Recipes - Cucina Siciliana
We love Sicily. Not only for the great history, beaches, piazzas, towns and cute hill top villages, but also for the food, It is sooo good! It's fresh, tasty, healthy, quite simply the best! So we thought we would share some classic recipes with you, that you can create a piece of Sicily in your own home and share it with family and friends, or perhaps just enjoy them by yourself, with a nice glass of Sicilian wine.
By the way: if you get Sicily-homesick and miss our wines or specialties - nearly all wineries ship and at our Shopping page you'll find online shops!
From time to time we will add a recipe, so if you struggle with "what to cook tonight" join us here and try out one of the dishes, they are very easy to make and won't cost you a lot!
Ready? Let's get started then.....
You will need the following ingredients for four people: 3 table spoons olive oil, 1 medium size onion, 1 carrot, 1 celery, 2 gloves of garlic, 400g of chopped tomatoes (or you can use passata), uncooked prawns (they are grey in colour, unlike cooked ones which are pink), 1/2 kilo of fish (we use haddock for instance , but you can use whatever you like cod, monkfish, fish fillets, anything really), salt, pepper, bay leaf, 1/2 kilo of mussels and 1/2 kilo of small clams, small glass of white wine, 500 ml of fish stock (if you don't have the time, you can use fish stock cubes) and chopped fresh parsley. Generally you can use whatever fish and seafood you like.
Before you start, scrub the mussels/clams and remove the 'beard'. Once done, put them aside in a bowl of cold water, so they stay closed. Pour the oil in the sauce pan (medium size) and heat it up. Add the finely chopped onion and fry for few minutes. Then add sliced carrot and celery, stir and cook on medium heat for another 5 minutes. Pour in a small glass of white wine and let it reduce by half. Add the finely chopped garlic, tomatoes and let it simmer until the vegetables soften. Add the fish stock and bring it to the boil, then add the fish (except the prawns,mussels and clams) and gently simmer for another 5 mins.
Then add the prawns, mussels and clams and cook for 3 minutes until the mussels open and the prawns are pink and cooked. All is left now is to chop up the parsley and sprinkle over it. Cut up some lovely crusty bread, or ciabatta, and enjoy!
Linguine with seafood
You will need following ingredients:Packet of linguine or any other thin and long pasta ( spaghetti), good olive oil, finely chopped onion and 2 garlic gloves, 2 handsful of uncooked or cooked prawns( uncooked are better as give a lot more flavour) , mussels, squid, 400 g of chopped tomatoes, or fresh tomatoes, glass of good white wine, parsley, salt, freshly ground paper.
Now, get the water for linguine boiling, put salt and cook the linguine to "al dente" meaning firm to bite . Meanwhile put 2 tbsp of good olive oil in the pan and fry the onions with garlic for 1-2 minutes. Splash the wine in and add the tomatoes and cook until soft ( if you are using the fresh tomatoes they might need slighty longer and you may need to sieve them to get right of the skin). Now you add the mussels ( don't forget to give them a good clean beforehand) and the squid. Simmer for 2 minutes and just before draining the linguine, add the prawns and finely chopped parsley to the tomato sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Now drain the paste, take a bit of the tomato sauce and stir it in, so all the linguine have a bit of colour and serve them on a nice deep plate, cover with loads of sauce and the seafood. Be generous! Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper.
Open the fridge, find the good white wine that you used for the cooking, get a nice glass and pour it in. Sit and enjoy! Buon Appetito!
Scaloppine al Marsala ( cutlets in Marsala wine)
You will need following ingredients: 4 Veal cutlets, 100 ml of Marsala wine, white flour, salt, pepper, oil and we also like to add mushrooms.
Now, tenderise the meat. What I mean is take a rolling pin and give the meat a good beating from both sides, then season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Flour the meat from both sides and fry in the frying pan in a litlle bit of oil. Add the mushrooms and fry for another couple of minutes. Turn them over and add the Marsala wine and cook until the wine has almost evaporated and there is only nice and thick gravy left. Tast it, season it if needed and serve with crusty bread for dipping in the gravy and a salad and don't forget to pour yourself a nice small glass of the delicious red Marsala wine.
Pasta alla Norma
Pasta alla Norma is dedicated to Vincenzo Bellini's famous opera "Norma" and is one of the signature dishes of Sicily.
You will need following ingredients: A pack of spaghetti, 1 kilo of tomatoes or homemade tomato sauce,cca 500 ml, 3 aubergines ( eggplants ), 3 gloves of garlic, onion, basil, olive oil, salt, pepper and the most important ingredients 200 g of grated and salted ricotta cheese.
Firstly get the water for spaghetti boiling and once boiling add salt and slip in the spaghetti, which should be cooked al dente. Meanwhile slice the aubergines and put them aside in a bowl with salted water to soften up. Prepare the tomato sauce in the meantime by frying up a little bit of olive oil, add finely chopped onions and garlic and fry for couple of minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt and simmer gently until the sauce has reduced. If you don't like the tomato seeds, rub the sauce through a sieve. Take out the aubergines from the water, give them a good squeeze, dry them and fry with a touch of olive oil. Drain the spaghetti, stir them well with the tomato sauce and sprinkle with the grated ricotta cheese. Now serve each portion on a plate, garnish with the fried aubergines, fresh basil leaves and another generous portion of the ricotta cheese.
