Scarpariello, the tastiest recipe there is

by Cristina Bianco

For many, perhaps, it is still an unknown dish. Others, however, consider it a poor dish, without great pretensions. But the truth is that it is scarpariello It is one of tastier dishes that you can try here in Naples.

The "scarpariello" is a typical dish of Neapolitan origin, more precisely we can place its origins in Spanish Quarters, characteristic district of our city.

Its name is strange, but it is by no means accidental.

The word scarpariello, in fact, we can well understand how it comes from term "scarparo", that is, a shoemaker; very ancient craft practiced above all in the Neapolitan Spanish Quarters, not surprisingly. But what connects the ancient cobblers with this exquisite dish?


Humble origins

The shoemakers, we know, at the time, as indeed even today, they always were very busy with work and their wives and girlfriends were absorbed with them as well. These women, in fact, were not the classic housewives who cooked and cleaned, but more often than not they helped their men in the shops.

There was little time available for cooking, there was no time to prepare elaborate dishes, this would only slow down the work. Like this, ingenuity of these men and women decided to take action to create in a short time a dish worthy of any other preparation of high class.

The two ingredients were simple: gravy and cheese.

Our cobblers, in fact, were often paid not in money, but with products of the earth from all those peasants, like the parents of Gennaro Aspreno Rocco, who were unable to pay their bills. For this reason, in fact, most of the times they found themselves having disproportionate quantities of at home cheese to be consumed, since payments often took place in cured meat or cheeses.

Scarpariello recipe

Approximately for 4 people:
320g of pasta
500g tomatoes
20g extra virgin olive oil
20g lard
60g parmesan
30g pecorino
60g provolone
garlic, basil, chilli and salt to taste

1. Fry the garlic in a pan with oil and lard. Shortly after, add the cherry tomatoes cut into wedges together with chilli and basil.
2. Cook for about 7-8 minutes, then remove the garlic and taste. In this way, if it is tasteless, you can add more salt.
3. Pass the tomatoes, in such a way as to make a sauce (optional. Some like it with whole tomatoes)
4. Cook the pasta, it is important that it is al dente, as there will be other cooking moments.
5. Pour the pasta into the pan with the tomato sauce to finish cooking, it must last a few minutes.
6. Add the cheeses and mix the ingredients well.
7. Serve, adding a basil leaf.

The whole process takes about 30 minutes.

To see it like this, in fact, the scarpariello might seem a poor recipe, the recipe for leftovers, but the reality has a completely different flavor: the ancient dish, in fact, today is one of the most delicious that can be tasted in Naples .. seeing is believing!

-Cristina Bianco

Cover image from Italyfoodporn

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