RICOTTA!

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Putting together a menu of my personal highlights-of-highlights of Sicilian cuisine, and there is a common thread: ricotta (one of my confessed loves in life). Whether ricotta is technically even a cheese is a matter for some dinnertime debate: it is not made from milk precisely, but from the residual whey after making conventional cheeses. For a higher protein, lower fat option it is deceptively rich and luscious – one of a very few foods that mimics something healthier. 

In this menu you will eat it, three times: ricotta salata (salt-cured ricotta, an integral ingredient in the infamous pasta alla Norma), ricotta affumicata (smoked ricotta, atop the caper-breaded swordfish steaks), and sweetened ricotta (in the cannoli, arguably the finest desert in the world).

 

Rigatoni alla norma
The classic pasta of Catania, Sicily's second city. Tubular pasta and fudgy aubergine in a delicately spicy sauce, with ricotta salata
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Swordfish alla Palermitana
Swordfish cooked 'Palermo style' - coated in capers & crumbs, with smoked ricotta & raw capers from the island of Pantelleria to top. The best exception to the rule against fish & cheese.
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Rocket and Datterino tomato salad
Datterino tomatoes from Sicily's rugged southern coast, with wild rocket, a slug of oil from the nocellara olives of Belice, & proper balsamic vinegar from La Vecchia Dispensa
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Cannoli Siciliani 
This would be the Sicilian dessert if there weren't so many. Crisp tubes of marsala scented pastry, stuffed with sweetened ricotta, chocolate, candied Sicilian oranges and Bronte pistachios.

 

FOR YOUR MEAL

The detailed recipes for the dishes are below, but in essence:

  • Put a large pot of well salted water on to boil
  • Cook, serve and eat the rigatoni alla Norma
  • The swordfish will take only a few minutes to cook – so cook it after you have finished eating the pasta
  • plate the tomato salad while the fish is frying
  • Start to fry your fish, then when it’s ready, dry it, and plate it up
  • Your cannoli will only take a minute to fill, so enjoy your main and then make them last minute for ultimate crispiness – or bring the filling separately to the table for a fun DIY experience!

    ENJOY! Sicily is well known for its excellent wines, from playful, perfumed, summery whites and light, juicy reds, to wines of stunning poise and finesse. We've suggested a few to work with this feast, or have a look through our whole wine list and choose what suits your mood, pocket and occasion.

    ALLERGENS: all packs are prepared in a mixed kitchen, we cannot guarantee the absence of ANY allergen. All packs of this dish contain dairy, gluten, alliums, eggs, celery, fish, and nuts.