One of my greatest dreams is to be casually driving … or even better, riding a motor cycle…along a beautiful coastline of some romantic country ( in this case Sicily) and pass by some small restaurant and stop in and have the most delicious meal I’ve ever had! This dream is definitely right out of the movies, but I like to hold on to it , just in case
dreams do come true.
So after driving for several hours along the autostrade in Sicily, my friends and my husband and I pull off the road in the charming seaside resort town of Cefalù. The day was just perfect! The town was an Italian dream… an old village with narrow streets and charming shops. It reminded me of Venice sans the canals.
I knew instantly I could select any restaurant on the street and we would dine exquisitely.
Without much ado we walked into a small place and were graciously seated all by ourselves on the tiniest of balconies
overlooking a turquoise blue Mediterranean sea. It was totally glorious !
After filling ourselves with the most delicious pasta called Paccheri and a Sicilian salad of oranges and black olives, plus drinking a crisp white wine from the vineyards of Cuzumano, we sat perfectly still and drank in the beauty surrounding us.
Afterwards, we took a short stroll through the old town and peaked at some of the wonderful things for sale.
And then we were off again on our way to Alcamo and a brief stay at a vineyard. Ah, the good life…
Now you didn’t think I was going to leave you without those recipes , did you?
The recipes are simple, but all I managed to get from the waiter were the ingredients so remember, to use your judgment about quantities…and cook with a big Sicilian heart!
PASTA PACCHERI *
Tomatoes, packed whole with tomato sauce in a can
Ricotta, drain out any liquid, preferable fresh
Black olives, no pits
1. Sauté the onions in olive oil in large frying pan until soft. Add olives and continue on low flame for a few minutes.
2. Add tomatoes to the pan and cook about 10 minutes until they seem
cooked through , smashing them as they cook.
3. Add salt and pepper to taste, a little garlic powder, and a little bit of oregano. Lower the heat to simmer.
4. In the meantime, cook the Paccheri in boiling water ( with some salt and a drop of olive oil) until al dente.
5. Add the ricotta to the sauce, but don’t mix it in, leave it in pieces. Add basil too.
4. Add drained cooked pasta into the frying pan sauce and stir until all is coated with sauce.
Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.
* This shape pasta is essential for the dish. You might have to do a little searching at your favorite Italian grocer to find it. It can be ordered on the web site GUSTIAMO.COM, one of my favorite places for ordering the most wonderful Italian products!
And to go with the Paccheri,
INSALATA DI ARANCE
Oranges, peeled and cut into small pieces
Black olives,without pits, cut in half
Peperoncino ,that have been cut into small pieces, sauted, and cooled.
Mix oranges, olives and peperoncino. Add olive oil, salt and pepper and oregano to taste.
LET ME KNOW HOW THEY TASTE!
Ciao, ciao ’til next time!