Few dishes epitomize Sicilian cuisine as much as Caponata, which likely took its name from the essential ingredient: capers. Like much of Sicilian cuisine, Caponata likely originated with the Arabs or from Catalonia, Spain. It is believed that the dish derived from the Catalan word “caponada,” meaning a similar kind of relish, and is said to have first appeared in Sicilian etymology of 1709.

 

INGREDIENTS

*Organic ingredients recommended

  • 5 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 - 1 ½ pound eggplant, unpeeled, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, cubed
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 ½-ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings in juice
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh basil
  • Toasted pine nuts

PREPARATIONS

  1. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add eggplant, onion, and garlic cloves.
  3. Sauté until eggplant is soft and brown, about 15 minutes.
  4. Add diced tomatoes with juice, then red wine vinegar and drained capers.
  5. Cover and simmer until eggplant and onion are very tender; stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes.
  6. Season caponata to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Mix in fresh basil.
  8. Transfer caponata to serving bowl and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts.

 

Pesto alla trapanese is a Sicilian variation of the genoese pesto, typical of the Province of Trapani. The dish was introduced in ancient times by Genoese ships, coming from the East and stopping at the port of Trapani. The inclusion of almonds in this recipe is very common of Sicilian tradition as almonds symbolize good fortune and are celebrated during Sicily’s Almond Blossom Festival.

INGREDIENTS

*Organic ingredients recommended

  • 50 grams shelled, unskinned almonds
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 6 vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated pecorino cheese
  • 6 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 400 grams Sicilian Busiati pasta (or Linguine if Busiati unavailable)

PREPARATIONS

  1. Cover the almonds with boiling water for a few minutes.
  2. Once cool enough to handle, slip almond skins off.
  3. Toast the almonds in a non-stick frying pan for a few minutes until they are pale gold.
  4. Whizz the basil, garlic, and a little coarse sea salt in a food processor and tip into a large bowl.
  5. Process the toasted almonds, again with a little salt, until they are the size of small grains of rice.
  6. Peel the tomatoes and chop into medium dice.
  7. Mix the diced tomatoes and the processed almonds into the basil and garlic.
  8. Add the grated cheese and olive oil; mixing well.
  9. Taste and season with pepper and a dash of salt.
  10. Boil the pasta, taking care to keep it very al dente.

Swordfish is a noble ingredient from the gastronomic traditions of Sicily and Calabria. Used in the most refined of recipes, it is extremely versatile and can be easily married with other characteristic products of the Mediterranean region. The “meatiness” of swordfish makes it a perfect match for Etna Rosso. Traveling vast distances, the swordfish only temporarily reside in Sicily making this traditionally a seasonal meal.

INGREDIENTS

*Organic ingredients recommended

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons table salt
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
  • ¼ cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pounds swordfish steaks, cut ½ inch thick

 

PREPARATIONS

  1. Light grill or preheat broiler.
  2. In a small bowl, mix lemon juice with salt until salt dissolves.
  3. Stir in oregano.
  4. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and season generously with pepper.
  5. Grill the swordfish steaks over high heat (as close to the heat as possible), turning once, until cooked through, 6 to 7 minutes.
  6. Transfer the fish to a platter.
  7. Prick each fish steak in several places with a fork and allow the sauce to penetrate.

 

The “Agnello alla Messinese” is a Sicilian recipe and is often part of traditional Sicilian Easter celebrations. In the Christian tradition, lamb is a symbolic animal that represents the sacrifice of Jesus. But in the old Testament, lamb was associated with the Passover. Lamb is one of the most popular meats in Sicily compared to beef and pork alternatives. This is likely due to the symbolic associations.

 

INGREDIENTS

*Organic ingredients recommended

  • 35 oz lamb
  • 2 glasses red wine
  • 5 oz black olives
  • 3.5 oz grated Pecorino
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

PREPARATIONS

  1. Dice the lamb and season the pieces of meat with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  2. Place the lamb together with the marinade in a baking pan.
  3. Add the red wine and sprinkle with grated Pecorino.
  4. Bake at low temperature for one hour.
  5. Turn the pieces upside down and add water to prevent them from drying too much and sticking.
  6. Serve with fresh vegetables and roast potatoes!

 

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