Before you start, no, it’s not a spelling mistake – it’s mellone, not melone. In Sicily, mellone with a double “l” means watermelon, especially in the western part of the island (although muluni is another dialect form). Elsewhere in Italy (and in Sicily too if you’re not speaking dialect) they call it anguria or cocomero. Everywhere, Sicily included, melone with one “l”is used for other types of melon. Ok, sufficiently confused? With that out of Continue Reading →

Today, a dish – swordfish roll – that sounds more like a synchronised swimming move than a Sicilian classic. I have mentioned Sicily’s obsession with involtini on other occasions, and indeed the islanders are obsessed with these bite-sized parcels of meat, fish or vegetables. Whatever the outer layer, they are all filled with breadcrumbs, which I suspect may be the real reason for involtini ubiquity. My theory is that it started with thrifty housewives, who Continue Reading →

What better way to celebrate passioneat’s fifth birthday (and what an opinionated young lad he’s turning out to be) than with one of Sicily’s defining ingredients, and also one of my favourites, as anyone who has been following my progress will know only too well. After the indulgence, length and fervour of the last post, today’s offering is almost Buddhist in its simplicity, not that Buddhists probably get through boatloads of raw tuna. Expect it Continue Reading →

It’s a classic image: a Roman trattoria. Check tablecloth and a carafe of local white wine. A steaming plate of heart-warming yet somehow sinful, sensuous carbonara. So let’s start here, because we need some kind of benchmark, and Rome is the only place qualified to provide that benchmark. This is carbonara heartland. Quite clearly, we are for once outside Sicily. Equally clearly, we are in Rome, but let’s try and be more precise, so … Continue Reading →

The devil is in the detail, they say. The original version of the phrase was actually “God is in the detail”, so whichever way you look at it, details clearly make a difference. Today’s recipe, for example, would be a simple tomato and onion salad were it not for the capers, mint, and above all lemon zest. But it’s precisely these minor additions that make the salad worth telling you about. Whilst on the subject Continue Reading →

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, / Old Time is still a-flying; / And this same flower that smiles today / To-morrow will be dying. Last week Shakespeare, this week Herrick. Apologies for the Renaissance glut, but it’s seasonal. Quite possibly the fault of a misspent youth, when laziness throughout the rest of the year meant I was forced to spend May in the company of Shakespeare, Donne, Sidney, Middleton, Jonson, Kyd and the rest Continue Reading →

“Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May”, as one amateur meteorologist who had an admirable way with words once wrote. And it’s certainly a windy-sunny-rainy May here; definitely not winter, but not quite summery either. Just the sort of weather that leaves you wanting fresher food, but something with a bit of warmth. This soup perfectly fits the bill: quick, simple and full of the bright green freshness of spring, but comforting at Continue Reading →