Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sausage in tomato sauce: a Sicilian way to taste sausage

Do you know how to cook Sicilian sausage in tomato sauce? It's very easy and it will take you about 40 minutes at the most. You will only need: 1 kg Sicilian sausage - tomato sauce - olive oil

In Sicily sausage is called "sasizza" and butchers prepare it binding the sausages all together with some kitchen string making one big long sausage.

First of all what we normally do is to roll it up using some thin wooden sticks (just like shown in the picture here). After that you have to cook it either in the oven or in a pan. Cooking time is similar.

If you choose the oven put it at 180°c for about 15-20 minutes, while in the frying pan add a little bit of water. At half cooking time stick a fork on the meat all around the sausages. This is a very important step because it helps eliminate the fat inside.

In the meantime, put on a medium heat, a sauce-pan with tomato sauce. Adjust with salt, sugar and spices if needed. Don't overdo with the spices as this kind of sausage is already very tasty.

When the sausage is cooked and the tomato sauce is about to bubble, you can transfer the sausage in the sauce pan, lower the heat and let cook with a lit for about 10 more minutes. Finally add some olive oil and serve hot.

This dish is very common in Sicily, especially if you cooked sausages the day before and you have some left over that want to re-use. We also have it as a delicious tasty sauce for our pasta at lunch time. You only need to cut the sausage in smaller pieces. These are absolutely the best ways to enjoy this great dish!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Anchovy & orange Salad - The Video of February

Dear readers, today I want to show you how to prepare a delicious unique salad with very few ingredients typical of our territory: oranges, anchovies and red onions (or green onions).
Have a look at the video and do not hesitate to try this lovely dish. Enjoy!

Thanks to Patrizia Laria for the video editing.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Cauliflower with black olives cooked in red wine

Do you know how to cook cauliflower in red wine? This side dish smells really good and it is so easy to prepare. For 4 people you will need: half of a big cauliflower - 50 gr black olives - 3 glasses red wine - olive oil - salt - a clove of garlic

Cut the cauliflower into pieces and wash it under running water. Put a large frying pan on a medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil and a clove of garlic. When the garlic becomes lightly golden put the cauliflower inside the pan, reduce the heat on minimum and cover with a lit. 

After 10 minutes pour the first glass of red wine and the salt and let it cook again with the lit. Do the same after 10-15 minutes with the two other glasses of wine, mixing with a fork and preventing cauliflower from sticking to the pan. Then add the black olives and cover once again with the lit.

Cooking time all together must be at least one hour, depending on how you prefer the cauliflower, if very soft or crispier. For the last 5 minutes sautè the cauliflower on a higher heat and transfer rapidly on a plate. Serve still hot. It will be the most wine-scented dish you have ever tried. Perfect with fish, meat or even a nice tasty cheese. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Afternoon snack with homemade bread and pistachio cream

Do you know what the pistachio's cream or spread is? I bet everyone knows how is called the famous Piedmont nuts cream. It's Nutella of course, renowned all over the world! The word Nutella is actually unique and related to its brand Ferrero, but it has become such a part of Italians' everyday life that we started to use this name to call other similar things. 

In Sicily, for example, there is a cream or spread similar in texture that is made with the precious pistachio from Bronte, small town near Catania and in colloquial ways we referr to it as the pistachio's  Nutella. 

This "nutella di pistacchio" is green (as you can see in the pic above) and absolutely delicious. You can eat it on some fresh bread as a snack in the middle of the afternoon, or, as the filling of a pie or cake, if you want to impress your friends with a more original dessert, when you invite them for tea. 

The pistachio from Bronte also called the "Green goldis a variety named from the Latin Pistacia vera and is a Denomination of Protected Origin. (P.D.O.).

Pistachio is also used for savoury dishes (pasta with pesto for example) as well as for desserts, ice cream included, as shown in the pic here on the right (Source from, which flavour is just sublime.

If you ever come to Sicily, I suggest you try some of this pistaches recipes made either for sweet or savoury dishes, and if you can, buy a lovely green gold spread or the pistaches pesto version, in the typical shops that sell Sicilian specialties. 

You will love it and it would be the best souvenir you will ever get for yourself!!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

An introduction to Sicilian rotisserie, every moment is the right moment

Do you know what
the so-called "rosticceria siciliana" is? The word rosticceria means rotisserie and in Sicily is a very big deal. We are all crazy about it!!! :))) 

"My dear fellow-visitors and readers lend me your ears... and eyes..."

Every mo
ment is the right moment to eat a "pezzo di rosticceria". We say "
pezzo or pezzi" which literally means "piece/pieces". For example: a calzone is a piece of rotisserie, as well as the rollò and with the word rotisserie we mean the whole of them.

Everyone likes it and there are NO specific times during the day (or night!) to have a calzone, a pizzetta or an arancina. The keyword is ALWAYS. For instance, workers that start very early in the morning may eat some of these pieces at 8 or 9 o'clock as a rich breakfast, to gather more energy, as well as kids at school during break time, more or less at 11 o'clock.

The Sicilian rotisserie (except from the famous arancine made of rice), is all made with the same dough, which is the dough we also use for our "brioche" (soft Sicilian buns usually rounded) and for the sweet rotisserie as well, usually eaten for breakfast.

