Our stories regarding food, travel and life in Sicily...
Posted on Friday 23rd of September 2011 under Events
Lots of fun last Monday with a team of Ragusani from Unicredit Bank in the kitchen. It was no team-building exercise as this was already a well-jelled team, a group of people who work so well together to win a prize as Sicily's best Unicredit team. The prize? A a plaque, of course, and a cooking lesson with loveSicily ;)!
So besides the managers coming from Milan and Genoa, we were a loud bunch of Sicilians in the kitchen. It was real fun!
From Rome's style pasta Cacio e Pepe to loveSicily's ragusano cheese and chilli pepper version.
To welcome the new "vendemmia" (grape harvest season) I worked on a cake of mine, a 100% cocoa and Frappato wine cake, and developed a new recipe for individual small, muffins like cake with a heart of "drank" grapes.
I chose red grapes produced in Mazzarrone, cleaned them, cut them in half and removed the seeds. Then I soaked them in Nero d'Avola passito wine for a couple of hours in the fridge.
Sicilian summer recipes include some healthy hot soups. One of the main ingredients for some of these is a long shaped kind of courgette that we simply call cucuzza. We also use "tinniruma" (tenerumi), cucuzza's greens, in summer recipes.
You can find it in markets and even in supermarkets, but this time I got it from Angelo's father in law who has a passion for gardening and made a fantastic vegetable garden to produce organic vegetables for its family.
A few years ago I wrote a post talking about my childwood in August explaining how it was not only a time for holidays, the beach, "ferragosto" (15th of August) celebration but also for family gathering in Ispica to harvest almonds and carobs.
My grandmother, Nonna Marietta, daughter of "U Massa Titta" (Titta, or Giambattista Cultrera who was a farmer) had inherited an almond grove dotted with carob trees and we all had to go to help out during the harvest time.
One of my favourite fish is "pesce sciabola", in Sicilian spatulidda.
Most non-Italian guests, when I cook this fish in my cooking classes, ask me what it is.
I answer saying that in English the name is scabbard fish, but it doesn't seem to ring any bell at all.
So I thought about writing a small post with pictures to explain a little bit more.
Posted on Tuesday 23rd of August 2011 under About loveSicily
It is such a pleasure to receive greetings and news from loveSicilians, people who have been on our culinary tours and spent a full week of cooking, eating, drinking and discovering Sicily with us while sharing some thoughts, ideas and life stories.
I have to admit that over the years I have become a home-made pasta fanatic and, in general, crazy for any traditional kitchen tools from all over the world, because, as a Sicilian saying explains,: " I stigghi fanu u mastru", it is the tools that make a master.
Posted on Monday 01st of August 2011 under About loveSicily
Matilde is almost one month old and as we promised all our loveSicilians here is her picture.
We dwelled a little on the opportunity to publish the photo of Her Cuteness on-line, but then Mamma Stefania and Papà Angelo gave us permission to do so.
And after all, isn't she a piece of the sweetest possible cake?!
Benvenuta Matilde and Happy One Month Anniversary
Time to look back again at recipes by great Sicilian old times chefs, I Monzu, and monsieur Luigi Maddi in particular, with his watermelon jelly, Gelatina di Popone alla Religiosa.
As I have already explained in a previous post, Maddi was born in Catania in 1860 and trained under the guidance of Casimiro Urna, who directed the kitchen of Prince Manganelli.