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Lent "Fresine"

The fresine is a format of long, wide spaghetti, with curled edges, used above all for the "timballo". The name derives from the Neapolitan "fresa"= ribbon, and especially famous are the "Fresine di Gragnano".

Once upon a time, the fresine were made with grossly refined semolina, which made them very fibrous. The sensation on the tongue was that of roughness similar to hair, therefore they were also called "pellussielli" (small hairs). In Naples instead they were called "currents", for the sensation on the tongue similar to an electric shock.

Ingredients for 6 persons

  • 400 gr. fresine
  • 8 fresh anchovies
  • gr 550 fresh sardines
  • flour, salt
  • gr. 200 of wild fennel
  • 3 spoons olive oil
  • olive oil to fry
  • one ladle of tomato sauce
  • butter for the pyrex dish.

Preparation

Clean the anchovies under running water, opening them, removing the heads, the central lisp and the tails; do the same for the sardines. Leave the anchovy fillets to dry over a kitchen towel. As to the sardines instead, pass them in the flour and fry in abundant hot oil. Drain and let dry on kitchen paper.
In the meantime boil the wild fennel in abundant water, then drain and mince. In a casserole heat three spoonfuls oil, then add the anchovies letting them melt, add the minced fennel, pour the tomato juice, season with salt and leave to simmer.
Boil the fresine in abundant salted water; drain them before they are completely cooked ("al dente"), then place the pasta in layers in a previously buttered pyrex dish (or baking-pan), alternating the pasta, the fried sardines and the red sauce; and so on until you finish the ingredients.
Bake in a pre-heated oven (180°centigrade) and cook au gratin for about 20 minutes, then serve.