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Dec 2011 Issue 9f

                   Festive  Holiday Sicilian Cuisine                                                              

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Italian Wines

Sicilian Food Terms

  • antipasta - antipastu

  • salad - insalata

  • salami type cured meat

  • Italian ham - prosciuttu

  • salami (sah-LAH-meeh)

  • soup - zuppa  (TSOOH-pah)

  • vegetable soup - minestroni

  • vegetables -  verduri 

  • eggplant  - miringiani

  • mushrooms
      fungi (FOOHN-jeeh)

  • asparagus - asparagi

  • broccoli - broccoli

  • artichokes - caccociuli

  • funnel - finocchiu

  • onion - cipudda

  • olives - olivi (oh-LEEH-veeh)

  • potatoes - patati

  • cheese - formaggiu

  • meat - carni (KAHR-neeh)

  • turkey - tacchinu

  • meatballs - pulpetti 

  • fish pisci (PEEH-sheeh)

  • oil - oliu (OHL-vooh)

  • bread - pani (PAH-neeh)

  • bread roll - paninu

  • salt - sali (SAH-leeh)

  • pepper - pipi

  • sugar  - zuccheru

  • Fruits - Frutta

  • oranges- aranci

  • apple - pummu

  • figs - fichi

  • grape - racina

  • fruit salad - macedonia
    ( mah-cheh-DAW-neeh-ah)

  • Sweets - Duci

  • ice cream - gelatu 

  • cannoli - cannulu

  • Drinks - Bivanni

  • Coffee- caffè

  • Wine - Vinu (VEEH-nooh)

Cucino Italiana
Dessert Recipes

Gelutu Flavors

History of Gelutu

Caffe Menu

Dining in Italy

Italian Liqueurs

Aperitif (Apertivo) 
 Digestif (Digestivo)

A liqueur is a sweet alcoholic beverage, often flavored with fruits, herbs, spices, flowers, seeds,
roots, plants, barks, and sometimes cream. The word liqueur comes from the Latin word liquifacere
which means "to dissolve." This refers to the dissolving of the flavorings used to make the liqueur.
Liqueurs are not usually aged for long periods, but may have resting periods during their production
to allow flavors to marry.  There are many categories of liqueurs including: fruit liqueur, cream
liqueur, coffee liqueur, chocolate liqueur, schnapps liqueur, brandy liqueur, anise liqueur,
nut-flavoured liqueur, and herbal liqueur.  At 15-30%, most liqueurs have a lower alcohol content
than spirits, but some liqueurs have an alcohol content as high as 55%. Dessert wine, on the other
hand, may taste like a liqueur, but contains no additional flavoring...continue Popular Liquora

           List of Major
 Italian Liquors & Liqueurs

Very popular in Italy

   Romana Sambuca
 Italy Liqueur Classico

 Flaming Sambuca

Sambuca Coffee Frappe

Back Issues:


   “La Nostra Cucina”  Our Cooking

Recipes for the lovers of Sicilian cooking
 traditions and culture.
The reputation of the Sicilians in the art of preparing and cooking food is unquestionable. The family was and is the most important nucleus in the Sicilian society.
Christmas at Grandma's House  

Christmas Eve Dinner (La Vigilia) 

The Feast of the Seven Fishes (festa dei sette pesci)

This celebration is in commemoration of the wait,
for the midnight birth of the
 baby Jesus. during  which no meat should be served. 
Photos Photos!

Traditional Fish (PEEH-sheeh)

Baccala A staple at any Christmas Eve dinner, it's a dried cod 
Calamari squid, boiled
Shrimp shellfish, boiled
Clams shellfish, steamed till they open
Crab shellfish, boiled
Whitefish flounder or other type, bake in oven
Mussels/Oysters shellfish, steam until they open

        Mario Batali's             Feast of
the Seven Fishes



Sicilian Traditional Christmas Desserts

There is no word for desserts. Sicilians top off their meal with fruit or, on special occasions
duce (DOOH-cheeh) sweets
Sicilian desserts are made for special occasions or to celebrate a religious feast. All pastries, cakes and cookies are associated with traditions going back a long time ago with links to superstitions, folklore.

Sicily Pistacchio Nut Italian Capital

Bronte Sicily
the Italian capital of the pistachio
is the only Italian region which produces the pistachio (Pistacia vera) and the town of Etna with over three thousand hectares of specialized production, it expresses the main growing area
 (more than 80% of the surface region).
 A wealth of almost 20 million euros, which represents just over
 1% of the world's pistacchio

                     Torta di Pistacchio  
Torta di Pistacchio, a very light torte made with pistachio nuts and eggs. It’s traditionally served with Rosolio, a homemade cordial
Duci cu  i pistacchi (DOOH-cheeh-kooh-eeh-peeh-STAH-keeh)
Cookies bakes with pistacchio and sweetened almonds
                             Photos Photos!
                          Cassated di Fritti o ‘Nfurnati

These delicious ricotta cream turnovers made with bread dough and stuffed with ricotta, honey and spicesPhotos Photo!

