Last name: Paulette Licitra, alias Chef Paulette
Actual job: Chef / kitchen instructor. She teaches Italian cooking at her home in Nashville. Licitra completed her professional culinary studies at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) in New York City and cooked in Mario Batali’s Lupa restaurant.. His cookbook, “Italian Cooking Party”, is due out in the fall. Licitra is also the editor of the literary food journal Alimentum.
How long have you been a cooking teacher? 6 years
What‘is the last meal you ate?
What I call Crazy Grits. Grits with the “refrigerator”. In this case: sautéed mushrooms, diced onion, chopped fresh tomato, a little radicchio, diced salami, cumin, Aleppo pepper, a little wine – stacked on parmesan porridge.
What‘is your favorite recipe for cooking at home?
This one has deep Sicilian roots. My family called him Spezzadedu (Sicilian word). It’s braised chicken with onions. The juices are mixed with spaghetti and garnished with grated Parmigiano.
What‘is your favorite dish at a local restaurant?
A dish ? Oh no. Dry Martin’s back ribs, Chinatown pineapple shrimp, Etch octopus shrimp bruschetta, Chauhan cauliflower croquette …
What‘is the only ingredient you can‘t live without?
Kitchen tool you can‘t live without?
Hand crank pasta machine
What are the three things that are always in your refrigerator?
Parmigiano, lemons and imported Italian coffee.
Which‘is your chief hero?
I have two: Mario Batali, Biba Caggiano.
Q&A: Jessica Benefield, conductor of Two Ten Jack
Q&A: New Chef Le Sel, Brian Lea
Q&A: Travis McShane, Adele Chef
What is your favorite gastronomic city (to visit) and why?
Rome, Italy. In my opinion the best food in Italy. The creators of spaghetti alla carbonara, fettuccine alfredo, Carciofi alla Giudea, suppli, cacio e pepe; and their pizza is thin and wonderful.
What three words would you use to describe therunningfood scene in Nashville?
Hot, adventurous, progressive.
Name a place that you think is a hidden gem in our city?
El Amigo Tacos y Mariscos on Nolensville near the Champs Elysées. MAGNIFICENT tacos!
Is there a food-related business / type of restaurant that you think is lacking in Nashville that you hope to see in the future?
A real Roman-style trattoria. Nothing special. Good home cooking. But genuine. I also fancy a real French bakery / cafe with tables, café au lait, sun shining through lace-curtained windows and sidewalk tables, with a sparkling display of fabulous pastries, breads, croissants, pan chocolate. I wish I could open both myself!
Which drink starts your day? End your night?
Day: Irish Breakfast tea with a little milk and a little sugar.
Night: A thimble of Drambuie, cognac or Sambuca.
“It’s a family recipe inspired by Sicilian cooks here in the United States. My family has been cooking for decades. It is a very simple dish with a lot of flavor. I consider her to be the Sicilian version of Jewish chicken soup! Adding wine and parsley is my idea … no one else in my family has ever added it. ” – Chef Paulette Licitra
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 whole chicken, cut into eight pieces
1 medium onion, diced
¼ cup dry white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound of bucatini or spaghetti
Grated cheese to sprinkle and pass to the table
3-4 tablespoons minced Italian parsley
1. In a large skillet, heat the oil.
2. Season the chicken with S&P and sauté the pieces until golden brown on all sides. Remove from the pan when golden brown. (The chicken does not need to cook now – he’ll braise later.)
3. Add the onions and sauté until tender. Add the wine and let evaporate.
4. Return the chicken and fill the pan with water to about half of the sides of the chicken.
5. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan sideways and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
6. Heat 4 liters of water in a pasta pan. Bring to a boil. Salt the water and add bucatini or spaghetti. Cook until al dente. Drain.
7. Remove the chicken from the cooking liquid in a serving dish. Add the pasta to the chicken cooking liquid and stir to combine well.
8. Serve the pasta warm with a pinch of grated cheese and parsley, with the chicken on the side.