tonno al forno con capperi e pomodori – baked tuna with tomatoes and capers

This is a typical way of cooking tuna on the island of Favignana, off Sicily’s west coast. We find the classic island supporting act (the combination of capers, olives, tomatoes and oregano) alongside the omnipresent west coast breadcrumb coating. Breadcrumbs are of course popular everywhere in Sicily, but in western Sicily are often found as a topping, whereas in the eastern part of the island they are used more often as a stuffing, or to Continue Reading →

alalunga fritta con salmoriglio alla menta – fried albacore with lemon and mint dressing

I have been accused by some ­­– well, practically everybody who has had the dubious pleasure of food shopping in my company – of striking the fear of God into market traders. I have been told that they look on anxiously as I prod, sniff and scrutinise their produce, like the lead-up to one of those “The man from del Monte says ‘yes’” moments. Except of course that I don’t always say yes. And apparently Continue Reading →

pasta al ragù di tonno – pasta with tuna ragù

Yes, tuna again, and brace yourselves, because there’s more lined up. This is tuna season, so what do you expect? And as you’ve probably realised by now, I just can’t get enough of the stuff… Today’s recipe is from Trapani, where they sometimes also add peas, which strikes me as a rare Sicilian ingredient slip-up. I personally love peas, but they are at their best when in similarly green company: simply dressed with butter and Continue Reading →

la calma prima della tempesta – the calm before the storm

Christmas Eve is the prelude to the chaos of Christmas Day, and so I try and keep things simple. No meat today according to Catholic tradition, and any tradition, Catholic or otherwise, that gives me an excuse to eat oysters and smoked salmon is fine by me. Of course, the original idea was that by way of penance one would not eat meat. Popping down to the fishmonger’s and hauling home a bag crammed full Continue Reading →

spaghetti con mosciame – spaghetti with dry-cured tuna

No, before you ask, I am not a paid-up employee of the Tuna Marketing Board. Yes, I know, I posted a tuna recipe only last week, but that’s just a coincidence. Admittedly, with my love for tuna, let’s just say it was a coincidence waiting to happen. However, fishy coincidences aside, I’m sure you’re all wondering just what mosciame is. Quite a few Sicilians from this side of the island don’t know either, so you’re Continue Reading →

fresh tuna salad – insalata di tonno fresco

What I really needed yesterday evening was a steaming, hot beef stew. But of course, that would have meant, amongst other things, planning slightly ahead, at least slightly enough ahead to slip to the butcher’s in the morning and stock up on stewing steak. Before you ask why, having missed my morning window of opportunity, I didn’t just buy some meat in the afternoon, I should tell you that butchers here only open in the Continue Reading →