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Pasta alla Carrettiera

Posted in: Italian, Pasta, Vegetables,


This is a very traditional Sicilian dish. “Cart Driver’s Pasta” is so traditional that it is named after the colorful donkey carts that for centuries Sicilian peasants brought their vegetables from the countryside to market. Except for the pasta, the sauce is not cooked but blends together with the hot pasta perfectly just before serving. Notice that Chef Peter Cuzensa deliberately leaves the garlic in larger pieces so that the person eating can avoid them if they wish to.


Pasta alla Carrettiera
½ lb. dried penne pasta
4 fresh, ripe tomatoes
½ cup fresh garden basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
4 ounces extra virgin olive oil
black pepper to taste
salt to taste
Romano cheese to taste


1. Put pasta into 6 quarts of boiling water, lightly salted.
2. Slice tomatoes in half and grate out the seeds and the skin.
3. Chop basil and add to the tomato sauce.
4. Crush garlic cloves (do not mince) and add to the tomato sauce.
5. salt and pepper sauce to taste, mix well.
6. Add 4 ounces of extra virgin olive oil and mix well.
7. Remove pasta from water, drain, put in bowl and add sauce.
8. Add Ramano cheese and mix all ingredients together until pasta looks pinkish color.
9. Plate in pasta dish or bowl and garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Recipe courtesy of Ristorante La Trattorria, 2009

About The Cook

Peter CusenzaPeter Cusenza is Co-owner and Executive Chef of La Trattoria. Peter had over a decade of experience in Italian restaurants prior to opening La Trattoria. According to their web site the restaura

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