Sciusceddu alla messinese

Frankprimi piatti, Sicilia, Soups53 Comments

Scisceddu alla messinese

Sciusceddu alla messinese comes to us from Sicily, and specifically from Messina, where this unusual primo piatto is a fixture on Easter dinner tables. It has all the hallmarks of an Italian Easter dish. It’s rich, meat centric—although the meat is usually veal rather than the more typical lamb—and enriched … Read More

Pasta con la mollica (Pasta with Breadcrumbs)

FrankBasilicata, Calabria, pasta, primi piatti, Puglia, Sicilia42 Comments

Pasta con la mollica (Pasta with Breadcrumbs)

All over southern Italy, breadcrumbs were considered the “poor man’s cheese”. Those who couldn’t afford the luxury of the usual grated pecorino—or throwing away stale bread—would sprinkle toasted breadcrumbs over pasta and other dishes. Cucina povera in the literal sense. And yet, as it so often turns out, necessity gave … Read More

Insalata di polpo (Octopus Salad)

Frankantipasti, Campania, Liguria, Sicilia, Veneto29 Comments

Insalata di polpo (Octopus Salad)

Octopus seems to be enjoying something of a boomlet in popularity at the moment. Until very recently I could mostly find fresh octopus only at specialty Spanish or Italian fishmongers, but these days it seems to be everywhere, even making an occasional appearance at the fish counter in my local … Read More

Spaghetti al nero di seppia (Spaghetti with Squid Ink)

Frankpasta, primi piatti, Sicilia, Veneto26 Comments

Spaghetti al nero di seppia (Spaghetti with Squid Ink)

Have you ever tried squid ink? I’d venture that many of our readers, Italian food lovers that you are, haven’t, but it’s really getting to know. Squid ink has a unique “earthy” flavor, silky mouth feel and alluring jet black color that couples perfectly with pasta. I find it irresistible. … Read More

Involtini di pesce spada (Swordfish Rolls)

Franksecondi piatti, Sicilia29 Comments

Involtini di pesce spada (Swordfish Rolls)

When you think of Sicily, what do you think of? When it comes to food, I’m sure swordfish is near the top of most everyone’s list. There’s no fish is more closely associated with the island, fished there widely since ancient times in places like the Strait of Messina. The … Read More

Panelle (Sicilian Chickpea Fritters)

Frankantipasti, Sicilia, snack43 Comments

Panelle (Sicilian Chickpea Fritters)

These Sicilian chickpea fritters, known as panelle in Italian, are often associated with Sicily’s capital city Palermo, where you can buy them sandwiched inside a sesame seed bun at street-side snack bars. But if you can’t get to Palermo any time soon, no worries. Panelle are pretty easy to make at … Read More

Couscous di pesce (Fish Couscous)

Franksecondi piatti, Sicilia41 Comments

Couscous di pesce (Fish Couscous)

On my recent trip to western Sicily for a family wedding, I tasted many delicious dishes, but none was more distinctive than the couscous di pesce, also known as couscous alla trapanese after the city and province of Trapani in western Sicily where it’s from. The fact that Sicilians eat couscous is a legacy of … Read More

Spaghetti con la bottarga

Frankpasta, primi piatti, Sardegna, Sicilia, summer26 Comments

Spaghetti con la bottarga

Bottarga—cured fish roe typical of Sardinian and Sicilian cookery—is an unusual but tasty treat. It has a unique flavor that reminds me of a cross between caviar and anchovy but more delicate than either. Like a good, aged Parmesan or pecorino cheese, bottarga lends itself beautifully to grating over pasta. There … Read More