Matters of taste

Prospect Magazine

Matters of taste

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Camorra and calzone

Spaghetti alle vongole: “tiny clams strewn across buttery pasta like delicate butterflies”


Unravelling from a double-jointed plane journey and a taxi jolting over the cobblestones, we were in Naples, walking through the black volcanic paved alleys, ravenous in search of lunch. A cluster of white linen table cloths under an arch in an alley full of secondhand booksellers. We stopped, gratefully slumped. A carafe of vino bianco, fresh, green and slightly effervescent, a plate of plump and melting marinated anchovies, frizzed with rocket leaves; slices of prosciutto, salt against the soft milky tang of a ball of mozzarella di bufala and then the twin pillars of Neapolitan cuisine: spaghetti al pomodoro fresco and a pizza margherita. The spaghetti was perfectly al dente, the tomatoes coddled between cooked and crudo, pulpy and concentrated. The pizza was crusty and chewy, with a slurpy lava lake of creamy white mozzarella streaked

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