Digressions and Digestions


The Spanish Tortilla Man

How to Cook a Spanish Tortilla/Cómo cocinar una verdadera tortilla española


Manolo, the Spanish Tortilla Man

Manolo Freire reveals his secret on how to cook an authentic Spanish tortilla.  Manolo Freire nos revela el secreto de la auténtica tortilla española.

One thing that I’ve always been interested in is the legacy that past generations leave behind. Not only in literature, philosophy, art, science, but also in the culinary arts and in ancient oral traditions. This is one that goes in my book, or on my web page.  It’s the start of a collection of knowledge that will one day be swept away by the dust of time.


Black Spaghetti


Many years ago, this lovely woman who lived in a mansion overlooking the Mediterranean sea, on the Baie de Villefranche, was kind enough to teach me the secret to making Black Spaghetti in just 2 minutes. She had fallen in love with a Russian sailor who was a cook on a friend’s yacht.  He taught her this recipe; she in turn, taught me when we happened to meet at a movie premiere in Cannes. The magic is like this:


  1. 1 Slab of Butter
  2. 1 Red small hot pepper
  3. 1 Caviar or — given the $ one has — Black Lumpfish Roe
  4. 1 box of Thin Spaghetti

Cook spaghetti until it’s al dente.

Then in a Frying Pan, fry butter, when ready throw in the red pepper and the roe, with a wooden spoon stir and fry rapidly for one minute, no more. Then poor on spaghetti, mix, and voila! Black Spaghetti. If you like it blacker, add more Lumpfish roe and a bit more butter. But never over fry the roe. It’s a quick recipe and the red pepper gives it that special zing which makes the roe and spaghetti dance in your mouth. Enjoy and bon appétit!



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