Where to eat spaghetti with 'colatura di alici' on the Amalfi Coast

May 5 2024, 15:53
A concentrated essence of iodine, the result of ancient seafaring wisdom passed down through generations of fishermen, characterizes one of the signature dishes of the Amalfi Coast. Here's where to eat spaghetti with anchovy colatura in Cetara

It's the product that most identifies the seafaring tradition of the Coast, the result of the wisdom of the anchovy fishermen along that stretch of the Campania coast that corresponds to the Gulf of Salerno, where the depth and salinity of the water give the fish peculiar organoleptic characteristics. It also obtained the PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) in 2020, its area of ​​choice is the village of Cetara, and Pasquale Torrente (Al Convento - Casa Torrente) is its most passionate (and amusing) promoter since time immemorial. We are talking about colatura di alici (anchovy colatura), which after being caught with the "cianciolo" (net) and the lampara, are immediately cleaned, beheaded, and eviscerated, then arranged "panza e rene" - one with the belly near the back of the other - and left to marinate in salt for 24 hours in wooden containers called "terzigni".

Now there is a strict production specification that provides for maturation for no less than nine months. To qualify for the PDO, the liquid must be "amber to mahogany in color, with a persistent and intense odor, a taste of high salinity, and with a product salinity of at least 20 grams per 100 grams of product when poured". A concentrate of umami, in short, which is the secret of one of the most well-known and appreciated local recipes, even outside the regional borders: spaghetti with colatura.

The recipe, moreover, is disarmingly simple: garlic, oil, and parsley stems for the sauté, spaghetti boiled without salt and cooked al dente, a quick stir to blend the flavors, and finally a few drops of colatura, off the heat. Some complete it with "poor man's Parmesan" (toasted bread crumbs separately in a pan), and Torrente, as he recounts in a recent interview with Cucina Italiana, also recommends it with a grating of lemon zest, with black summer truffle or with bottarga (always being careful about the salinity: taste it). However, if you happen to be on the Coast and want to try the traditional version on-site, here are five addresses to keep in mind.

Where to eat spaghetti with 'colatura di alici' on the Amalfi Coast


One of the historic seafood tables of Cetara, sunny atmosphere, outdoor tables, hands-on service, a concise menu where the absolute protagonists are fish and local vegetables, sometimes treated with a modern touch. Varieties of raw fish, spaghetti with tuna "bolognese" and Amalfi Coast Sfusato fish fillet aside, you can't miss the spaghetti with colatura, here with a hint of chili pepper.

Acquapazza - Cetara - c.so Garibaldi, 36 - 089 261606 - acquapazza.it

Hostaria Baccofurore

A magnificent terrace in a venue with a nearly century-old family history. The recently renovated scattered hotel, the adjoining cellar of the famous relative Marisa Cuomo, a menu that tastes good and true: ferrazzuoli dedicated to Anna Magnani; 'ndunderi (gnocchi from the Coast); the monumental fish soup; linguine with anchovy colatura "according to Erminia" (with olives, capers, walnuts, lemon juice). A slender and assorted cellar especially on spirits. A service capable of making the guest feel at home.

Hostaria Baccofurore - Furore - via G. B. Lama, 9 - 089 830360 - baccofurore.it

Al Convento - Casa Torrente

The Torrente family has been in the restaurant business for over 50 years, and Pasquale's "Casa" is the place of choice for anchovies and colatura, which the chef and owner has exported and made known all over the world. Today, Gaetano operates in the venue, which carries on one of the most beautiful Campanian traditional realities. The location, in the old refectory, is an additional plus, as is the variety of the menu (with anchovies in the foreground as well as a varied offer that also includes premium grilled meats).

Al Convento - Casa Torrente - Cetara - p.zza San Francesco, 16 - 089 261039 - alconvento.net

Falalella of Hotel Cetus

In the internal restaurant of this 4-star hotel, you have a lot of fun with a cuisine of research, concrete and full of ideas. The structure itself is fabulous: on a promontory overlooking the sea, with a private beach, bright rooms, wellness center, and breakfast in a panoramic room. In the menu, the must of the Coast is proposed with the addition of smoked butter and saffron. In addition to Falalella, there is the Le Carrube bar, a refined "salon" for a chat or a drink.

Falalella dell'Hotel Cetus - Cetara - c.so Umberto, 1 - 089 261388 - hotelcetus.com

Osteria Mediterranea Sesta Stazione

It is exactly what the sign defines. A genuine place where there is no fixed menu because the proposal of the day is composed by the sea, and the wine choice focuses on natural ones. Among the house's must-haves, the "sciosciammocca", a slice of pizza with ricotta, anchovies, and chili pepper, and then spaghetti with colatura. Also outdoors, in a quiet area.

Sesta Stazione - Vietri sul Mare - p.zza Ferrigno, 23 - 339 3218764 - Facebook

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