If you have already explored almost all of Italy, then the next stop should be Sicily. Why? Forget all the stories about the mafia, Sicily is a real paradise for your eyes and mouth. If you want to discover new aromas and flavors, if you want to taste something you will not taste anywhere else, finally, if you want to escape from lasagna, pizza, and pasta – go to Sicily!
Smells, Flavors, Colors
Some people see only clutter and rubbish here, while others see unique gastronomy. Some people are still looking for the mafia, while others look at their plates and glasses. And while exploring Sicily, you can finally understand that there is no unique Italian cuisine! There is cuisine of Sicily, Calabria, Lombardy, and other regions! There is no such thing as Italian wine, there is a grill, nero d’avola, and other striking types of local wines.
If you are looking for new experiences and flavors that would make your heart to beat faster, try typical local dishes at Fratelli Pappalardo’s restaurant in the old town of Marsala. Arancini – rice dumplings stuffed with meat horn and mozzarella, pane cunzato – white bread sandwich stuffed with anchovies and sardines and sprinkled with pure olive oil, caponata di pesce – agon of various seafood and fishes (swordfish, tuna, mackerel), caponata with purple onions, and Sicilian sweets.
Different Pasta and Olives
One of the most popular and unlike other Sicilian paste formats is busiate. It is a masterpiece of food aesthetics, but with the spice of Arab history. The name encodes the experience of neighbors from North Africa: the Arabs wrapped the handmade dough in a long spiral on a “bus” – a stick of dried Saharan reed, then slowly dried in the sun. Today, the technology is almost the same, only the paste is slowly passed through the bronze, making it a healthier food that does not increase glycemia.
Olives, called olive cunzate, are very popular in Marsala. They are incredibly fragrant and delicious. Here, immediately after the olive harvest, people buy large table olives at the market or from farmers in olive groves and prepare some green table olives called olive in salamoia. The Sicilians enhance the flavor of these salted table olives with garlic, fresh oregano, bay leaves, and mint, as well as spicy peperoncino. Before serving, the olives are mixed with cherry tomatoes. Usually, in a Sicilian aperitif, olive cunzate becomes olive alla sicula – a satiety dish, as the recipe is supplemented with chopped carrots and celery stalks and leaves.
If you want to make such olives at home, you will need: 16 large table olives in salomoia; 12 cherry tomatoes; fresh oregano; bay leaves or a little bit of fresh mint; hot pepper peperoncino; 0.5 glass of pure olive oil; 1 tbsp. spoon of wine vinegar; large crystalline salt. Put the olives in a bowl. Wash the tomatoes cleanly, cut in half, place in a bowl with olives. Crush the bay leaf, sprinkle with salt, pour in pure olive oil, add to the bowl with olives. Sprinkle the mixture with fresh oregano. Chop the hot pepper pepperoncino and add to the olives. Sprinkle with wine vinegar. Stir the olives well before serving the aperitif.