Authentic Sicilian Recipes for your dinner
Among Italian regions, Sicily boasts the most ancient history. Greeks, who gave it stunning monuments such as amphitheaters, temples, and mosaics, conquered it. Other people inhabited this wonderful island, such as the Romans, Arabians, Spanish, and French, and every one of them left historical traces that made it a cultural sanctuary. It is also one of the regions where people have the highest attachment to their traditions, mainly the culinary ones and some of the most delicious Sicilian Recipes are known and appreciated all over the world!
Arancini, most famous
Sicilian fast food
Arancini is Italian for little oranges but that is far from what this dish actually is. An unmissable Sicilian Recipe and delicious street food. They (also called arancine) are deep-fried balls of risotto Milanese with a heart of meat ragù and were invented to make risotto a street food, to be eaten while walking or, in ancient times, riding a horse.
Arancini can also be filled with ham and cheese, but the most tasty and original version is of course the ragù one, made of ground beef, tomato sauce and peas. Their shape can also vary. The most common shape of arancini is the round ball from west Sicily and the lesser known cone shaped arancini come from the east and are supposed to resemble the form of Mount Etna.
Arancini, like many Italian treats, are a sly way to revamp leftovers. They are a perfect revival for risotto and depending on your preference you can throw in leftover sauce, meat or fish as well. The result is a meal just as fantastic as the one you had before without the feeling of “Oh I’m eating this again”.
Baked Anelli Pasta, the Sunday tradition
Anelli Pasta - or Anelletti - are little rings of dry pasta of about one centimeter in diameter. In Palermo, baked anelli pasta can be found in most restaurants and eateries, but it is also cooked a lot at home, although mostly on Sundays and feast days because of the long preparation required.
The base of this Sicilian recipe is a ragu similar to Bolognese. However, in Sicily, the ragu is almost always made with the addition of peas. Apart from the meat sauce ingredients, to make Baked Anelli Pasta you only need some ham and cheese.
Even if it takes a good amount of time to prepare Baked anelli Pasta, this Sicilian recipe is actually pretty easy and perfect to spoon up for a crowd or for a mid-week meal for your family. You can also do it meatless if you have vegetarian guests and it will be equally tasty.
Cannoli, the favorite Sicilian dessert
Cannoli are not only an authentic Sicilian recipe, but also an icon of the Italian cuisine all over the world. Sicilian Cannoli boast ancient origins, but obviously (as in so many traditional Italian foods) there is still much debate about what are their exact origin.
Cannoli are the pride of Sicilian pastry chefs; a heavenly scrumptious combination of a crunchy, flaky fried pastry shell filled with sweet sheep’s ricotta and decorated with either pistachio nuts, candied orange peel, dark chocolate or glacè cherries.
As it happens with many Sicilian recipes, the decoration slightly differs depending on the area of production. For example, in Palermo, one end of the cannolo has glacè cherries and on the other end, a slice of candied orange peel. Dark chocolate mixed into the ricotta is also popular here. In eastern Sicily it is the pistachios of Bronte that dominate the scene. In any case, the ingredient that must not change is the ricotta, which must be strictly sheep’s ricotta and must also be extremely fresh.
Pasta with Norma Sauce
Pasta alla Norma is one of the most famous Sicilian recipes in the world. Yet the name might sound really posh, it’s actually just eggplant and tomato cooked into a wholesome, tangy sauce stirred through pasta and dusted with ricotta salata.
A tasty and colorful recipe from the Sicilian gastronomic tradition, Pasta alla Norma is a triumph of Mediterranean flavors and was so called in honor of Vincenzo Bellini's opera "Norma". The story says that in 19th century a Sicilian writer was so impressed when he first tasted this dish that he compared it to “Norma”, Bellini’s masterpiece. And the name lasted ever since.
As with other Sicilian recipes, there is much debate over ‘the definitive’ recipe from one household to the next. Is it best to slice or dice the eggplant before frying? Is wine permitted? Whether you add a sprinkle of chilli flakes to the sauce, or garnish with a few crispy capers, everyone has their favorite version.