⟨ Food ⟩

Where to find Napolitan in Italy?

Spaghetti Napolitan

Words & Photography / 林琪香
Translation / Iris Heung

由起子坐在廣場的長椅上伸展著雙腿,這幾天她一直在走路,石塊路、細石路,平坦的,起伏不定的,她覺得腳很累,不想再走下去了。她有點想念家裡的沙發,躺下去,貓兒如月就會倦著身子窩在她身邊。曾經以為離開了香港便會海闊天空,只是真的離開了,才發現自己其實哪裡都不想去。

四月的米蘭街頭熱鬧非常,到處都是興高彩烈的人們,拿著各個她諗不出名字的家具品牌的塑膠袋子,袋子裡是產品型錄與紀念品。這天早上由起子也湊熱鬧走進城內的展場去,卻只感到自己彷如困到泡沫之中,被人潮與氣氛推著前行,隨波飄蕩時她好像感受到一點點興奮,可是與快樂之間總是有所隔駭。

「你自己一個人來看設計周嗎?」由起子聞聲抬起頭,是一個看來三十來歲的陌生男人,從口音聽來,似乎是日本人。由起子還來不及看清他的臉,眼睛便落在他的湛藍色西裝外套上——陽太也有一件顏色相近的西裝外套。

「不⋯⋯呀⋯⋯也算是吧。」由起子隨便回應著,她是獨自來米蘭後,才知道正在舉行設計周。陽太,她毅然離家出走已近一個月了,他會否驚惶失惜?

「你有去Saloni嗎?」男人提到幾個設計師的名字又談及自己對他們作品的一點感想,由起子努力地聽,卻聽不進去,腦內滿滿是陽太的事。這個月來,她身處意大利,仍常忍不住點開陽太的臉書頁面,近一個月沒有任何更新,昨天總算有了新的貼文,是陽太朋友貼的。照片裡陽太伏在餐桌上呼呼大睡,桌上幾個空的紅酒瓶,杯盤狼籍,酒杯翻倒,滿碟的炸雞骨頭,還有吃剩一半的拿坡里意粉。拿坡里意粉是陽太最會做,或者,該說是唯一會做的料理。
在他們一起生活的三年多裡,在由起子晚歸的日子,陽太總會為她準備拿坡里意粉作為晚餐。切成絲的洋葱、青椒與煙肉炒香後,加進煮好的意大利粉,再拌入茄汁與日式炒麵的醬汁便完成了,因為沒有刻意計算份量,每次味道濃淡不一,由起子不太在意,反正她對這道菜沒有特別的喜歡或不喜歡。有時廚房裡甚麼都沒有,陽太獨自用餐,隨便把意大利粉拌茄汁便作一頓,對此由起子則總禁不住緊皺眉頭——吃是最隨手可得的生活享受,怎能如此馬虎?某次陽太為由起子準備便當,在便當盒裡塞了滿滿的拿坡里意粉,壓得太緊,到她在公司用午餐時,打開盒子,發現居然意粉已被壓得結成磚頭,完全夾不起來。由起子一把將它倒進垃圾筒,買麵包去了。

「我還沒有去Saloni的會場呢。」由起子打斷男人的話,報以禮貎性的微笑,又低頭注意著自己的鞋尖。陽太看來昨天又做了拿坡里意粉了,不知道味道是濃是淡。

「噢,是嗎?你若明天還在米蘭,不妨去看看呢,有很多精彩的參展商啊。」男人看看手錶:「你吃了午飯沒有?要否一起去吃點甚麼呢?」

由起子捕捉著男人的字句,一時間有點不知所措,沉默了一會,她忽然抬頭問道:「你知道米蘭哪家餐廳可以吃到好吃的拿坡里意粉嗎?」

「呀?」男人呆了一呆,突然哈哈大笑起來。「意大利沒有拿坡里意粉的啊!」說罷站了起來:「來,我帶你去吃點更正宗更好吃的吧。」

*

拿坡里意大利粉

材料(二人份):

意大利粉200克、洋葱1/2個、青椒 2 個、煙肉約80克、鹽適量、牛油適量

調味料:

茄汁4湯匙、日式炒麵醬1湯匙、牛奶1湯匙

做法:

  1. 將意大利粉放進加了鹽的開水中煮熟,煮的時間為比包裝上的所需時間少一分鐘;
  2. 平底鍋裡下牛油,把洋葱炒軟後,加入煙肉略炒;
  3. 意大利粉煮好後加進平底鍋裡,再下青椒,與洋葱及煙肉同炒;
  4. 調味料混在一起,倒進鍋內;
  5. 調味粉與意大利粉拌均混,完成。

Yukiko is sitting on a bench in the square and stretching her legs. She hasn’t really stopped walking in the past few days, on all kinds of surfaces from stone paths to pebble paths, flat or rugged. Her legs feel too strained to walk further. She starts to miss the sofa at home; just lie down and let her cat Kisaragi come snuggling on her side. She once imagined her departure from Hong Kong would lead her to a beautiful new world, but it was only after she has really left, she realized there’s no place she actually wants to go.

