Sicilian cooking: unusual recipes

01 Feb 2019

La pasta con le sarde a mare (The pasta with sardines in the sea)

One of the most famous dishes of Sicily is undoubtedly the Pasta with the sardines, a true pride of the city of Palermo.

This pasta is pretty complicated to make it come out good.

What I mean is, that the pasta actually is not difficult to prepare… but  to make it good is another thing.

The basic ingredients are essentially two: the wild fennel and the sardines.

Mixing these two is an art!

This pasta comes out better in the spring because the wild fennel is found at that time of year, which grows spontaneously among the fields of Sicily.

We hope that you can enjoy a delicious pasta with sardines when you come here to taste the Sicilian cooking.

But in this paragraph we actually want to tell you something else.

In the Madonie, the beautiful mountains in the province of Palermo, the sea is far and since the sardines are not right at hand, the locals have decided to make the same pasta but without the tasty fish that has remained inside the Mediterranean Sea.

La pasta con le sarde a mare, this is how they call this dish, is one of the most famous dishes of the Madonie.

Surely the Sicilians are not lacking of the sense of humor.

The soup of Cerami

In the old days, the peasants before going to work in the fields, rather than eating the brioche or the corn flakes with the lean yogurt, they fed themselves with a nice soup that gave them strength before the hard work.

Every village in the Sicilian hinterland has its own breakfast – soup in the morning.

In Cerami we tasted the typical Sicilian cooking of the place.

Garlic is sauté, a dried pepper typical of the place, a handful of black olives, salt and pepper. Add a lot of water and let it boil for about an hour.

At this point you add a poached egg and a piece of cheese for another 10 minutes.

Eat it with pleanty of bread dipped in the broth.

Done this take a hoe and go into the fields.

The fava beans of Leonforte

In our continuous trips to the island, here we are in Leonforte, a small village in the middle of the island.

Here they are known for peaches and fava beans.

Their macco, or bean soup, is something extraordinary.

Don’t miss it if you find yourself in those parts and want a real Sicilian cooking experience.

But their fave-chips are really a fun food.

Take some dried fava beans and sauté them adding pepper and salt afterwards.

You will definitely abandon the popcorn!

The Provola of Montalbano

Montalbano Elicona is a really fabulous place, especially when it comes to Sicilian cooking.

Considered one of the most beautiful villages of Italy, it is surrounded by mountains with a spectacular view on the frontal Aeolian Islands.

In this village we were hosted by the La Bella family that right in the highest part of the village owns an ancient  house “where once lived in eleven and slept all in a room…”  the beautiful Giusy owner of the renewed construction told us.

The Provola is particularly famous in Montalbano.

Actually, around here the provola has an extraordinary flavour.

Giusy, that day hosted our troupe at lunch, and prepared it strictly cooked at the fireplace then served on a nice slice of local bread.

One bite and a sip… of wine, of course!

Because the water here in Sicily, as they say, goes into your shoulders.