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Braid

Sicilian Stuffed Pastry Braid

Puff pastry is great to have on hand as a quick time-saver.  It works in a pinch when I don’t have time to make the dough for those stuffed bread recipes Italians are so fond of.  You can use just about any filling you would use for a calzone, pizza, or rotolo.  This recipe uses […]

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Rollo

Sicilian Pigs in a Blanket: Rollo con Wurstel

The rosticerria (rotisserie) is a popular snack-food eatery throughout Italy.  In Sicily, the word “rosticceria” refers to a place but also a type of cuisine.  Restaurants or bars offer a large array of finger foods such as pizzas, calzones, and other stuffed delicacies.  It’s the Italian version of fast food.  The Sicilian rosticceria (rosticceria Siciliana) […]

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Oscacciate

Cracked Green Olives with Garlic and Parsley

The word schiaccate (scacciati in the Sicilian dialect) means crushed or smashed.  These flavorful green olives are cracked open before being marinated in a garlicky mixture with parsley, olive oil, and vinegar.  If you like garlic – you’ll love these olives.  You need to use green olives that are not pitted.  I like to throw […]

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Baked Bay Scallops Gratinate

Baked Bay Scallops Gratinate

Our family celebrates Christmas with a traditional seafood dinner on Christmas Eve, as most Italians do.  This year I decided to make baked scallops instead of the usual stuffed clams my kids love.  Here’s the reason why.  As I was cleaning out my kitchen drawers the other day, I found some natural baking scallop shells […]

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PepperRolls

Roasted Bell Pepper Rolls: Involtini di Peperoni

These roasted peppers rolls make a stunning presentation for a holiday appetizer or as a side dish.  You can use roasted peppers in a jar that come from the supermarket to make these pepper rolls.  However, jarred roasted peppers have a slightly bitter aftertaste which comes from the citric acid that’s used as a preservative.  […]

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Fried Pizza Dough Panini Sandwiches

Fried Pizza Dough Panini Sandwiches

Whenever my mother had leftover pizza dough she would make pasta fritta (fried dough).  The thinly rolled out pieces of the dough would puff up as they fried in olive oil.  The fried breads where fragrantly yeasty, soft on the inside, and lightly crisp on the outside.  She would sprinkle them with powdered sugar.  But […]

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Spinach Arancini:  Arancini agli Spinaci

Spinach Arancini: Arancini agli Spinaci

Arancini are stuffed rice balls.  They are a popular street food in Sicily.  The most traditional fillings are tomato ragù and cheese with ham.  I heard about how popular Arancini Bros. have become in my home town of New York.  They have a huge array of fillings and flavors.  They have taken the art of arancini […]

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Potato Crocche:  Crocche di Patate

Potato Crocche: Crocche di Patate

Although we are more familiar with the French croquette, potato crocchè (crocchè di patate) – small parcels of mashed potato with egg and cheese, coated with breadcrumbs and fried – are of Sicilian origin.  The Monzu (a corruption of the French word monsieur) were the renown French chefs employed by the Sicilian aristocracy.  Many dishes […]

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Calamari Salad with Olives and Capers

Calamari Salad with Green Olives and Capers

Calamari salad makes a great antipasto dish or side salad, served either chilled or at room temperature.  It is similar in flavor to octopus salad but much quicker to make.  Squid takes about one minute to cook, whereas octopus takes about one hour.  Chilling the squid for several hours helps to intensify the flavors.  I usually […]

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Milinciani Ammuttunate

Stuffed Baby Eggplants in Tomato Sauce

The humble eggplant, to the Sicilian cook, is like clay to a sculptor.  It can be molded, shaped, and interpreted in limitless ways.  Baby eggplants are cooked many different ways in Sicily but stuffing them is the most popular method.  Much to my surprise, my local grocery store had some Indian eggplants available, which is a […]

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