Spaghetti allo Scarpariello is a very simple first course, typical of the gastronomic tradition of Campania region. A dish of simple pasta with fresh tomatoes enriched with cheeses that, forming a creamy sauce, bind lovingly with the tomato sauce and embrace the pasta.
Spaghetti allo Scarpariello owes its name probably to the fact that the sauce is so delicious that the tasters do not leave a trace, providing to clean the plate with a piece of bread, making the famous Italian “scarpetta” (literally little shoe).
But to find the true origins of Pasta alla Scarpariello you have to go to the Spanish Quarters in Naples. In this area, all the housewives have their own basil plant, jealously guarded, on the balcony. Scarpariello was born at the time when artisans were paid with something available at home. And it seems that the “scarpari” (the old shoemakers) were repaid for their work with a dish of freshly prepared pasta, where the leftovers of the Sunday ragù, to which were added some cheese rinds, which were used to flavor the dish (since the meat of the ragù was finished on Sunday). To complete the course and make it more scenographic, they added a basil leaves taken directly from the plants on the balconies, to give a touch of freshness.
Today the recipe of Pasta allo Scarpariello has undergone changes. For example the tomato sauce is prepared ad hoc, and is generally based on fresh tomatoes, and the cheese rinds have been substituted with grated cheese. But the substance of the recipe has remained unchanged and its flavor it is always special, just like the one who enjoyed the shoemakers.
To prepare the pasta allo scarpariello, start heating a little oil with a clove of garlic, let it flavor, then add the washed and halved cherry tomatoes. Let them cook together with some basil leaves and cook with the lid for about ten minutes (the actual cooking time of the tomatoes also depends on their degree of ripeness, considering that they will have to cook and release a bit of sauce without flaking off completely).
Meanwhile boil the spaghetti in abundant salted water. Drain al dente and transfer them directly to the pan with the sauce.
Finish cooking the pasta by adding a little cooking water and grated cheeses. Stir well to obtain a "creamy" effect between cheese and tomato sauce.
Complete the dish with a few leaves of fresh basil and serve it immediately.
It is normally not recommended to keep the pasta in the fridge, it must be consumed immediately, when it is still hot. But if you actually have spaghetti leftovers, you can keep them in the fridge for two days or more and then prepare another delicious dish: the spaghetti frittata. Just fry the pasta in a pan with hot oil. Mix the eggs with salt, pepper and Parmigiano Reggiano. When the pasta is almost crisp pour the eggs, spreading them well in the pan. Cover with a lid until the eggs have hardened. If you can, turn the frittata upside down so that the cooking is homogeneous. Let it cool and enjoy!