Friday, August 28, 2009


Marie-Laure and David left Sicily yesterday so on Wednesday evening I cooked them a Sicilian feast.

For the antipasti below I bought spiced mushrooms and grilled carciofi [artichokes] and made the filling for the cherry tomatoes. This is what you do: sit yourself down and halve some cherry tomatoes. Then scoop out pulp and seeds with a tiny spoon. Sprinkle them with seasalt and leave upside-down on kitchen paper to drain. Then rinse and dry them and fill with a mixture of bel paese cheese, basil, seasoning, lemon juice and white wine which you have whizzed up with a hand blender or in a processor.

To make these antipasti halve a melon and scoop out the seeds. Then drain some tinned grilled peppers and courgettes and arrange them on cocktail sticks as artistically as you can. "Hmmm - that looks fine but what shall I put in the middle?" I asked myself. "Olives!" I told me and that's what I did:

Antipasto of melon and Parma ham:

I bought Sicilian classico bread and pane arabo.

For a pasta course, I made herbed risotto cake. You can serve it cold or at room temperature and so spend more time with your guests.

Main courses: Involtini di maiale [these are pork rolls stuffed with pancetta and gherkins] one of my favourite recipes from Marcella Hazan's Marcella Cucina. You can prepare the involtini a few hours ahead and refrigerate them. Then all you have to do is roll them in flour, slosh in the wine and tomatoes and cook. [Marcella says simmer for 30 mins but I find it does no harm if you leave it on a low flame for an hour.]

Grilled chicken scaloppine with Parma ham and sage leaves. So quick and simple!

Then I served fresh fruit

followed by strawberry tiramisù. There have been no strawberries about since the beginning of July and when I went shopping on Wednesday morning I thought I'd have to turn it into a peach tiramisù. However, the Cooking Fates were on my side for lo and behold, in the supermarket there were strawberries!

We're not finished yet, though, for my guests had espied this delicious semifreddo in one of Modica's many dolcerie:

Finally I served a selection of my home-made liqueurs and, instead of hot coffee, offered these [chilled] which Marie-Laure and David agreed are a brilliant invention:

Give my love to Wales, Marie-Laure and David!


Mary said...

I think I'll come for dinner. It'll take me a couple of days to reach you but the journey will be worth it. See you on Monday.

Minnie said...

What a feast, Welshcakes! You did your friends proud - and one would expect no less, of course. Here's to the next 'retrouvailles' :-)!

Trubes said...

Wow Welshcakes, The feast looks amazing, so colourful.
I rather fancy having a go at the pork dish.
Your friends are lucky, to have such a kind friend in you, and of course, darling Simi.
I'm just going to look in my Cucina Del Sole Cookbook to see if there are similar recipes to match your feast.
I daren't buy another cookbook, DT would have a fit. The bookcases are 'heaving' as it is!
I should really have a clearout but I just can't bear to part with my books.
I've written a new yarn on my site, which, I think you may enjoy.
Particularly, as one of your friend's husband likes to converse with you in Beatles lyrics!



Whispering Walls said...

Ah...the strawberry tiramisu...Those stuffed cherry tomatoes look good

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Mary. I'll go and get the shopping in, then! Bonjour, Phidelm. Yes, aux prochaines retrouvailles. Hi, Trubes. I'm sure there must be involtini recipes in the Cucina del Sole. I'm the same - I can't part with books. Over to your site shortly. Hi, WW. Yes, the strawberry tiramisu has become a standby. Everybody seems to like the stuffed tomatoes.

CherryPie said...

I am surprised they wanted to leave after being treated to that delicious looking fair :-)

Gledwood said...

I like that square table piece ... it looks like a realy posh version of an aeroplane food container ...

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks, Cherie. They are home now. Hi, Gleds. Now that you come to mention it, it does!

Lucia said...

Yummy! A truly delicious post! Pocket espressos are what me and my boss need to cope with the people at work!!!


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