine, toss everything together over medium heat. Do that for about a minute.
Divide spaghetti into 4 bowls. Drizzle with olive oil and add a spring of fresh basil. *Serve immediately.
I fed my family of four an authentic Italian meal for just about $30. Luke and Henry devoured their bowls wanting more, and to be honest, so did Mike and I. The pasta was cooked perfectly! I want you to be sure to watch the clock while the pasta is in the water. You want the consistency of the pasta to have a slight firmness to it. Obviously, cooked but not all the way through, or else you’ll be left with mushy spaghetti. And that is not a part of Chef Enrico’s recipe. And the sauce was the perfect too. Its consistency was spot on with chunky pieces of tomato and the juice of it around every piece of spaghetti.
Mike and I loved the dish so much we made reservations to experience it at La Pizza & La Pasta. The moment we walked into Eataly Chicago, we smelled the delicious aroma in the air. We went straight upstairs to the second floor and got seated. Delilah is one of the mangers and greeted us with her bubbly spirit and knowledge of food. She recommended we start with the Burrata. It was imported from Puglia, Italy and was the creamiest burrata you can have in the states. The pesto added a great texture to the dish. The pine nuts were chopped and left to be on the bigger and crunchier side. Just how I like.
I was patiently waiting for the Lo Spaghetto al Pomodoro. When it arrived to our table the presentation reminded me of the one I made at home. The spaghetti was glistening in the light from the ROI Monocultivar Taggiasca EVOO and the Pomodoro sauce hugging every centimeter of the spaghetti.
First bite, perfection! Second bite and on was incredible. I compared it to the Spaghetto al Pomodoro that I made at home, and the only difference was the salt. At times, I can have a heavy hand. I may have added a little more than an palmful of the kosher salt to the boiling water. Other than that, the dish tasted exactly the same.
So my friends, the next time you want to experience an authentic Italian dining experience, La Pizza & La Pasta at Eataly Chicago needs to be on your list. Everyone on their staff is helpful and friendly. If you can remember, ask for Delilah and tell her Sanem sent you.