loveSicily Blog

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.

Tripbase 2011 Blog Award: Italian Cuisine

Tripbase 2011 Blog Award: Italian Cuisine

Few days ago we got this email:

"I am pleased to inform you that your site has been chosen to receive a Tripbase 2011 Blog Award. 

This year our panel of judges reviewed hundreds of sites from across the Internet before hand-selecting the best ten for each travel category. Your site is among these elite ranks, and can be seen here: 

http://www.tripbase.com/d/awards/2011/categories/winners/italian-cuisine.htm 

Sicilian gelato in the "heart" of Copenhagen

Sicilian gelato in the "heart" of Copenhagen

Back in August 2010 I went to Copenhagen for the Cooking Festival. I wrote a blog post about it where I also mentioned my surprise of finding a Sicilian gelateria right in the centre of the city promising to let you know more about it soon. I got very curious about it and got in touch with Danish-Italian David Ciccia to find out more, finally, after six months of email exchanges here is the interview to David.

Pure cocoa and Frappato wine cake

Pure cocoa and Frappato wine cake

Quite often, recipes for chocolate cakes include cocoa powder as the main choco-ingredient for cakes or biscuits. I have always been fascinated by the fact that we take pure cocoa, cocoa liquor or cocoa mass, we press it to remove over three quarters of its cocoa butter and turn it into a fine powder which then we need to mix with other butter to make our cakes. It does not make any sense to me. And the proof that you do not need that is in my new way of making chocolate cakes.

Happy Birthday Italia

Happy Birthday Italia

Today, we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy. In Sicily, we have a very warm springy day, so we are all going to the seaside to celebrate. Little time to cook and write a blog story ;)! But more recipes and stories are coming soon!

Mackerel and anchovies papyrus parcels with a taste of Sicilian countryside

Mackerel and anchovies papyrus parcels with a taste of Sicilian countryside

I love Siracusa and its historical centre: the island of Ortigia. The amazing combination of Greek ruins and Baroque buildings, the narrow little streets of the old Jewish quarter (the Giudecca area), the strong lines of the Norman Maniace Castle and its waters, both the salty waters of the Jonian sea and the fresh spring water of the famous Arethusa Fountain with its papyrus bush, are a continous source of inspiration. My Mediterranean fish in papyrus parcel recipe is a simple tribute to the this wonderful city.

Passing on Carnival traditions: three generations making gnucchitti

Passing on Carnival traditions: three generations making gnucchitti

Today is Martedì Grasso, (Mardì Gras/Shrove Tuesday) and as tradition requires we are celebrating the end of Carnevale cooking "gnucchitti", as my dad's family in Ispica taught me, and "ravioli di ricotta", following my mom's family tradition from Modica.

But the best fun this year was the cooking lab at my daughter's school where teachers, grannies, moms and three, four and five year old children worked together to pass on the art of making gnucchitti.

Sicilian Muffin al Caciocavallo Ragusano DOP

Sicilian Muffin al Caciocavallo Ragusano DOP

This morning, I made this recipe for breakfast and considering how successful it was with my family, I decided to share the recipe with you.

Ingredients

250 g flour
1/4 l milk
100 g young Caciocavallo Ragusano DOP Cheese
50 g mature Caciocavallo Ragusano Cheese finely grated
50 g of butter plus a little to brush the molds
1 egg
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
salt

Sift the flour with baking powder and mix it in with salt and sugar.

When I took a cooking class!

When I took a cooking class!

Last week, we went to the BIT in Milan, an international fair dedicated to tourism, little I knew that I was going to end up taking a cooking lesson myself.
I was invited to the Puglia dedicated area for an "orecchiette pasta lesson".
As you can probably notice from the smile on my face, I had so much fun! Zia Nunzia, the lady who was teaching the class kept telling me "perfetto!" and believe me it was such a relief!