One of the treasured ingredients of the region of Naples is colatura di alici. The deep brown elixir is extracted during the anchovy curing process taking five months to produce. Rich with the flavors of the sea and the anchovy flavor, colatura dates back to ancient Rome. Until recently this ingredient was rarely found in the United States. In fact, the production of this incredible liquid has dwindled enough that Slow Food International has declared their protection of this ancient ingredient.
Pasta has never met a nicer friend than colatura. The most simple dish involves spaghetti, chili flakes, olive oil and a dash of colatura. But you can add lots of twists to this simple recipe - lemon zest, toasted breadcrumbs, parsley.
Another dish calls for orecchiette, cauliflower, raisins and pinenuts, all tossed with extra virgin olive oil and colatura. Green vegetables also play nicely with colatura - broccoli, green beans, and leafy greens love the briny, fishy flavor.