loveSicily Blog

Ecco a voi: Matilde!

Ecco a voi: Matilde!

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

The Monzu - Watermelon Jelly alla Religiosa

The Monzu - Watermelon Jelly alla Religiosa

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.

Pasta with monkfish, mint and cherry tomatoes

Pasta with monkfish, mint and cherry tomatoes

One of my summer favourite pasta dish is my simple pasta with monkfish and cherry tomatoes dressed with a mint flavoured extra virgin olive oil and toasted almonds.
I like to make it with a strange kind of pasta called trottole, but I can assure you it is great with any kind of pasta.

Ingredients:

400 gr fresh or dry pasta
200 gr monkfish cut into small cubes
10-15 fresh cherry tomatoes
6 spoons chopped fresh mint
An extra bunch of fresh garden mint leaves
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preparation:

Seasonal carrots and pears salad à la loveSicily

Seasonal carrots and pears salad à la loveSicily

Last week, while taking some clients around to shop for ingredients before a cooking class, I noticed Fabio, the greengrocer, was selling some small local pears, which I was sure would be sweet and with a firm pulp at the same time. I immediately thought about making a special salad. I got some carrots, raisins and pine nuts, and headed home looking forward to prepare it for my guests.
I soaked the raisins in Marsala wine, sliced the pears and the carrots, and prepared a vinaigrette mixing some balsamic vinegar with orange blossom honey from the Etna slopes.

Sicilian style take away pizza

Sicilian style take away pizza

So it happens that even I have no time to cook at times! These days, besides work, I am chauffeuring my daughter around to extra dance lessons and rehearsals for the final year dance show. Last evening we came home quite tired and decided to stop to get a take-way pizza.

We went to one of the local restaurants in Ispica, Il Mercato, and got our pizzas. I chose a new topping I had never tried before, Pizza Ispica, the restaurant's homage to my dad's town: Ispica.

Russello, pane e cioccolata: Sicilian wheat back on the table

Russello, pane e cioccolata: Sicilian wheat back on the table

Last week it turned, unexpectedly, into the Grano Russello week for me.
Russello, or better Russieddu in Sicilian, is a Sicilian kind of wheat which became quite rare over the years, as farmers turned to other kind of wheat which were easier to produce and gave higher yields.

German wholemeal bread Sizilien style

German wholemeal bread Sizilien style

Today my friend Vania taught me a German recipe for wholemeal bread. Like many Sicilians, she grew up in Germany while her parents worked there, then as they moved back to Sicily she kept going back to Germany, keeping strong ties with the country of her childhood.
Lately, she started bringing me this bread more often, as she understood I love it for breakfast with Sicilian bitter orange jam, but today I had some free time and what do I like to do on my free time? More cooking, of course! So we met to bake together.

loveSicily Children cooking class: having fun making arancini and chocolate

loveSicily Children cooking class: having fun making arancini and chocolate

No offence to the many nice loveSicily-over 10 years old guests who made teaching fun and interesting over the years;), but my favourite classes remain those with children!
The energy, the fun and the unexpected questions, remarks and surprises are simply amazing, not to talk about their "cruel honesty" when we get to something they do not like!

Modica and LoveSicily on The Boston Globe

Modica and LoveSicily on The Boston Globe

They had me at “ricotta.’’ Or was it the intriguing tomato sauce with a dash of cinnamon spooned onto hand-rolled pasta? Maybe it was the “Sicily Squeeze.’’ These are the first lines of Joe Ray's article Three courses, one cuisine about Sicilian cooking and his experience in South-East Sicily which appeared on The Boston Globe last Sunday.

A classic Falsomagro turns into a pic-nic delight alla Siciliana

A classic Falsomagro turns into a pic-nic delight alla Siciliana

When I think about meat based recipes in the area of Ragusa, the main recipes that come to mind are pork based ones. With our sausage with fennel seeds and chilly flakes served with sinapu (mustard greens), stuffed pork chops, cured sausage and grilled pancetta, there is no doubt that pork is the favourite meat in the area. However, especially in the past, with the arrival of Spring pork meat consumption was stopped. Special buthcheries selling only pork meat would close their door and say goodbye until Autumn.