scorfano alla strombolana – scorpion fish with tomatoes and capers

This is what the Italians would call my piatto del cuore, a dish with sentimental value. It brings together one of my favourite fish – the ugly but delicious scorfano – and possibly my favourite place, the island of Stromboli, where this is a local delicacy. Capers are another love, and as I have mentioned before, those on Stromboli are particularly good, large and meaty. Today’s scorfano was in fact cooked using some from my Continue Reading →

due marmellate: limoni/arance amare – two marmalades: lemon/orange

This is the point where I could get all smug and tell you about limoncello and lemon marmalade produced from my own crop of lemons. Well, I could if a) I had anything that could honestly be called a “crop”, since even in a good year, we’re talking about a single tree; and b) if this were a good year, which it is not, not by a long shot, due to over-zealous pruning by a Continue Reading →

pasta con fave, ricotta e guanciale croccante – pasta with broad beans, ricotta and crispy guanciale

The original idea was to do something light, something fitting for Lent. There was ricotta and fresh broad beans in the fridge. Add a hunk of half-stale rustic bread and I was looking at the lunch of a medieval monk. But as I investigated further, I soon came across tangy, richly-flavoured pecorino, and a large piece of guanciale made by my butcher from locally-bred pigs. All dreams of sainthood up in smoke within seconds This Continue Reading →

zuppa di vongole e fagioli – bean and clam soup

First things first: this is surprisingly delicious. Surprisingly for my children, anyway, whose initial reaction was: “What on earth is that? Beans with clams? What possessed you to do such a thing?”. Within seconds, they had fallen silent, apart from the sound of soup being greedily slurped up. I rest my case; try it. This is not specifically a Sicilian dish, but both legumes and clams are harvested/caught here, so I’m appropriating it. It is Continue Reading →

pasta con tonno fresco, mandorle, capperi e pomodori – pasta with fresh tuna, almonds, capers and tomatoes

Tuna again, but no excuses. Point is, fishing it is often banned, to maintain stocks and preserve the species (at least that’s the official line). I hope it works. I for one am quite happy not to find tuna every time I want it if it means I can continue to enjoy it in the future. Ironic really, since I imagine it’s always available back in the UK (at a price), where it is not Continue Reading →

tonno lesso con salsa verde – boiled tuna with mint and parsley sauce

My journey through tuna has come full circle (yes, I have taken a journey through tuna; no, I haven’t sought psychiatric help yet). Like most of us, I first discovered this king of fish boiled and tinned, and indeed there was fat chance of getting it any other way in England at the time. But here I can get it fresh and locally caught, and have taken full advantage of the fact, having run the Continue Reading →

insalata di cedro – citron salad

It’s the citrus time of year, as heralded in by my last post. This time it’s the turn of citrons to fall under the knife, but lemons and oranges beware, you may well be next in line for the chop…. I remember the first time I saw (read: gawked at aghast in disbelief) citrons. I presumed they were lemons, albeit lemons which were possibly the result of genetic modification or a nuclear incident. At the Continue Reading →