Stuffed Peppers – Peperoni ripieni

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 4 green peppers
  • 10 1/2 oz. of minced meat
  • 1/4 onion fine dice
  • 1/2 carrot fine dice
  • 1/2 stalk of celery minced
  • 1 tbsp of tomato concentrate
  • fresh parsley minced
  • dry white wine
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

 

Preparation
Sautè the finely chopped onion, carrot, cellery and parsley in a saucepan with little oil; add the meat and stir-fry until brown. Sprinkle with wine; add salt, pepper and allow to thicken. Add the tomato concentrate dissolved in 1/2 cup of warm water and simmer for about 1/2 hour, stirring from time to time and adding more water if necessary. Remove top, the stalk and the seeds from the peppers without ruining the pulp and add salt inside. Stuff with the well drained meat stuffing; cover with the cap and arrange in an oiled baking-pan. Pour over some oil and bake at 200° for about 40 minutes.

 

Variation
The peppers can also be stuffes with 7 oz. of slightly toasted breadcrumbs, and seasoned with fillets of anchovy mashed in little oil, grated cheese (parmesan or pecorino), chopped garlic and parsley, pine seeds, raisins, salt and pepper. If the mixture result is dry, soften it with some extra virgin olive oil. After stuffing the peppers, cover them with their cap, pour over some oil and bake for about 3/4 hour.

Stuffed Artichokes – Carciofi ripieni

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 8 artichokes
  • 1 cup of dried breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp of grated parmesan (or pecorino)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 lemon, 8 fillets of anchovies in oil
  • fresh parsley 1 bu.
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper TT

 

Preparation
Snip off sharp leat tips of the artichokes and the harder external leaves; scoop out the fuzzy chokes. Soat in water and lemon juice, to prevent blackening. Put the breadcrumbs in a bowl; add the fillets of anchovy mashed in little oil, the chopped garlic and parsley, the grated cheese, a pinch of salt and abundant black pepper, freshly ground. Spften the mixture with oil and put in the artichokes hearts, well drained and salted. Arrange the vegetables upright in a saucepan and pour inside some water and oil. Cover and cook for about twenty minutes.

Eggplant Roulade – Involtini di melanzane

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 2 eggplants
  • 1 1/2 cup of dried breadcrumbs
  • 2 oz. of fillets of anchovy in oil
  • 4 tbsp of grated parmesan (or pecorino)
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper TT

Preparation
Wash and slice the eggplants; sprinkle with salt and put in a colander to drain the water in excess for about 1 hour. In the meantime, toast the breadcrumbs in a oiled non-stick pan, and set aside in a bowl. Smash the fillets of anchovy in little oil and add them to the breadcrumbs; add half of the grated cheese and mix well. Fry the eggplants and cover each slice with the prepared mixture. Roll them up and put in a baking-pan; top with sauce and sprinkle with the cheese left. Cook au gratin in warm oven for about ten minutes and serve.

Peperonata – Peperonata

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 2 lb of peppers (green, red and yellow)
  • 14 oz. of peeled tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • fresh basil 1 bu.
  • salt
  • pepper TT

 

Preparation
Wash and dry the peppers; cut the footstalk off, cut them in half, remove the seeds and cut into slices. Finely slice the onion and sautè in a saucepan; add the peppers and cook for about ten minutes. Add the tomatoes, seedless, and cut into fillets. Add the basil, a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper, cover and cook for another 45 minutes, stirring from time to time and adding a few spoons of warm water if the sauce reduced too much.

 

Variation
Just before the cooking is over add a little vinegar, slightly sweetened. In this case, chill before serving.

Eggplant or Aubergine caponata – Caponata di melanzane

Ingredients for 6 servings

  • 4 medium black eggplants
  • 1 stalk of celery with leaves
  • 3 oz. pitted green olives
  • 1 tbsp of capers
  • 1 tbsp of pine seeds
  • 1/2 glass of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 glass of white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • fresh basil
  • 1 bu.
  • 1 medium onion
  • seed oil
  • 1 teaspoon of raisins (optional)
  • salt
  • pepper TT

 

It is a widespread traditional summer dish which must be served cold and can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days. In glass containers with airtight closing and then sterilized this preparation can be stored for several months.

 

Preparation
Wash and dice the eggplants; sprinkle with salt and leave for a couple fo hours in a colander to drain the excess water.Dry carefully then deep fry in seed oil. When golden, drain and put on kitchen paper towels. Husk and chop the celery and sautè in a frying pan with olive oil and the sliced onion. Before the sautè in golden add the tomato sauce, some leaves of basil, the olives, the capers, the pine seeds and, if desired, the raisins (which will have been left in lukewarm water and then squeezed). Add salt, and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes at medium heat. Pour over the vinegar and sugar ; mix and allow to evaporate a little.Combine eggplants and sauce and toss. Chill the caponata and add toasted and chopped almonds(optional).

