[Sca-cooks] Fun with Sicilian regional recipes ...

Christiane christianetrue at earthlink.net
Wed Jul 2 09:58:01 PDT 2008

I like to pop in on this site every now and again and see if the recipe files are updated. What I like is that this features recipes that are not well-known and you can see the medieval and Renaissance roots of some of them. Just click the region and you can see the recipes; they try to have one for every town in each province: http://sicilia.indettaglio.it/eng/gastronomia/gastronomia.html

Reasons why I love the Web, No. 368: It's a way to preserve some of these old-fashioned recipes and communicate them to people today.

Here are some of the ones from the site that I find interesting.

This one is from the province of Siracusa, from the town of Sortino; note the use of mint and vinegar:
Uope a la stemperata (Spoonbills in vinegar)
Ingredients: Spoonbills kg. 1, 3 cloves of garlic, a cup of vinegar, flour gr. 200, fresh mint, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Preparation: Wash and clean fish taking tripe out, flour and deep fry in hot oil. In another pan, brown chopped garlic (or if whole, take it out when brown), add fish, add vinegar, cook for a while and add salt, pepper and mint. Add half a cup of water and cook for 5 minutes. Place in a dish and dress with its juice.

Another variation on fish in vinegar, from Ribera in Agrigento:
Mulettu ammarinatu del Platani (Muletto fish in vinegar)
Ingredients: "muletti" (a local fish) gr. 800, vinegar gr. 250, 3 garlic cloves, flour gr. 200, minced orange peel, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Preparation: Wash and clean fish, take the tripe out, put in a bowl and leave the fish standing in vinegar for 15 minutes. Drain and dry fish, flour and deep fry. In a bowl mix a cup of vinegar, finely chopped garlic, half teaspoon salt, a lot of pepper and minced orange peel. Leave stand for ten minutes and then pour on the fish, previously placed on a dish. Serve cold with some chopped parsley on top.

>From Cammarata in Agrigento:
Gattò di sarde e carciofi (Sardine and artichoke pie)
Ingredients: 800 g sardines, 100 g breadcrumbs, 6 artichokes, oregano, 200 g primosale cheese, olive oil, salt, pepper.
Preparation: Clean sardines taking heads and tails off. Take the hardest part of artichokes off and cut in thin pieces. In a tin, previously greased with oil and dusted with breadcrumbs, put artichokes, sardines (previously rolled in breadcrumbs dressed with salt, pepper and oregano) and primosale cheese in layers. Top with breadcrumbs, some oil and bake for about 30 minutes.

>From Cattolica Eraclea, also in Agrigento, an eel pie:
Anguille in camicia all'Eraclese (Eels in Eraclea way)
Ingredients: Eels about gr. 800, lemons 2, a bundle of wild fennel, olive oil, salt, pepper, flat bread dough kg. 1.
Preparation: Cut eels and put tin a pan with lemon juice, chopped wild fennel, half cup water, olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook on a low flame for about 15 minutes, take eels off the flame, clean them well and put back in the pan with the juice.
Take the previously prepared flat bread dough (see the scacciate catanesi). Divide in two, roll it out and cover the bottom of a tin, previously greased and floured. Fill the dough sheet with eels, cover with the other sheet and cook in very hot oven (it would be better to cook it in a wood-burning oven).

>From Sant'Angelo Muxaro in Agrigento:
Luna di Maometto (Mohammed's moon)
Ingredients: 700 gr. flour, 300 gr. butter, 4 eggs, 200 gr. honey, 200 gr. sugar, 1 lemon, a cup of marsala wine, 400 gr. dried figs, 100 gr. shelled walnuts, 100 gr. chopped almonds, salt.
Preparation: Mix flour with yolks and a grated lemon peel, a pinch of salt, and soft butter. Mix well and let it stand for about 2 hours. Apart, mix minced almond, minced walnuts, chopped dried figs, sugar, honey and Marsala wine. Place this mix in the centre of the sheet of dough you have previously prepared. Take the edge of the sheet, cover and make a half moon. Cook in preheated oven for about half an hour.

And this recipe from Zafferana Aetnea has flavors that are very familiar to the medieval cook; Zafferana is known for its honey, the bees love the flowering broom that blooms in the spring:
"Tortiglioni" pasta with honey
Ingredients: 100 grams of acacia honey, 40 grams of butter, a glass of white wine, a spoonful of vinegar, 350 grams of tortiglioni pasta, a litre of chicken broth, cinnamon, ginger and saffron.
Recipe: Melt the butter in a saucepan at moderate flame. Add the acacia honey previously heated in water bath and the white wine. Keep cooking until to evaporate the wine and add a tablespoon of vinegar, a pinch of cinnamon powder, a pinch of ginger powder and the saffron dissolved in a little hot water. Cook for a few minutes with a lowered flame. Bring to boil the chicken broth and then cook the tortiglioni in the same broth. Put the cooked tortiglioni in a bowl hot with the butter and the sauce of honey and saffron. Serve the dish with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.


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