The most common pieces are: the calzone (fried or baked and filled with mozzarella cheese & ham), the pizzetta (a small pizza but thicker), the rollò (with German sausage), the ravazzata (rounded and baked, filled with what we called ragout, also spelled ragù, seasoned minced meat), the rizzuola (the same of the ravazzata but fried), and the arancina (fried rice balls filled with minced meat or cheese & ham - here in the picture on the right).

Obviously there are some more types depending on the bars. You may also find the crostino (a fried rectangle filled with bechamel sauce & ham) or different versions of the baked ravazzata filled with bechamel sauce and spinach or mushrooms.

Then we also have the "mignon rotisserie" (in the picture above), which is basically the same thing but the pieces are smaller. The word mignon infact is French and means small, miniature. We could say that they are a kind of traditional Sicilian finger food, perfect for a cocktail or a buffet with friends. And that is why every moment is the right moment, from dusk till dawn. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sicilian filled artichokes cooked in tomato sauce

Do you know how to cook artichokes in tomato sauce with the typical Sicilian filling? In Sicily we cook artichokes in several ways. This recipe is one of the most traditional. You can follow it here step by step.

You will need: 5 artichokes - 8 tbs breadcrumbs - raisins and pine nuts - 1 egg - tomato sauce - olive oil - half lemon

1. Take an artichoke at a time and remove the external and rough leaves using a sharp knife. Continue until you have only thinner and softer leaves. Cut also the stem. In a sink full of cold water squeeze the juice of half a lemon and leave there the lemon as well. When you have finished with the knife leave the artichokes to soak about half an hour.

2. While artichokes are in water, in a bowl or plate, prepare the filling with breadcrumbs, rainsins and pine nuts. Add a drizzle of olive oil and mix all together.

3. Take out the artichokes from water, then start filling them with the mix using a spoon.

4. When they are all filled with the mix, whisk an egg in the same plate and pour it on top of every artichoke just 
like shown in the picture. 

5. It is now time to put a frying pan on a high heat. After few minutes turn the artichokes upside down for one minute to cook the egg, until becomes, as we say, like "a cork of bottle".


 6. Now in a pan on a medium heat prepare the tomato sauce, adding as usual some salt, sugar, cinnamon and olive oil. When the tomato sauce is hot, lower the heat and put the artichokes inside the pan.
Let them cook there for about half an hour with a lit, checking every now and then with a fork, until they are soft and well cooked.

8. When ready, transfer them on a plate and serve them with some slices of rustic bread. It will be a lovely side dish for your dinner. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

"Happy birthmonth" to the Sicilian Cuisine blog

Yesterday I went out for dinner with two friends of mine. I wanted to talk to them as I have just lost my job, so the occasion was a bit sad. Fortunately we laughed a lot and had a lovely dinner in a Trattoria with some typical dishes like the caponata, done in the apples version, which was one of my favourite things. The homemade pasta was also very nice, especially the walnut cream on top.

Then the dessert arrived. It was the very famous "torta Setteveli", which means seven layers cake. Created in Palermo by the Maestro pastry Chef Cappello has now become very popular during birthdays and parties. So, because today my "baby" is one month old, I thought it would be nice to celebrate it with this post, hoping that the future will be professionally brighter thanks also to this blog.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

"Frittata con le patate": the Spanish omelette that looks like a cake

Do you know how Sicilians make their own version of the Spanish omelette with potatoes?
We learnt the recipe of the "frittata con le patate" obviously from the Spaniards, during their domination in Sicily that lasted 3 centuries (1412-1713). 

They call it "tortilla de papas" and is made with eggs and potatoes and looks like a cake because is yellow, thick and soft.

It's very easy to prepare. You always have to add one more egg to the number of people that will eat it. For example: for 4 people use 5 eggs. You will also need: 1 large potato - olive oil - salt - 3 tbs grated caciocavallo cheese (or another tasty cheese like pecorino).

Peel, wash and cut a large potato in thin slices. Put a frying pan on a high heat with a drizzle of olive oil. When the oil is hot sautè the pieces of potato for about 15-20 minutes, but lower the heat a bit and turn them every five minute. They have to become golden brown and very crispy. In the meantime whisk the eggs all together in a bowl, add salt and the spoons of caciocavallo.

When you see in the pan that the potatoes are crispy and brown on both sides, pour the mix of eggs into the pan and let cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes. When it is almost cooked at the bottom (and there is no liquid on the surface of the omelette) put a plate on top of the frying pan and turn it upside down to let cook the other side. 

If you are afraid of breaking the frittata, there is an easier method. Switch on the oven and just grill for some minutes the omelette only on top, until it reaches a nice golden colour. Cut in slices and serve on plates with some nice tomato salads or some rockets as side dish.
You can have it hot or cold, it will be tasty anyway, it never happens that there is a left over, but if it does it will be delicious even in a sandwich the day after, enjoy!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Caserecce with broccoli and red pepper

Separate broccoli into stem and florets and wash them under running water, then chop them in small pieces. In a pan under a medium heat boil the broccoli in salted water until become very soft. In the meantime in a sauce pan do the "soffritto": some extra virgin oil of olive and a clove of garlic, then sautè the boiled broccoli there, adding a piece of hot pepper.

Cook the caserecce (or the spaghetti if preferred) in the water of the broccoli until "al dente", then drain them and put in serving plates with the broccoli sauce. Add some grated parmesan and voilà... this delicious pasta is ready. Enjoy!