Maccarruna i casa alla "Filippino"
Maccarruna i casa alla "Filippino" is a signature dish of the restaurant Da Filippino which is situated at Lipari (Aeolian Islands) - it is home made macaroni.
You will need following inderedients for 4 people: for the freshly made pasta prepare 400 gr of strong floor, 4 eggs, pinch of salt, 1 tbs of extra virgin olive oil and if needed little bit of water. To make the pasta you make a dough with the ingredients and then cut them into 10 cm strips. To make the sauce you will need 1l of tomato sauce ( preferably homemade) 120g of fresh mozzarella, 30 g of cooked ham, 1 fried aubergine ( eggplant) cut into strips, 150 ml of veal ragu, 1 pesto of pesto prepared with around 40 basil leaves, 1/2 tbsp of parmiggiano reggiano, 1/2 tbsp of pecorino siciliano ( cheese), 2 cloves of garlic, 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil , pinch of salt and white pepper, 3tbsp of oven cooked ricotta grated.
Now all of the ingredients need to be roughly chopped, except for the ricotta, and put in to a large pot with high sides to be cooked slowly. After you have cooked the pasta ( al dente of course) drain them and add them to the pot with the sauce you have already made and gently heat it for another couple of minutes. Then put everything into a warm serving dish, generously sprinkle with the grated ricotta and serve nice and warm.
Arancini is Sicilian street food - best in Catania. They can be eaten anytime during the day, in the morning as a nourishing and filling breakfast, snack/lunch or as a starter before dinner. Arancini are very filling, so if an arancino comes as a starter you won't be able to eat any more.
You will need following ingredients: 1 kg of rice ( preferably long-grain rice), 200g pecorino, 4 whole eggs, saffron, 600g mince meat, 400 g peas, 300g of cheese ( preferably Provola cheese or fresh Caciocavallo cheese) 1 small glass of white wine, onion, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and oil for frying.
Boil the rice in salty water( lightly salted) until al dente and drain it. Leave it to stand for couple of hours. Meanwhile fry the finely sliced onion until golden, add the mince meat and stir. Pour the glass of white wine in it, let it evaporate and simmer for 30 min. Add salt, pepper and the peas and continue simmer until the peas is soft. Now take the rice, put it in the bowl, stir in the grated pecorino cheese, the eggs,and a little bit of saffron. Shape into balls the size of small orange and make a small hole in the centre of each and start filling with the mince meat and small pieces of cheese. Dip into beaten eggs and then breadcrumbs and fry in the oil until golden and crispy.
Linguine all'astice e tartufo (linguine with lobster and truffle)
The name of the recipe might sound like it is a hard work, but it is actually the opposite. It is a very simple recipe, but the dish is extremely tasty. You might struggle with some of the ingredients, but I think lobster can be bought frozen almost in any supermarket and truffles are also not that difficult to get these days. This recipe was given to us by the lovely Trattoria da Nino in beautiful Taormina, where we have tasted this delicacy.
You will need following ingredients : nice size of lobster, 100g of butter, 1 good size leek, half a kilo of fresh tomatoes cut into cubes, good splash of brandy, 1 chicory, salt, pepper and parsley.
Now, fry the leek in the butter until nice and soft, then add the lobster followed by the brandy and simmer. Add the tomatoes and lightly fry before adding the chicory. Meanwhile boil the linguine, once cooked all dente, drain them and mix it together, so that one part becomes part of the other. All is left now is add the grated truffle and serve with glass of white wine.
Pasta with Pistachio Pesto
This is a quickly prepared and delicious dish from Bronte, the main cultivating area of pistachios in Sicily. Buon appetito!
Best with Farfalle, Linguine, Fettucine or Penne
Preparation time 10 minutes
Ingredients for 4 people:
320 g pasta of your choice
150 g bacon (one thick slice about 1/2 cm.) or a slice of cooked ham
150-200 gr. pistachio pesto in a jar
1 white onion
½ a glass of brandy
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
50 g butter
1 pinch of ground black pepper
Boil water for the pasta, when the water is boiling add salt and the pasta of your choice.
In the meantime dice the onion and the bacon (fine cubes)
Pour oil and butter in a big pan and put the fire on medium heat, turn the heat down, add onion dices and let them brown slowly. Then add the bacon and simmer for about a minute (not more). Add the pesto sauce from the jar and continue cooking for another minute, then turn up the heat, pour the brandy and light it. Lift the pan on one side and let the sauce slowly approach the flame, then remove the pan from the stove (the flame goes out by itself)
When the pasta is cooked, drain it, leaving it moist (store in a container a little of the cooking water), pour the pasta into the pan and turn on the heat again. Let blend for a minute, when the pasta is dry add some of the cooking water and a pinch of pepper.
Serve with chopped pistachios and a cooled white wine from Mount Etna
Granita al limone
Prepare your lemon granita from a simple lemon syrup. Pour a cup of water and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar into a saucepan a cup of water and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, bring to a boil and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Let cool and squeeze in the meantime fresh lemons (a glass of juice). Mix the lemon juice and syrup, add half a cup of cold water and pour it into a container for ice cubes. Let it sit in the freezer for the day or overnight, until it is frozen. To get the slush chop cubes with a blender or a food processor until it reaches the desired consistency. Top your granita with whipped cream ( if you wish), decorate it with some mint leaves and slice of lemon, serve it with a brioche and there you are: a refreshing and delicious summer dessert for your guests.