Caponata di melanzane
Eggplant caponata is one of the most popular dishes of Sicilian cuisine. It is prepared as a side dish but can be enjoyed as a summer light dinner, as it is excellent also when eaten cold. The main ingredient is the black elongated eggplant, which should be cut into cubes or slices and fried. Then a pan-fried mixture of onion, tomato, celery, black olives, capers, pine nuts is prepared separately. So combine the eggplant and prepare a sweet and sour sauce with vinegar, salt and sugar. A simple but very tasty recipe of peasant origins!
Cuccureddi e Cassateddi
The cuccureddi and Cassateddi are typical Christmas desserts with a long tradition. The Sicilians cassateddi are prepared with a pastry made with lard and flour, used to make dumplings similar to large ravioli. Then a tasty filling is prepared with dried figs, orange marmalade or honey, ground almonds, cinnamon. The cassateddi fillings are fried in lard, then they are garnished with a frosting made of powdered sugar. They are really exquisite and delicious desserts! The cuccureddi are simpler, made with the same pastry, but they have no filling, fried in lard and then garnished with frosting. It is common to prepare them together with cassateddi, when the figs stuffing finishes!
Arancini di riso
The Sicilian rice Arancini are known throughout Italy and are a signature dish of Sicilian cuisine, they are distinguished by the round orange shape which recalls an orange, but depending on the area they are also pointy. The classic rice balls are prepared with meat sauce and peas, or white with ham and cheese, and are fried in plenty of oil. Today there are several variants that provide the use of vegetables, for example spinach, or cooked in the oven version.
The Panelle are originating in Palermo. These are small pancakes made with chickpea flour, water and parsley. They are easily found on the streets, and are consumed in the with bread as a snack. This recipe is lost far away in time because the chickpea flour was used since Roman times, but the fried Panelle seem to date back to the Middle Ages.
Paste con le sarde e finocchietto
Pasta with sardines and fennel is a classic dish of Sicilian cuisine. Originally from Palermo, this recipe was born during the Arab domination. For the preparation the sardines should be cleaned from the heads and bones, fried in oil with pine nuts and raisins. The wild fennel is boiled in the same water where pasta should be cooked because it absorbs the flavor, then pasta is drained and joins the compound with sardines. Then the “atturrata” bread crumbs, that is toasted in a pan and mixed with oli, are added.