Arancine di Riso
While the specific origins of arancine (or arancini) aren't clear (there was no mention of this dish in literature until more recently, despite the name indicating that arancine might have Arabic roots and be far more ancient..), everyone in Sicily agrees that this is a definitively Sicilian dish. You can't pass a corner in Sicily without stumbling upon a ristorante or trattoria serving these filled, breaded, and fried balls of goodness.
There are many different varieties of arancine, but one of our favorites (and one of the heartiest) is this simple beef filled arancine with red sauce.
Eggplant Caponata Pasta
Eggplants (or aubergines as they are known in Italy and elsewhere) were introduced into Sicilian food culture in the Middle Ages, by the Arabs. Since that time, they have played an important role in the island’s cuisine.
Among the most ubiquitous and classic eggplant dishes commonly prepared by Sicilians, is eggplant caponata, a cold dish typically served as an appetizer and as a topping for bread. However, many Italians also like to top their pasta with a caponata mixture, and this is the dish we are going to share with you here.
Insalata pantesca originates from the small Sicilian island of Pantelleria, an island that sits a little over an hour Southwest from Sicily, and is known for its excellent dessert wines.
This fresh and tasty dish is simple, but so wonderfully flavorful, as long as very good seasonal and local products are used. Accompanied by a glass of white wine, this salad makes the perfect light lunch for a hot summer’s day spent on an island in the Mediterranean (or anywhere else the sun shines :))
Wine Pairing Suggestion: Feu d'o Bianco
Pasta alla Norma
Pasta alla Norma is a symbol of the city of Catania. The name comes from the opera La Norma by the author Vincenzo Bellini, a famous composer from Catania. It is said that many years ago, this simple and sublime dish of pasta with tomato sauce and fried eggplant was served to a few artists who performed in the opera at that time. Their surprise was so great that they said, “but this is Norma!” at the end of the meal, thus expressing the perfection of the dish. So, the exclamation of the artists corresponded to the admiration that the town of Catania had towards Bellini and La Norma.
For Catania’s citizens, this duo (Bellini and La Norma) represents the pinnacle of perfection!
Sicilian Seafood Stew
While this particular fish stew may not be a historically 'classic' Sicilian dish, it is one of our favorite kinds of dishes to prepare, using fresh local seafood, and served alongside a glass of Gambino Rosato!
Wine Pairing Suggestion: Tifeo Rosato