serves 4 to 6
Enrico Caruso achieved rock star status during his short life. His 1904 recording of Vesti la Giubba was the first record ever to sell one million copies. He loved to eat and he loved to cook for his close friends. This is a recipe of his creation.
2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil
10 to 15, or more cloves of garlic, very thinly sliced
2 or 3 Roma tomatoes
1 red bell pepper, cut into julienne
A few flakes of dry hot chilies
About ¼ cup finely minced fresh basil
1 pound Bauatini
2 small zucchini, sliced into medallions
Olive oil for frying
Freshly grated Parmesan
Minced fresh basil
Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet and lightly sauté the garlic over a moderate flame. Golden is good. Don’t let it brown. Add the next 4 ingredients and continue cooking only until the red pepper is soft and the tomatoes have released some of their juice. You aren’t looking for a traditional cooked down sauce. Set aside.
Boil the Bauatini to desired degree of doneness.
While the pasta is cooking, lightly dust the zucchini slices in seasoned flour and fry until golden only in the oil.
Drain the pasta and pile onto a serving plate. Add the zucchini and toss gently. Pour the sauce on top of it and finish with a generous scattering of the Parmesan and a scattering of minced fresh basil.
Put on the recording of Vesti la Giubba, open a bottle of wine, place the pasta on the table and celebrate this bigger than life man.