|"The Shape of Water," written by Andrea Camilleri, featuring the dauntless inspector Montalbano.|
We’re going to Cook the Books again, and this time the vehicle we are using is Andrea Camilleri’s novel “The Shape of Water.” After reading the novel we are making something to eat. Something delicious. Something inspired by the book. In my case, I’m choosing to make pasta puttanesca with shrimp! I know, I know, the novel is set in Sicily, and pasta puttanesca is a dish created in Naples. Nevermind. Have you read this book? There are so many ladies of the evening living in its pages that it would be a shame not to honour them with the very popular pasta puttanesca, a truly delicious dish that is purportedly named after these hardworking women.
|Pasta Puttanesca with Shrimp: This post is my contribution to the current edition of Cook the Books. This round is hosted by Rachel of The Crispy Cook.|
Càlia e simenza: lovingly described by the author, here is how our hero, Inspector Montalbano, enjoys this snack:
“taking the stroll he customarily allowed himself … along the eastern jetty, out to the lighthouse. Before he set out however, he always stopped at Anselmo Greco’s shop, a hovel that clashed with the clothing boutiques and shiny, mirrored cafés along the corso… Greco also sold càlia e simenza, a mixture of roasted chickpeas and salted pumpkin seeds. Montalbano would buy a paper cone full of these and then head out.”
In “The Shape of Water,” Camilleri points his finger at the political and criminal upheaval of 1990’s Sicily. I suppose that was Camilleri’s way of pointing his finger at what was going on, and his way of prompting average Sicilians to keep fighting back in order to reclaim their island. It's not merely a murder mystery Camilleri wrote. Through a subtext of social criticism, he exposed the repulsive nature of a corrupt society.
Enjoy listening to Verdi and Maria, and I hope you smile when you hear that beautiful E at the very end. This difficult aria is rendered so, so beautifully!