Fish Calamari ripieni by VRC

 Summer is the best season for fish…how about Calamari Ripieni? or Stuffed Calamari.

 

A taste of the sun

Sicilian recipes of yesterday and today

Hundreds of island recipes are yours to enjoy. All deeply rooted in the island’s geography and culture.The Sicilian diet is a fusion of the original cuisine and that of many influences: Arab, French and Spanish for a few. We will take you through peasant kitchens where the native dishes are designed around the local, seasonal vegetables, live stock and fish. From the noble Sicilian families, the Borboni courts, a more sophisticated cuisine, who kept French cooks called “Monsu”. Sicily has long been involved in the production of sea salt. This mineral rich salt has graced the savory flavors and enhanced the Mediterranean herbs and spices of a cuisine that embraces the earth and sea.

The first Chapter Appetizers and Side Dishes includes recipes that originated as quick, street food served from the local Deli. These dishes are migrating to the table in many restaurants, “Trattorias”. They serve such flavorful snacks as: panelle, parmigiana, and seasoned olives.

Chapter two Sicilian Breads and Pizzas, because they have the luxury, often buy bread from a local baker because he has the best flour, water, oven or the most talent. Bread in Sicily often has a unique flavor or texture suited to a recipe. This Chapter attempts to pass on this passion for the marking and enjoyment of bread.

First courses and soups: first courses are often soup or the traditional pasta. Pastas come in as many shapes and sizes as the people of Sicily. Everyone has their favorite. Other first courses have unexpected flavors like cuscus or savory flan.

Meat, eggs, and fish are the topics of the forth and fifth chapters. Proteins, the second course, are most often determined by location: seashore, mountains, or rural village. Chapter six concentrates on the sauces. Mostly tomato based, Sicilians take pride in family and traditional recipes handed down from mother to daughter. Seasonal fruit usually ends a meal. Everyone everywhere enjoys dessert. Chapter seven visits seasonal feasts and religious festivals to find sweets: cheeses, creams and other ingredients in the confections of a proud tradition. Simple but healthy recipes should transport you to be “island in the sun” via the aromas and colors of the food.

English version by Cherida Bush Courtesy of coppola editore

What's Cooking

Today Calamari Ripieni “Stuffed Calamari”

Stuffed calamari – Calamari ripieni- Buon Appetito !!!

 

Fish Calamari ripieni by VRCIngredients for 4 servings
  • 8 squids
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • fresh parsley 1 bu.
  • 1 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp of grated pecorino, or parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp of capers
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper TT

 

Preparation
Peel the squids and remove heads, empty and clean them carefully. Mince the tentacles and put them in a bowl. Brown the breadcrumbs in a pan with oil and once cooled add it to the tentacles. Add the pecorino cheese, the parsley, the garlic and the minced capers, salt and pepper. Then soften the stuffing with some oil and fill the empty squid heads with it. Close the heads with toothpicks and put the squids on a baking-pan with oil, bake them for about 20 minutes.

- See more at: http://siciliana.it/recipes/2012/08/stuffed-calamari-calamari-ripieni/#sthash.prIO2fru.dpuf

Sweets

Madonie pastry – Sfoglio delle Madonie

Ingredients for 6-8 servings

  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 7 oz of margarine
  • 1 1/4 cups of sugar
  • 1 egg and 1 egg white
  • 1/2 glass of marsala wine
  • 7 oz of tuma cheese
  • 3 1/2 oz of dark chocolate
  • 7 oz of ricotta cheese
  • 7 oz of candied pumpkin
  • powdered cinnamon
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt

 

Preparation
Prepare the pastry with the flour, margarine, sugar, 1 yolk, The Marsala wine and a pinch of salt. As soon as the mixture is well amalgamated wrap it in some plastic film and keep in the fridge for at least 2 hours. In the meantime mix the grated tuma cheese with the diced pumpkin, the chocolate in pieces and the egg white neaten stiff; add the sieved ricotta, the remaining sugar and a pinch of cinnamon and mix well. Roll out the pastry in two sheets. With one cover the bottom and rims of a greased baking pan.
Pour in the filling and bake at 322° F for about 40 minutes. When cooked cool down and serve.

Sauces

Basic tomato sauce (for pasta, etc.) – Salsa di pomodoro

There are three versions of tomato sauce, that of western Sicily, that of eastern Sicily and the one of the area of Agrigento.

