Our stories regarding food, travel and life in Sicily...
Last week-end I prepared this dish for a lovely dinner with great friends. It is one of those dishes that many people prefer to avoid because they find the colour of squid ink unappealing. I like the sharp shining black in my dish and love the taste. It was a little risky for a dinner party, but my friends enjoyed it too and the company was so nice that we simply did not care about "a black smile";)!
Posted on Wednesday 02nd of November 2011 under Food and Drink
The 2nd of November is "U juornu re muorti" the special day dedicated to those who are no longer with us. As I have described in previous posts, people visit the cemetery taking flowers and candles to the graves of dead relatives and friends, and, in Sicily, children find presents `brought' to them by the "muorti".
But today we are all at home due to really heavy rain. It has been raining for more than 48 hours non-stop, roads and fields are covered in mud and we decided to stay home.
Posted on Thursday 06th of October 2011 under About loveSicily
This month our family choice of leaving the UK to move to Sicily to start a new life and career, back in 2004, is featured on Psychologies magazine in Italy.
Leave our post-doctoral careers to move to Sicily and open a cooking school?
Many thought we were crazy, many still think so! Others found us brave! Others understood this was simply a choice, neither bad nor good, just a choice with an unpredictable outcome, like all other important decisions you take in a lifetime!
Posted on Tuesday 27th of September 2011 under Recipes
Big storm today, lots of rain and a sudden temperature drop. Automn is here and I decided it was time for my pears, vanilla and Sicilian almonds cake.
Enojy it for breakfast with a good "caffe e latte" or a vanilla flavoured black tea.
100 g finely grounded toasted almonds with the peal on
120 g sugar + 2 tablespoons (to sprinkle over the cake before baking)
1 teaspoon baking powder for cakes
60 ml milk
1 paste of one vanilla pod
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.