La Cucine D’Italia A journey through the regional kitchens of Italy Sicilia

SICILIA

Sicily remains an isle of intrigue and idyllic images for many. For over twenty five centuries Sicily, largest of Mediterranean islands, has been a protagonist in this ancient sea’s history. A main thoroughfare for merchant ships and war vessels alike, plying the seas in search of trade or foe.

All major civilisations have at some time or another dominated Sicily, not solely as rulers but also with their rich cultures; with their art, food and poetry.

Sicily’s luscious fertile plains were once the granary for Imperial Rome, feeding the men of Caesar’s legions. Its golden valleys produced oranges of legendary flavour. Its mountainous slopes provided grazing grounds for thousands of sheep whose milk became the ricotta for cassate and cannoli. The deep blue sea around it threw up fish of every size and form from the magnificent tuna to the humble sardine. Over the centuries Sicilian cooks produced food fit for the gods from these bountiful ingredients.

Sicilian food is probably the oldest, most varied and best-loved cuisines of Europe.

This month at La Cucina del Sole chef Johann Chetcuti has prepared a selection of dishes found in the most typical of Sicilian restaurants as well as in family kitchens. These interesting specialities are ideal for this time of the year and hold pleasant surprises for food lovers, both those adventurous and not.

To accompany these dishes what better than a glass of good wine? A few wines have been selected from the acclaimed casa vinicola Donnafugata from the north eastern region of Sicily. Very much a family concern, the contents of the bottle here are half wine and half passion.

“ A tavola non s’invecchia mai…….”

 

ANTIPASTI

 

POLPETTE DI RICOTTA AL PROFUMO DI AGRUME € 6.45

Ricotta cheese patties flavoured with lemon and served with salad leaves

 

SARDE IN BECCAFICO   € 6.95

Filleted, fresh anchovies stuffed with capers, pine nuts, almonds, parsley, breadcrumbs and pecorino cheese. Like little sparrows

 

PRIMI

 

SPAGHETTI CON BACCALA’  € 9.85

Creamed salt cod, black olives, capers and fried bread crumbs

 

RIGATONI ALLA NORMA   € 9.45

Pasta tubes tossed in a tomato and basil sauce, with grilled aubergines and ricotta salata

This dish hails from Catania were it was created to honour the great Catanese composer Vincenzo Bellini who composed the opera Norma. 

SECONDI

 

FARSU MAGRU (FALSO MAGRO)  €18.35

Beef fillet stuffed with minced veal, provolone, cacio cavallo, pecorino, bacon and sausage

 

LINGUA IN AGRO DOLCE   € 17.35

Ox tongue in a sweet and sour tomato sauce, with capers, raisins, carrots and celery

 

DOLCI

 

CASSATA ALLA SICILIANA  €4.50

This celebrated sweet from Palermo has in origins over one thousand years ago during the enlightening Arab domination of the island

 

TORTA DI MANDORLE  €4.50

Almond tart, made from bitter Etna almonds

 

For the region of Sicily we propose wines from Donnafugata


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