  Cannoli Siciliani

Cannoli means "Little Tube" 
Video Recipe  
Cannoli originated in Palermo Sicily  and are an essential part of Sicilian cuisine. They are also popular in Italian American cuisine and in America are known as a general
 Italian pastry. Cannoli consist of tube-shaped shells of fried pastry dough, filled with a sweet, creamy filling usually containing ricotta cheese and chopped succade. They range in size from "cannulicchi", no bigger than a finger, to the fist-sized proportions typically found in Piana degli Albanesi, south of Palermo, Cannoli can be bought in an
  Italian Pasticceria                 Photos Photos!

Cucina Italiano

 Siciliana Cassata Cake
The word Cassata derives from the Latin Caseus, which means cheese.  In other words, Cassata is one of the world's first cheesecakes. It comes as no surprise that there are a great many variations throughout Sicily; this particular recipe is from Trapani.
About -
Photos Photos!




Italian Fig Cookies 

Chocolate Cookies

Photos  Photos!

At Christmas the Mustaccioli are prepared with "Vino Cotto”
and flour, shaped in finger size sticks and baked enjoyed with a Sicilian dessert wine.
Photos Photos!

Vino Cotto di Montillo is an authentic, naturally sweet "cooked wine" syrup that contains no alcohol. Its delicious, refined flavor tastes like figs, although it's made entirely of premium wine grapes. Traditional vino cotto contains no vinegar or alcohol, making it quite a versatile condiment and ingredient. It is typically made by individuals for their own use .  

Zeppoli Fried Dough Pastry
Photos Photos! 

                            Ricotta Torte  
Baked Sicilian Ricotta cake

Photos Photos!



              Panettone  "Fruitcake Italian Style"

                                                          Italian Christmas Bread

             Photos Photos!




              Photos Photos! 


   Only in Italy!

These little fried cookies are served all over southern Italy at Christmas time.  There is a wonderful story associated with them that shows just how irresistible they are … A Neapolitan woman left a large dish of homemade Struffoli on the back seat of her car. She was so busy with her Christmas shopping that she forgot to lock the door and a man stole them. He was caught and duly appeared in court charged with theft. Since he had been caught red-handed, things did not look good. But when the judge learned what he had stolen the culprit was absolved since “no one could resist such a prize”. The woman was admonished in future to hide her goodies 
 and lock her car. This is a true story!

 Cenci Fritti   Fried Fritters

Many people celebrate Befanas arrival with the first batch of a traditional pastry known by a variety of names, including
Cenci (rags) 

           Photos  Photos!




Befana Cake Ingredients

                                Photos Photos!



Befana Cake (video)

Photos Photos!  

Types of Italian Cheese

Photos Photos!


Photos Photos!

Italian Garlic Bread Recipe

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Merry Christmas      Happy New Year
Boun Natale         Anno Nuovo Felice 

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Zabaglione  (zah-bahl-YOH-ney) 
The French know it as as sabayon.)

Is an Italian dessert made with egg yolks, sugar, a sweet wine usually Marsala wine. Marsala is a world-famous liqueur wine; it is produced in Trapani.  Marsala is a meditation wine that can also be drunk with herbal cheeses, typical Sicilian deserts such as cassata, cannoli and the fruits of Martorana. It should be served in small glasses at
 a temperature varying between 12 and 14°C.
(Wine info) 
 In 1798 the Sicilians managed to substitute their own wines in place of the standard rum in an English naval shipment. In those seafaring days, something had to be done to wine to allow it to last the long ocean journeys. Brandy was added to allow the wine to last longer, and to be more resistant to temperature changes. These were called "fortified wines".        
Photos Photos!

Italian Holiday Meals
 Photos Photos!
Italian Sicilian/American Christmas Dinner

Antipasta Freddi (Cold Appetizers)
Assorted Italian Cheeses
Assorted Olives
Assorted Sliced Vegetables
Seafood Cocktail Salad

Antipasta Caldi (Hot Appetizers)
Stuffed Artichokes
Stuffed Mushrooms
Primi Piatti (First Course)

Manicotti or Stuffed Shells or Baked Ziti or Lasagna, maybe
 even Ravioli
Always served with Meatballs, Sausage, Braciole

Secondi Piatti (Second or Main Course)
Ham, stuffed artichokes, yams, potatoes, other Italian vegetables, perhaps mashed potatoes even, and of course an Italian salad
Dolce (Desserts)
Pastries from
local Italian bakeries or homemade.
Roasted Nuts, chestnuts

Beverages & Drinks
Soda: Any variety,
of a regional soda that came in such favorites as black cherry, grape and orange.  And of course, for the "adults" lemon lime, ginger ale and club soda for "highballs" or cocktails as we call them today.  These bottles had a deposit, and you had to pry off the top cap,  delivered weekly like the milk in those days. 
Rosè and/or Red Wine by the Jug (I never recall seeing white wine, though I am sure the had it on hand), nothing fancy, whatever was cheapest, the wine would never take precedence
over the food for any reason!  Of course, there was also a small amount of homemade wine on hand.

