Formaggio - Summer in Sicily
I can't afford to travel much this summer, so taking classes about food from different parts of the world helps sate my adventurous spirit for a while. Last night, I learned all about Sicilian food, which was pretty neat. It's a huge mix of influences, as the island of Sicily has been owned by so many different cultures over the years.
We began with a sparkling wine, 2010 Murgo Brut Spumante, and a little appetizer, Olive Nere al Rosmarino e Scorzetta di Arancia, which translates to oil-cured olives with rosemary, peperoncino, and orange peel. Served next was the Antipasto di Peperoncini Ripeni e Fagiolo con Purea di Finocchi Saltati, which was an appetizer plate with cherry peppers stuffed with tuna and capers and cannellini bean purée with sautéed fennel. The purée was excellent, nice and creamy.
Up next was the pasta course, with Pasta alla Olive Verde, a pasta made with green olive, garlic, and lemon. 2013 Etna Bianco, a white wine created at the base of Mount Etna, Sicily, was served with the pasta. It was an amazing wine, nice and fresh, one I would definitely like to have again.
On to the main course- Calamari Affucati e Couscous con Brodo di Fruitti di Mare, also known as braised calamari with couscous made with seafood stock. I'm not generally going to order calamari if I go out, since it's not my favorite and it's usually cooked to the point of being rubbery, but it looks like braising may be the secret to making tasty calamari. It was good, and went well with the lentil salad with mint and orange zest (Insalata di Lenticchie con Menta e Scorzetta di Arancia) and the wine, 2010 Azienda Agricola Cos Cerasuolo di Vittoria.
The last course may have been the best of the whole night, though! I learned that cannolis, which most people presume are generally "Italian", actually come specifically from Sicily. I had a wonderful Cannoli di Albiccoca Secca paired with Mandorlino Fatto en Casa, a homemade boozy drink that was perfect with the cannoli.