 

Variation
There are many variations of caponata among which are the addition of small octopus (in Palermo); fish, and in different part of Sicily, a mixture of eggplants and peppers. The caponata can also be prepared with artichokes.

Read some insight into the early days of caponata by Ann Stutch, musician, world traveler, and lover of Sicily.

Dressed Olives – Olive Condite

Ingredients for 6 servings

  • 1 pound of pickled green olives
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • red wine vinegar
  • parsley, one bu.
  • oregano
  • pepper
  • TT

 

They are the classical Sicilian titbits easily found in delis or in the popular market stalls, stored inside ” lemmi”, typical terracotta vases.

 

Preparation
Crush the olives with the pestle of the mortar, paying attention not to shatter the pit. Put them in a bowl and season them with minced garlic and parsley, a pinch of oregano and a mixture of oil, vinegar and pepper. Mix with care and let flavour for some time,before serving.

 

Variation
The seasoning can be enriched with pickled vegetables and celery (stalks and leaves). Or with mint and capers as in Syracuse.

Flat Garbanzo beans loaves – Panelle

Ingredients for 8 servings

  • 4 cups of garbanzo beans flour
  • seed oil
  • salt
  • water 6 1/3 cups
  • optional: parsley one bu
  • minced

 

Panelle are garbanzo beans flour croquettes and are a popular specialty from Palermo. They are sold in fried-food shops scattered around the city and they are eaten warm, with a sprinkle of pepper and some drops of lemon juice, as a snack; or in typical loaves just removed from the oven in substitution of a meal. The Panellari often spread the cooked paste in rectangular wooden bars on which floral designs are engraved.

 

Preparation
Sift the flour in a saucepan and slowly add 6 cups of water, mixing with a wooden spoon, to avoid lumps.

As soon as the preparation is well mixed, salt to taste; set the saucepan on a low flame and let the mixture thicken stirring in the same direction. After about 30 minutes the mixture should detach from the saucepan; add the minced parsley and turn the paste upside down in a nn-sick rectangular baking-pan, sprinkled with cold water. Flatten the surface of the mixture and let it harden. After the mixture has cooled down completely and hardened enough, turn it upside-down and slice thinly. Heat a lot of seed oil and fry a few the panelle, until golden; drain, set them on paper napkin and serve warm.

Orange salad – Insalata di arance

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 4 large oranges
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

 

This salad dates back to the Arabs who brought the cultivation of orange to Sicily.

Preparation
Peel the oranges and remove the white part of the peel. Slice and arrange on a serving dish. Sprinkle with salt, oil and a abundant dash of freshly ground black pepper and allow to flavour before serving.

 

Variations
Variants come from all parts of the island. In the western area, the orange used are “portogallo”, replaced by the “sanguinella” in the area of Catania. This dish is also enriched with bits of salted herring ( contrastings the bittersweet taste of the orange) and olives; or with onions and chicory.

Caciocavallo “argentiera” – Caciocavallo all’argentiera

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 14 oz. of spicy fresh caciocavallo 3 spoons of white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlicoregano
  • pepper TT

 

This recipe, common throughout the whole island, seems to have been invented by a person from Palermo who, due to reverses of fortune, replaced cheese with meat of the original recipe, deceiving everybody with the intense and appetizing aroma of this dish.

 

Preparation
Do not slice the cheese too thin. Brown the crushed cloves of garlic in a nn-stick frying pan; remove them and cook the caciocavallo at low flame, turning over the slices a couple of times. As soon as the cheese has melted pour the vinegar and sprinkle with pepper and oregano. Cook for a few more seconds.

Sweet and sour Yellow Pumpkin – Zucca gialla in agrodolce

Ingredients for 6 servings

  • A 2 lb yellow pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of sugar
  • mint
  • salt
  • pepper TT

 

It is a recipe from Palermo, also called ” Ficatu ‘ri setti cannola”.

 

Preparation

Do not slice the cheese too thin. Brown the crushed cloves of garlic in a nn-stick frying pan; remove them and cook the caciocavallo at low flame, turning over the slices a couple of times. As soon as the cheese has melted pour the vinegar and sprinkle with pepper and oregano. Cook for a few more seconds.

