The Way To My Heart

Happy Valentine’s Day! Hearts made from the same pastry as cannoli shells?! Why, yes! Now, just add ricotta mousse and fresh strawberries, and you’ve found the way to *my* heart … and seen a preview of the dessert for our Experience Sicily Valentine’s Sicilian Style dinner on Saturday night, 16 February. We’ve got one seat…

Ricotta is Right

This beautiful plate of “pasta alla Norma” was my dinner back at the beginning of June in Bagheria, Sicily my grandmother’s hometown. It is the classic Sicilian pasta dish, made with maccheroni (in this case rigatoni) with a light tomato sauce, sautéed (or fried) eggplant, grated salted ricotta, and if available, fresh basil. Please take…

Pesto Control

Local trattorias, like one of my all-time favorites, Don Ciccio in Bagheria, usually offer seasonal specials that we covet because they only appear on menus annually, when the produce is fresh from the garden. For example, this bucatini pasta appears to be dressed with a familiar basil pesto; however, basil is not the base here,…

Stirring Your Soul

I’ve taken many cooking classes in Sicily throughout my travels, and I always learn something new. But what I take home with me goes beyond the recipes that we have learned in our hands-on lessons and market tours–what I have absorbed is the sensibility of how a Sicilian cooks. First thought: What is in season?…

Norma in New York

Tonight I had an opportunity to to enjoy Norma Gastronomia Siciliana in New York City… Another of now, a few, Sicilian focused restaurants in La Grande Mela (The Big Apple). I ate spaghetti al “Rais, ” which is spaghetti alla chitarra Setara (a brand of durum wheat pasta from Naples) with fresh tuna, mint, cherry…