would have been Marcella Hazan’s 90th
birthday. To celebrate her life and continue her legacy, we are proposing a “group hug” and asking those who wish to be included to make one of Marcella’s recipes. The recipe we’ve chosen is Pasta alla Busara
, from Marcella Cucina.
It exemplifies Marcella’s unaffected style: wonderfully pure, simple flavors, which are easy to put together and create something magnificently delicious. The dish is from a town in Friuli called Grado, on the northern Adriatic where it is traditionally made with scampi
. Since scampi
are generally not available in most of the U.S., Marcella’s version uses Maine lobster – but is also excellent with prawns or large shrimp. Alla Busara
means something thrown quickly together and that describes this sauce, made of onion, garlic, parsley, and wine to which fresh tomatoes and shellfish are added. If you make it, please share your pictures @ICCedu #CelebrateMarcella. We’d love to see them!
The International Culinary Center in New York (the ICC) has established a scholarship
to provide financial assistance for aspiring cooks who wish to enroll in ICC’s Italian Culinary Experience. The first scholarship winner will be announced at a lunch celebration of Marcella’s birthday on April 15. Giuliano
will demonstrate the Busara Style Pasta recipe and will prepare it for the luncheon, which will also include other of Marcella’s recipes prepared by Mark Ladner of Del Posto
and Matteo Bergamini of SD26. All that week, leading restaurants from coast to coast including Boulud Sud, Salumeria Rosi, Manzo Ristorante, Quince, SD26, L’Ecole, Michael’s New York, Michael’s Santa Monica, Barbetta, Il Punto Ristorante, Macelleria, Casa Luca, Fiola, Tomaso’s, Giovanni Rana Pastificio & Cucina, Bartolotta Ristorante Di Mare
will feature a Busara Style Pasta and donate a percentage of the proceeds to the Scholarship. We hope you’ll make the dish at home as well as try one of these restaurants’ version.
We wish everyone a buon appetito and raise our glasses to Marcella.
Lael and Giuliano
MARCELLA HAZAN’S LOBSTER PASTA SAUCE BUSARA-STYLE
Pasta Alla Busara
reprinted by permission of Victor Hazan, from Marcella Cucina page 184
The portion of the Italian coast that, in the northeast, curves over the uppermost tip of the Adriatic Sea, is part of a region known as Friuli-Venezia Giulia. The Venetian Republic ruled here once, and the stamp of Venetian dominion is still clearly discernible in the local dialects and in the structures of the old towns. Both architecturally and gastronomically, the most important of the historic coastal towns is Grado, which, like Venice itself, has based its cuisine on the submarine delicacies of the upper Adriatic.
Of the many superb varieties of seafood native to those waters–the crabs, shrimp, mussels, clams–the most famous is the crustacean called scampi. It is a large prawn with an orange shell whose features–two long pincer claws, a flat tail ending in a fan shape–resemble those of a miniature lobster. Everything can be done with scampi: boiling, frying, stewing, using it in soup, in risotti, in pasta sauces. The tastiest pasta sauce I know made from scampi is the one that originates in Grado and is called, in the dialect of the town, alla busara. “Busara” means something thrown quickly together, and essentially that describes this sauce, a base of onion, garlic, parsley and wine cooked briefly in olive oil, to which the shellfish and tomatoes are added.
Fresh scampi does not swim in American waters, but marvelous lobster does. The flavors are similar, and I found it irresistible to profit from the easy availability of New England lobsters and give them this simple and delicious busara treatment.
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