 

    1. Western Sicily

 

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 lb. of ripe tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh basil leaves
  • salt
  • pepper
  • sugar

 

Preparation

Peel, seed and chop the tomatoes, put them in a saucepan and let them stew for about ten minutes. Purèe them and pour in a saucepan with oil and browned onion, add basil, salt, pepper and sugar (if the tomato is sour) and make it thicken on a low flame.

 

    2. Eastern Sicily

 

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 lb. of ripe tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • basil

 

Preparation

Clean and slight crush the tomatoes, put them in a saucepan and make them stew for ten minutes. Purèe them and pour in a saucepan with browned garlic, add then basil, salt and pepper and cook on a low flame.

 

    3.Area of Agrigento

 

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 lb. of ripe tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 onion
  • fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper TT

 

Preparation

Clean and dry the tomatoes, crush them and put in a saucepan together with garlic, onion, basil, and cook for about 15 minutes. Purèe then all and add salt and pepper make the sauce thicken on a low flame.

Main courses and Soup

Hot couscous salad

Tasty easy Summer dinner

Contrary to the way North Africans prepare couscus dishes, Sicilians prefer to serve it with fish and vegetables , cooked in the fresh, light Italian style. Try these recipes for a tasty, easy summer dinner.

Ingredients
Serves 6

  • ½ bag Mishpaha Hama whole-grain couscus
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
  • 1 hot red pepper, sliced (optional)
  • ½ kg. cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 300 gr. canned Italian artichoke quarters
  • 300 gr. chickpeas soaked overnight and cooked (or use frozen pre-cooked ones)
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves only
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation

Prepare couscous according to directions on the package.

Heat oil in a heavy pan and add garlic and hot pepper. Sauté until garlic is golden but not brown, then add the tomatoes and mix lightly. Add drained artichokes and chickpeas, oregano and white wine. Season with salt and pepper and continue cooking on high heat about 3 minutes. Add cooked couscous into the pan, mix and serve.

Chef Mena Strum of Campanello in Tel Aviv, who specializes in Italian cuisine, created Sicilian- inspired recipes using the Israeli-made Mishpaha Hama couscus, which has won several competitions in Sicily at Couscous Fest, San Vito Lo Capo, Trapani

 

Breads and pizzas

“Scacciata” from Catania, flat bread – Scacciata catanese

It is a speciality from Catania, a city near Palermo, which, as all the Sicilian flat bread, resents a number of filling variations (vegetables, pork, meat, etc).

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 24.7 oz. home-made
  • bread dough
  • 14 oz. of tuma or fresh
  • primosale
  • 6 fillets of anchovy in oil
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper TT

Preparation
Roll the dough out, divide in two and transfer one half to a greased baking-pan. Brush with oil and sprinkle with shredded cheese,
anchovies, a pinch of salt and an abundant dash of black pepper. Cover with the remaining dough and bake in warm oven till brown.

Appetizers/Side Dishes

Stuffed Peppers – Peperoni ripieni

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 4 green peppers
  • 10 1/2 oz. of minced meat
  • 1/4 onion fine dice
  • 1/2 carrot fine dice
  • 1/2 stalk of celery minced
  • 1 tbsp of tomato concentrate
  • fresh parsley minced
  • dry white wine
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

 

Preparation
Sautè the finely chopped onion, carrot, cellery and parsley in a saucepan with little oil; add the meat and stir-fry until brown. Sprinkle with wine; add salt, pepper and allow to thicken. Add the tomato concentrate dissolved in 1/2 cup of warm water and simmer for about 1/2 hour, stirring from time to time and adding more water if necessary. Remove top, the stalk and the seeds from the peppers without ruining the pulp and add salt inside. Stuff with the well drained meat stuffing; cover with the cap and arrange in an oiled baking-pan. Pour over some oil and bake at 200° for about 40 minutes.

 

Variation
The peppers can also be stuffes with 7 oz. of slightly toasted breadcrumbs, and seasoned with fillets of anchovy mashed in little oil, grated cheese (parmesan or pecorino), chopped garlic and parsley, pine seeds, raisins, salt and pepper. If the mixture result is dry, soften it with some extra virgin olive oil. After stuffing the peppers, cover them with their cap, pour over some oil and bake for about 3/4 hour.