All Things Molto Deliziosa

One of the many things that makes Sicily so wonderful is the food.  Much of Sicily is agricultural and so the food you are eating was likely on the tree or in the water or picked from the ground yesterday!  On our 2010 trip to Sicily, we couchsurfed most of the time and were lucky enough to stay with Marilena and her mother Giovanna.  Marilena's brothers own and operate a farm and we visited them on their farm.  We spent a wonderful afternoon in their orchards.  We picked fruit that we had picked off trees in British Columbia as well - plums, peaches.  But we also picked oranges.  Picking an orange off a tree and eating it!  For my north-of-the-49th-parallel taste buds this was an amazing treat.  And mulberries!  Of course I had heard of mulberries but I had never seen, much less eaten a mulberry!  I had no idea of the sweetness of these berries - and I certainly didn't expect to see the stains they left on my hands.
Picking almonds

My Favourite Cookbook

When Nick and I first started dating, I went out and bought the standard for Italian cookbooks - Silver Spoon.  Silver Spoon is undoubtedly a great cookbook, but I found that recipes that I wanted to try were often complicated or had ingredients that we couldn't find in the small town in which we live.  One day, while poking through a pile of cookbooks at a second hand book sale I found Italian Cooking: A Treasury of Italian Dishes for Every Occasion.  I picked it up for a dollar and brought it home to browse through the recipes.  What I found truly was a treasury of recipes - and simpler ones with ingredients carried at our local grocery story.  I have found a number of recipes that have been hits at home both with Nick and my daughter.  

Spaghetti All'aglio

Tonight I played around with a couple of recipes from Italian Cooking.  For dinner, I made spaghetti all'aglio (spaghetti with garlic sauce).
Spaghetti all'aglio


  • about 1 pound of spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine
  • 4 heaping tablespoons of minced garlic (more or less to your taste)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon of dried basil and same again of dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • grated parmesan
  1. Put spaghetti into a large pot of boiling salted water and cook until al dente (a little firm).
  2. While the spaghetti is cooking, heat oil on medium heat in a frying pan.
  3. Add garlic and parsley and keep stirring while it cooks to avoid burning.
  4. As soon as the garlic and parsley are cooked, add the basil and oregano, continuing to stir
  5. Add butter and stir just long enough for the butter to melt then remove pan from heat.
  6. Drain pasta and replace into the pot.  Pour the oil/garlic mixture over the pasta.
  7. Add salt and pepper and parmesan to taste and then stir together until the parmesan is completely mixed in.
  8. Serve right away while it is still hot.  Place the parmesan on the table so each guest can add more if they wish.
This made about 4 servings.

Mele Fredde al Barolo

For desert, I made mele fredde al barolo (apples in red wine).

Mele fredde al barolo

  • 4 apples, pared and quartered
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • sprig of fresh mint

  1. In a saucepan, bring the wine and the sugar to a slow boil.
  2. Add apples, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, remove apples and place in a serving dish.
  4. Continue to simmer the wine/sugar mixture until it is about 1/2 the volume and is syrupy.
  5. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  6. Pour syrup over apples.
  7. Place fresh mint on top
  8. You can serve this, warm or cold, with cream, whipped cream, or ice cream or just eat as is.  

Mele fredde al barole served with cream - sadly, I forgot the mint!
This makes about 4 servings.

A New Cookbook

We picked up a Sicilian cookbook - Sicilian Cookery: The best recipes of the regional cookery.  It certainly has some wonderful recipes.  Last night I tried Insalata Fantasia di Arance or Orange Salad.  It is very simple.  

Insalata Fantasia di Arance


  • 4 large oranges
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/3 red onion
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • Sicilian olives
  • olive oil

I used 4 large navel oranges but you can use any kind of orange.  I think a mixture of blood oranges with navel oranges would be nice.  

  1. Peeled the oranges and 1/2 lemon and cut them into large chunks and placed them in a bowl.  
  2. Dice the onion and olives and add to the bowl. 
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Pour olive oil to taste over the ingredients - at least 3-4 tablespoons.
  5. Let sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes to allow the orange juice and oil to mix.

The citrus flavour mixed with the olive oil made for a wonderful first dish.

Pasta con Zucchine Fritte

This is my version of Spaghetti with Fried Zucchini

  • Enough spaghetti for 2 people
  • 2 smallish zucchini
  • minced garlic to taste - I used 2 teaspoons
  • grated parmesan to taste
  • sea salt to taste (I use Sicilian sea salt - nice light saltiness)
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  • capers to taste (optional)

  1. Slice zucchini thinly
  2. Heat oil in pan
  3. Stir in minced garlic
  4. Add zucchini, pinch of salt and capers if wanted and fry 
  5. Remove from heat when zucchini has a nice toasty colour
  6. Boil spaghetti al dente while zucchini are frying and arrange in the serving bowl
  7. Pour zucchini with garlic oil over the pasta, and toss
  8. Add pepper and grated parmesan

Apparently this is a summer dish but I like it any time.

Arrosto di Maiale al Limone

This is now officially my favourite Sicilian dish - even though I made some adjustments to it.  In English, it is Lemon-flavoured Pork.

  • Pork chops or pork steaks, enough for two people
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 lbs of new potatoes
  • olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of orange marmalade/chop or steak
  • Minced garlic to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • White flour
  • Sea salt
  • 1 cup of water

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Slice the potatoes thinly
  3. Coat pork with flour
  4. Heat the oil with the herbs and garlic in the roasting pan 
  5. Place pork in pan and sear
  6. Put one teaspoon of marmalade on each chop or steak
  7. Add potatoes and salt
  8. Pour lemon juice over the potatoes and pork
  9. Roast for 30 minutes
  10. Add water and roast for another 30 minutes

I am not great at "plating" foods but trust me, this tastes so much better than it looks!


  1. Now this looks frikken delicious. I'd add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper and it'd be all set.

    Question: have you come across very spicy food in Italy?

    1. No. We came across a lot of things that people told us were hot, but for us, nothing was much more than a hint above mild.


What do you think? Polite comments always welcome!