Foodie flashbacks came flooding back from my first trip to Sicily as I flicked through Flavours of Sicily by Ursula Ferrigno. I first visited Catania to take a cooking class to learn about Sicilian food with Celebrity Cruises. Catania’s famous pescheria and food market was our starting point. The bustling, colourful and chaotic market is a must-do if you find yourself in Catania. Believe me, you’ll never forget it!
An authentic Sicilian kitchen was our next stop where we learned how to cook some classic Sicilian dishes. We discovered techniques passed down from generation to generation, cooking tips and Sicilian family anecdotes. When we got to eat the food I could taste the Sicilian sun in every mouthful. The people of this small island really put heart and soul into their food and Ursula Ferrigno continues the tradition in her book Flavours of Sicily.
Flavours of Sicily Cookbook
Flavours of Sicily will immerse you into the tastes, cooking customs and rich history of Sicilian cuisine. Recipes for classic Sicilian favourites like Arancini – little stuffed rice balls, coated with bread crumbs and deep-fried. Filled with ragù, mozzarella, and peas they make a delicious little snack. Arancini translates as ‘little orange’ – which is exactly what they look like.
Vibrant salads and light fresh soups are perfect for summer. These pair beautifully as a starter with braised lemon chicken or pasta with almond and tomato pesto. There are heartier dishes too; pan-fried spring lamb with herbs and anchovy sauce – just right for cooler weather.
Sicilians have a notorious sweet tooth and the dessert section of the book is to die for. Cannoli are a Sicilian staple. Crisp tubes of fried pastry dough filled with dreamy sweetened ricotta. Not sure that I’ll ever taste one as good as the first one I ever had in a Catania cafe!
The Flavours of Sicily cookbook has six sections; appetizers, salads and stuffed vegetables, soups and pasta, meat and fish, breads and finally desserts. The recipes have measurements in both UK and US weights and measures.
Each chapter has a feature so you get to learn a little about the country and it’s food traditions. Facciamoci un aperitivo is one of my favourite Italian traditions where friends and family get together for pre-dinner drinks. Small bites to eat, like arancini, are usually involved too. Other features include the wines of Sicily, The Sicilian citrus groves and my favourite – gelato!
Mouthwatering photography, by David Munns, includes pictures of ingredients and beautifully styled final dishes. Sicilian villages, fishing ports and markets, which capture the beauty of the island and the Sicilian relationship with food, are also featured. A feast for the eyes as well as the tastebuds!