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FOOD PAIRING - NERELLO CAPPUCCIO

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In Sicily, when you eat pasta, it is almost always dried pasta made from durum wheat. The richer, egg-based fresh pastas typical of Northern Italy are rarely seen in Sicily. Hard durum wheat gives pasta firm texture that remains even through the cooking process giving your dishes a desirable al dente bite with fresh-bread flavor.
Sicily was introduced to the technique of drying pasta by Arabs. According to historians, the Arabs adapted noodles for long journeys and they introduced it to Sicilians during their conquest of Sicily in the late 7th century.

INGREDIENTS

*Organic ingredients recommended

  • 28 oz (1 can) peeled tomatoes
  • ½ cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • ½ cup vegetable broth or water
  • 1 lb bucatini pasta (or whole-wheat linguine)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt & pepper
  • ½ cup grated caciocavallo or pecorino cheese

PREPARATIONS

  1. Cut the tomatoes in half and remove the excess seeds.
  2. Coarsely chop the tomatoes; set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  4. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
  5. Add the tomatoes and the cauliflower; stir to combine.
  6. Add the broth or water and bring to a simmer; reduce the heat to medium.
  7. Cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender but not mushy.
  8. In the meantime, cook the bucatini in boiling salted water until al dente.
  9. Drain the bucatini and add it to the skillet with the cauliflower.
  10. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper.
  11. Cook the pasta in the sauce for 1 minute.
  12. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and sprinkle with some of the grated cheese. Pass the remaining cheese for additional self-service.
  13. Enjoy!

The defining taste of this pepper salad dish recipe is the bold addition of vinegar and sugar that give it the pop of sweet and sour that’s so common in Sicilian cooking. Serve with a mixed green salad and sautéed tofu for a modern twist.

INGREDIENTS

*Organic ingredients recommended

  • 3 tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 medium red bell peppers, sliced ¾ inch thick
  • 5 Italian frying peppers, Cubanelles, or banana peppers, sliced ¾ inch thick
  • 4 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp dry white wine or water
  • ⅓ cup white-wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup currants
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

PREPARATIONS

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add peppers; cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and wine (or water); cook, stirring occasionally, until almost tender, 3 to 5 minutes more.
  4. Add vinegar, sugar, and salt; cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Gently stir in currants and pine nuts.
  7. Sprinkle in parsley just before serving.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Sicily’s savory cuisine is considered among the healthiest in Italy with a huge emphasis on seafood, particularly tuna and swordfish, and fresh vegetables and fruits like tomatoes, olives, citrus, capers, beans, and artichokes. Pulling in several of those flavors, Sicilian-style Grilled Tuna Steak recipe below!

INGREDIENTS

*Organic ingredients recommended

  • 4 tuna steaks, about 6 ounces each and 1-inch thick (swordfish makes a great substitute if you prefer)
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil for brushing
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup diced fresh tomatoes
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • ⅔ cup sliced firm Sicilian-style green olives
  • ¼ cup Sicilian-style capers, drained
  • 1 ½ tbsp fresh lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

PREPARATIONS

  1. Brush the tuna with some oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper.
  2. Heat the grill and brush the cooking grates with oil.
  3. Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat and cook the garlic for a minute.
  4. Add the tomatoes and cook for another couple of minutes.
  5. Add the wine and bring to a rapid boil for two minutes.
  6. Add all remaining ingredients except for the parsley and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.
  7. Stir in parsley and remove from heat.
  8. Sear the tuna steaks over high, direct heat for 1-2 minutes on each side. (For the best texture and to prevent becoming dried out, tuna should be rare to medium rare on the inside)
  9. Serve the tuna steaks immediately topped with the sauce and enjoy!

The Sicilian beef roll or “brociolone” is an extraordinary dish that Sicilians prepare for important occasions. Also called in Sicilian “falsu magru” meaning “false slim.” The name is likely related to the fact that the beef roll looks quite light from the outside. But when cut into slices you can see all of the delicious layers and that illusion disappears. The special thing about this recipe is that every Sicilian family puts a different stuffing inside as the recipes have evolved over the years. The recipe below is a local favorite.

INGREDIENTS

*Organic ingredients recommended

  • 1½ tsp Oregano
  • 1 medium-sized carrot, minced
  • 2 cups tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (or more)
  • 8 slices veal
  • ¼ cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • White pepper, to taste
  • 2 large eggs, hard boiled, chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp parsley, minced
  • 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt, to taste
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 celery stalk, minced
  • 1 tbsp Romano cheese, grated

PREPARATIONS

Tomato Sauce:

  1. Heat the oil in a pan.
  2. Add carrot, onion, celery, & garlic.
  3. Cook for 8 minutes over moderately low heat.
  4. Add herbs, tomatoes, salt & pepper.
  5. Simmer for an hour or more.

Stuffing:

  1. Combine ingredients and blend with your hands.

Assembly:

  1. Pound  the veal slices thin and divide the stuffing among them.
  2. Roll up the veal around the stuffing and secure with a toothpick.
  3. Heat the oil, then brown the veal rolls, pouring off the fat.  
  4. Add the sauce and simmer the veal rolls, covered, for 1 hour or until just tender when pierced with a knife.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

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