Sicilian Appetizers
The Sicilian cuisine has no tradition of antipasto.  It was an accomplishment when the majority of the people could get three meals a day!.. And in those days there were no problems of cholesterol or overweight...In the late 50s’, when the economy “boom” improved the social conditions in Italy, l’antipasto became part of all formal dinners and was not limited to...continue

Antipasto Salad
green beans, halved
 Italian salami, minced
 red pepper, 
 marinated artichokes
 garbanzo beans 
 Lupini beans,

           Antipasta Freddi - Cold Appetizers
              Difference Between Bruschetta and Crostini 
Both wildly popular, easy to make Italian appetizers of toasted bread with toppings.  

             Photos Photos!     Crostini     Bruschetta  

Crostini, "little toasts" 

Crostini, "little toasts," are thinner, smaller slices of bread (usually from a baguette) that are always toasted then piled with various toppings, such as vegetables, savory spreads, and cheeses
Crostini are made by thinly slicing bread, typically plain 
white bread, and toasting or grilling so that it becomes crispy. The crostini may be drizzled with olive oil and salt and served plain, or they may be dressed with an assortment of toppings and used as appetizers or garnishes.  

Brushcetta, from the Italian "bruscare,"
which means "to roast over coals," refers to
 the bread, not the toppings. Rather large
 slices of bread are grilled, rubbed with garlic, then drizzled with olive oil. They are usually topped with tomatoes and basil, though other toppings from meats to vegetables can be used.
Collection For 88  Bruschetta Recipes

Eggplant Salad - Caponatina Siciliana

Eggplant, olive, celery Appetizer

Photos Photos!

Italian Mixed Olive Salad   
   Mouth-Watering Favorite
Crack the olives with a hammer or mallet until the pits show.
Green olives
Celery, chopped
Black olives
Green pepper, chopped
Red pepper, chopped
Garlic clove, crushed
Vinegar, Olive oil.

Mixed Italian Olives Freshly ground pepper to taste Oregano to taste . Combine the olives with the remaining ingredients. Let stand at room temperature for 2 days. Store in refrigerator in sealed jars.


Turkey with Chestnut Stuffing

          Italian  Spiced Ham  

Fennel with Ham is perfect main course dish. It is  made with fennels, ham and Italian cheese it's studded with cloves and fennel and anise seeds which give a spicy taste

 Italian Pot Roast

Tomatoes, red wine, and garlic should complement an Italian pot roast, not overpower it. Many recipes we tried tasted like meat boiled in spaghetti sauce, but we found a way to get all our flavors in order
Cook's Country TV

Of course no Italian meal is complete without
Pasta...(PHA-stuh) Photos Photos!
    Pasta Names and Shapes

  Pasta Basics, Baked Pasta, Seafood Pasta,
Sicilian Vegetarian
Pasta in Bianco'
 Pasta with Tomato Sauce...continue

History of Pasta...

Spaghetti Invented in Trabia, 
a small town outside Palermo Sicily?

Now in Trabia, pasta is made on a smaller scale, but the system and the art of making pasta from Trabia spread all over Italy and now Italy is the world’s biggest producer of pasta The industrial pasta is made in large quantities by 183 big Italian companies, with a production of over 20 million pounds daily, 45% exported to Germany, France, the U.K. and the U.S.A.

    and my favorite
Gnocchi Potatoes not Pasta
       Funny Video

Roasted Nuts                    Types of Nuts Photos

How to Roast Nuts

Toasting nuts adds extra flavor and crispness. For best results, toast in the oven. Nuts toasted in the microwave do not develop as much flavor or crunch. Toasting time depends on both the size and variety of the nut.

  Oven Toasting: Spread nuts in a single layer on an ungreased baking pan. Place in 350°F oven and bake 5 to 15 minutes or until nuts are golden brown; stir once or twice until toasty and fragrant. Remove from pan to cool. Nuts will continue to brown slightly after removed from oven.

Shelled nuts, especially those that have been cut or roasted, are more prone to rancidity and should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer in an airtight container.

How to Roast Chestnuts



 Sicilian Torrone Candy

The simple fact is that torrone's precise origin has been lost to time.Torrone is a very simple noughat candy made from egg whites, honey, nuts (usually almonds) and --in some recipes The recipes of several popular commercial candy bars (Toblerone, Mars, etc.) are based on that of traditional Italian torrone. That's why the flavour of torrone seems familiar to many who try it for the first time after having tasted these other candies.

Video Recipe



Cravat: Editor is Not Responsible For Any Weight Gain Upon Viewing Dessert Photos!

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Cannoli Siciliani

Cassata Cake

Ossa dei morti 

Pignoli Cookies

Frozen Tortoni



Struffoli Cookies 

Tortoni sm.jpg (16826 bytes)
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