Milan is bustling in April, people with festive mood are filling up every single street. She can see in their hands bags of product catalogues and souvenirs, sporting prints of home ware brands that she isn’t quite familiar with. This morning Yukiko woke up early to join the crowd to the exhibition halls. To her, moving along with the excited crowd is like being trapped in bubbles, floating in excitement, but fails to experience any actual joy.

‘Are you here for the design week by yourself?’ Looking up when hearing the voice, Yukiko sees a man in his 30s whose face she doesn’t recognize. He seems to be talking in a Japanese accent. Yukiko is attracted by his azure blue suit jacket before taking a good look at his face, because Hatuta also has a suit jacket in similar colour.

“Well… sort of.” She gives him an indifferent answer as she has only learnt about the design week after travelling to Milan alone. She ran away from home almost a month ago, she wonders if Hatuta is panicking.

‘You been to Saloni?’ The man then mentions a few designers’ names and his opinions. Although Yukiko tries hard to listen to his words, her mind is completely occupied by Hatuta and has no more space for anything else. She has been staying in Italy for almost a month now, but she still cannot resist the temptation of visiting Hatuta’s Facebook from time to time. Without any update on his page for a month, finally there is a new post by Hatuta’s friend. In the picture, Hatuta is sleeping at the dining table, with a few empty wine bottles lying around. Glasses are falling here and there, as if a crazy drinking party just unfolded there last night. Apparently they have enjoyed a plate full of deep fried chicken and have left only the bones on the plate. On the table there is also half a plate of Spaghetti Napolitan, Hatuta’s signature dish, or to be more precise, the only dish that he can make.

Living together for more than three years, Hatuta would prepare Spaghetti Napolitan for Yukiko every time when she goes home late. Panfry the sliced onion, bell pepper and bacon until caramelized, and then simply stir-fry with cooked spaghetti, ketchup and yakisoba sauce. Hatuta never measure the ingredients, so the dish tastes different every time. This doesn’t bother Yukiko as she neither likes nor dislikes this dish. Hatuta sometimes mixes ketchup with spaghetti for dinner when the fridge is empty; this is what really irritates Yukiko. How can a person treat eating with such a thoughtless manner when food is after all the most accessible kind of happiness in everyday life? There was one time when Hatuta prepared Spaghetti Napolitan for Yukiko’s lunchbox, he has put too much in there, the spaghetti stuck together and became hard like a brick when she opened the box. She had no way to spread the spaghetti out and had to throw it away. She ended up getting some bread for lunch instead.

‘No, I haven’t been to Saloni exhibition hall.’ Yukiko smiles gently while interrupting the man. She then quickly turns her gaze back to the tip of her shoes. Seeing Hatuta made Spaghetti Napolitan last night, Yukiko wonders if it tasted good.

‘Really? You should have a look there if you are staying in Milan for at least one more day. There’re a lot of amazing exhibitors participating in the hall.’ The man looks at his watch and says, ‘Have you eaten? Do you want to join me for lunch?’

Yukiko hears his words but is unsure how to reply. She doesn’t utter a word and asks only after a while, ‘Do you know where can I have some delicious Spaghetti Napolitan in Milan?’

‘What?’ He is first taken by surprise but he then starts laughing. ‘Spaghetti Napolitan is not an authentic Italian dish!’ He stands up and says, ‘Let me bring you to something more authentic and tasty.’

*

Spaghetti Napolitan

Ingredients for two:

200g Spaghetti, ½ Onion, 2 Green bell pepper, 80g bacon, some salt and butter.

Sauce:

4 tbsp Ketchup, 1 tbsp Yakisoba sauce, 1 tbsp milk.

Steps:

  1. Cook spaghetti in boiling water with salt for 1 minute longer than instructed by the package.
  2.  Put butter in a pan, fry onion until soft, continue stir-frying after adding bacon.
  3. Add spaghetti and bell pepper, stir fry with onion and bacon.
  4.  Mix all ingredients for the sauce and pour into the pan.
  5. Ready to serve when the sauce and pasta are well mixed.