Eggplant Parmigiana – Melanzane alla parmigiana

Ingredients for 6 servings

approximately 8 oz. per person

  • 5 large eggplants
  • 1 1/2 cups of tomato sauce, fresh basil
  • 1 bu., 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, 4 oz. of grated Parmesan
  • seed oil
  • 1/4 tbsp sugar
  • salt
  • pepper TT

 

Preparation

Fine dice onion and sautè in a saucepan with the olive oil; add the tomato sauce , a handful of leaves of basil, a dash of salt, a dash of pepper and a pinch of sugar. Mix carefully and simmer for about 15 minutes. Wash the eggplants and cut the stems off; cut into thick slices,sprinkle with salt and drain in a colander to lose the excess water.After a couple of hours, rinse, dry carefully and deep fry in seed oil.Put some tomato sauce in a baking-pan and place a layer of eggplants,well dripped, cover with tomato sauce,sprinkle with grated parmesan and snipper basil.Top with sauce and sprinkle abundantly with grated cheese; cookin warm oven for about twenty minutes.

 

Variation

The Eggplant Parmigiana can be enriched with slices of boiled eggs and primosale or mozzarella or other fresh cheese. In some parts of Sicily this dish is topped with a mixture of beaten eggs and pecorino (Parmesan cheese) before baking.

Rice balls with meat sauce – Arancini di riso al ragù

Ingredients for 6 servings

  • 4 cup of rice
  • 1 small bag of saffron
  • 3 tbsp of grated pecorino( or Parmesan) cheese
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup of dried breadcrumbs
  • flour
  • seed oil
  • salt

 

For the filling

  • 1/2 pound of minced meat
  • 1 cup of shelled peas
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 stalk of celery
  • 1/2 carrot
  • 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • dry white wine
  • 2 spoons of tomato concentrate
  • 4 oz. of fresh caciocavallo or primosale
  • seed oil
  • salt
  • pepper TT

 

Arancini are one of Sicily’s best-know deli specialties; they are popular in the whole island and have various fillings.

 

Preparation

Put the oil, butter and minced onion, celery and carrot in a saucepan. Before the herbs are golden, add the minced meat and sautè for a few minutes; then, sprinkle with a little wine and allow to evaporate. Add the peas and mix for a couple of minutes. Stir in a cup of warm water, to which you will have added the tomato concentrate. Add salt, pepper and simmer for 35-40 minutes. Boil the rice in abundant salted water; strain it al dente and season it with the saffron, dissolved in a little water , the pecorino (parmesan ch.) and 2 eggs. Let the mixture cool down and put a spoonful in one hand. Squash the rice, and make a shell you will fill with a spoon of the meat sauce and the diced cheese. Close up with some more rice and shape it into a ball just a little bigger than an eggs. Cover slightly with flour; dip them in the beaten eggs and then in the breadcrumbs and deep fry them in abundant hot seed oil.

 

Variation

Besides the minced meat and peas filling, arancinis can be prepared with a butter, cheese, primo sale and cooked ham filling; with a chicken sauce or with boiled spinaches and cheese.

Artichokes in the saucepan – Carciofi in tegame

Ingredients for 4 servings

8 large artichokes, fresh parsley 1 bu., 2 cloves of garlic, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper TT

Preparation

Wash the artichokes and snip off the harder external leaves. Beat the artichokes on the table to move the leaves apart and place in
a saucepan. Chop garlic and parsley and put on the artichokes. Sprinkle with salt, peppers and a little oil. Pour 1 cup of water in the
saucepan, cover and cook until tender.

S. Joseph “sfince” (kind of doughnuts fillets with ricotta) – Sfince di San Giuseppe

Ingredients for 6 servings
2 1/2 cups of water, 3 1/2 oz of butter, 12 oz of flour, 5 eggs and 4 yolks, 4 tbsp of caster,
sugar, 1 1/2 tbsp of baking powder, salt, vegetable oil, icing sugar, 14 oz of ricotta cream, 2 oz of chocolate chopped, 2 oz of cubed candied fruit.
Preparation
Boil the water together with the sugar, the butter and some salt, then pour in the flour and stir well. Cook the pastry till it detaches from the saucepan rims, let it coll and add the eggs and the baking powred, stirring continuosly. Once the pastry is soft and homogenous, cover it with a cloth and make it leaven for about 45 minute. Take 2-3 poons of pastry for each doughnut and fry them in deep hot oil. Once they are swollen and browned, strain and put them on the kitchen paper. Mix the chocolate and the candied fruit with ricotta and then spread the cream on the fried “sfince”; sprinkle with icing sugar and serve.