Monday, September 28, 2009


A few weeks ago I contacted Katia of the loveSicily website and blog to ask her if I could visit her Cookery School in Modica Bassa with a view to writing an article about it for this blog. Imagine my delight when Katia not only agreed to my suggestion, but invited me to participate in one of her courses, starting later today [Monday].

Tonight I attended Katia, Ronald and Angelo's "welcome dinner" for the course participants and this is the lovely food that Katia served:

Such a simple, yet elegant and pleasing starter - ricotta flavoured with lemon:

The three stages of caciocavallo ragusano cheese - fresh, semi-matured and matured [stagionato] served with tomato, carrot and chilli sauces. Katia advised us to save the chilli sauce for the strong, stagionato cheese [centre]:

There was good local bread:

Pasta alla Norma: Katia buys these special gladiatori pasta shapes from the Pastifico Tiziano Viva in Pozzallo:

I'm in full agreement with Katia when she says you have to have cannoli when in Sicily! She buys the cannoli pastry tubes from Modica's Bonajuto for, as she explained, "When someone does something better than you do, you should show humility and buy it". First she brought in the plate with the cannoli tubes, ground pistacchi and piping bag of ricotta flavoured with ground chocolate chips and icing sugar [made by grinding ordinary sugar]:

Next, she filled the tubes with the ricotta mixture at each end:

Finally, she dipped the ends into the pistacchi:

All I could say was, "WOW!"

Katia told us that Italy's health and safety police have turned their attention to cannoli. [Perhaps they get to taste some while they inspect pastry-making premises?] Pastry-makers traditionally used a kind of bamboo to form the pastry around and, as bamboo is porous, the cannoli cooked perfectly, inside and out. The stainless steel cannoli tubes that they are supposed to use now do not produce the same result and the pastry-makers are frustrated. Is nowhere safe from these silly rules?

Thank you for your warm hospitality and for a superb dinner, Katia, Ronald and Angelo. See you later this morning!


James Higham said...

Seventh heaven, Welshcakes.

jams o donnell said...

More deliciousness. They look such simple dishes too

sally in norfolk said...

sounds like a fantastic offer to me ...sure you will enjoy every second of it ...... the welcome dinner was a great start too :-)

Minnie said...

One good cook can always recognise another ... obviously! What a treat, Pat - and couldn't have been aimed at a more appreciative (and knowledgeable) audience. Super scoff! Always interesting, too, to learn more about regional cuisine.
As a forlorn fan - proscribed by budget and doctor! - of cannoli (feature of patisseries in Vieux Nice, given residual influence of original patrie), am aghast to hear of encroachment of the dire H&S culture that has destroyed so much in the UK. How dispiriting for all concerned.
Still, bet you get invited back to this wonderful cookery school regularly from now on; look forward to hearing more.

CherryPie said...

What a wonderful opportunity :-)

jmb said...

Lucky you Welshcakes. Enjoy the course as much as I am sure you enjoyed this dinner.

Gledwood said...

That cheese and bread thing looks really good. I've been eating hot-n-crispy ready-to-bake half-done dough for breakfast with slabs of cold butter inside... Which is very nice indeed ...

PS if you want you can see the 2 most classic clips from Floyd on France chez moi ~ 2 dragon ladies one from Provence, the other from Pays Basque ~ both telling him he can't cook!!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Fantastic Pat, such a welcomeing dinner to start. ..a perfect opportunity for you..happy cooking!

James Higham said...

Ricotta and lemon in such a large bowl - eat it all up.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Oh, it was, James! Hi, jams. A delicious, light menu. Hi, Sally. Yes, I think so, too! I'm loving it. Hi, Phidelm. You are very kind. I'm having a great time there, as you can imagine. Yes, it is depressing to learn that the H&S are threatening our cannoli now but if anyone can find a way round this, the Sicilians will! Hi, Cherie and Anne. Yes, I am very lucky and really enjoying myself. I was a good girl and I did, James!

Peter @ italyMONDO! said...

Now that's a real cannolo siciliano!! Brava, welshcakes :-)


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