Archive | March, 2015

Sicilian Cassata Ricotta Cake: Cassata Siciliana

Cassata is an elaborate Sicilian confection made of sponge cake (pan di spagna), ricotta, marzipan, and candied fruit.  Arguably, one of the most famous desserts of Sicily, second to cannoli.  The same filling used for making cannoli is used for making cassata, which is why some people refer to it as cannoli cake.  Traditionally eaten […]

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Sicilian Stuffed Artichokes

Sicilian Stuffed Artichokes: Carcocciuli alla Siciliana

Stuffed artichokes were the featured dish for summer family cookouts.  My mom would lightly stuff each artichoke with parsley, spring onions, and thin garlic slivers.  She would drizzle olive oil on top and wrap each one in a double thickness of foil.  The artichokes were then carefully nestled in charcoal or wood embers and cooked […]

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Not all ricotta cheese is created equally. The consistency and quality of store-bought ricotta varies widely and can affect the outcome of the dish you are making.  My gripe is that many store-bought brands tend to have a gritty texture, almost as if semolina flour was added to it.  It is for this reason that […]

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Almond Cookies: Viscotti di Mènnula

Almonds are widely grown throughout Italy and used extensively in Sicilian cuisine.  The City of Agrigento hosts the spectacular Almond Blossom Festival, held each year during the month of February, amongst the back drop of the ancient Greek ruins of the Valley of the Temples.  It’s a folkloric celebration of the almond blossom signifying the […]

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