I just came back from an hiking trip on the eastern side of Sicily that included Catania, Siracusa, Val di Noto, Ragusa, to name just a few of the gorgeous places I visited. Inspired by my travels and the wonderful food I sampled along the way I came back to the farm (ExperiencePlus! headquarters in Italy) and wanted to share a few of the tantalizing flavors I was introduced to with my colleagues. Everyone agreed that a Sicilian lunch was an excellent idea and loved it so much we thought we’d share it with all of you.
Spaghetti alla chitarra con pesto di sedano e pistacchi – Celery Pistachio Pesto
- 320/400 grams spaghetti alla chitarra or a thicker type of spaghetti or bucatini. Tip: In Italy the rule of thumb is 80/100 gr of pasta per person.
- 1 organic heart of white celery (if you can’t find white celery you can substitute with green).
- 60 grams unsalted pistachios- set aside some for topping
- fresh basil
- juice and skin of 1 organic lemon
- extra virgin olive oil ( cold pressed) – at the farm we are fortunate to have a supply produced by tour leader, Yorgos Paraskevopoulos
- salt and black pepper to taste
Cook the spaghetti in boiling, salted water.
To prepare the pesto:
Wash the celery and cut into small pieces and blend it with the basil leaves, pistachios, the juice of half a lemon and a bit of its skin, a little bit of salt and pepper. Add some extra virgin olive oil to make a creamy sauce. If necessary, add a bit of the water you are using to cook the pasta.
Drain the spaghetti, in Italy we prefer it AL DENTE!
Dress the spaghetti with the pesto and some cooking water, if necessary.
Add a bit of black pepper, and some grounded pistachio on top. In Sicily they use to decorate this dish with toasted bread crumbs. It gives a very particular taste to the plate!
Insalata di finocchi e arance – Fennel and Orange Salad
2 organic oranges
Some black olives ( I use a type called: Olive taggiasche)
Clean and cut thin slices of fennel (use some of the green section as well as it introduces a unique flavor to the salad)
Peel and slice the oranges
Mix fennel, orange, olives, anchovies in a bowl and dress it with little salt and extra virgin olive oil.
Fichi d’India – Prickly Pear Fruit
It’s an unusual fruit, and so tasty! We enjoyed three different types different in color and taste.
Learn more about Fichi d’India.
Not sure how many grams are in an ounce. Here’s a handy cooking ingredient conversion chart.