As usual, we found ourselves with a large amount of leftovers towards the end of the week. Thrift and creativity are certainly features of sicilian traditional cooking, so we made up this recipe featuring our bucatini alla caponade and extra ragu from our Arancinis. We just mixed them together, put them in a baking dish and covered them with slices of fresh mozzarella. Half an hour in a 400 degree oven made it bubbly and crispy and melded the flavors together in a tasty way.
Citrus is big in Sicily. The Mediterranean climate is perfect for it and it shows in the cuisine. Here’s an example. There are several variations but the core ingredients are orange, fennel, and red onion. We added a squeeze of lemon juice, some olive oil, olives, mint and fennel fronds and some salt and pepper and that’s it. The flavors and textures really work well together and the brightness balanced the rich pasta dish we served it with.
Caponata is definitely one of the classic Sicilian recipes. It’s traditionally served cold as an antipasti, but as we were cooking it down, we got the feeling it could work on pasta and we had a pack of bucatini we picked up at Eataly. So we did a little research and it turns out plenty of people serve it on pasta. The caponata itself is delicious; sweet and sour come together with a little bit of salty to create a wonderful combination of flavor and texture. The long tubes of bucatini really absorb the flavors, so this was a winning combination.
Here’s the caponata recipe we used.
Arancine are traditional Sicilian snacks made with risotto and stuffed with either meat or cheese. The name means “little oranges” and you can see why. We cheated a little and used leftover sushi rice because we had it and it’s sticky like risotto so it worked quite well. Although the rice itself was lacking some of the flavors that risotto has we were still happy with the overall dish, and what’s not to like? Crispy on the outside with a melty, cheesy, rich inside, arancine wins the texture game.
Here’s the recipe we borrowed from. Click through for a picture of the inside.
Summer is here and we’re feeling like light, Mediterranean is the way to go. Here’s an almost vegetarian dish (a few anchovies) that has some great flavors and is pretty filling. Pine nuts and raisins give this recipe it’s earthiness and saffron adds color and a subtle flavor. A generous amount of grated Pecorino and some fresh basil round it out. We had never cooked with Gemelli pasta before, it’s got two tubes that really hold the sauce nicely.
Here’s the recipe we followed