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East Sicily ~ Trip around

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Palermitan Salad

palermitan_salad

palermitan_salad

Time: 20 min

Ingredients: [6 portions]

  • 500 gr potatoes
  • 800 gr green beans
  • 30 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • fresh basil
  • oregano, salt, pepper, extra v. olive oil
  • black olives ( missing in this picture D:)

1. For a super easy and quick result, boil together green beans and potatoes already pealed, clean and cut in small pieces. Cook for 15 min wth the lid on.

2. Drain the vegetables and let them cool down. In the meanwhile, wash and cut red onion, black olives and cherry tomatoes.

3. Put everything in a big bowl with a genours amount of olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano and basil.

You can keep this salad wrapped in your fridge up to three days without any problems and it will taste always good. It’s a salad in my hometown, but it can be eaten as a main dish. There are different options: some family adds also anchoives, others adds pieces of boiled meat.

Buon appetito to everybody!

Fratelli Contorno Products Review

fratellicontornoFratelli Contorno is a brand specialized in Sicilian goodies: from typical starter as ‘Caponata’ to different pasta sauces. They offer a wide range of products; in this picture from left to right: 1. Cherry tomatoes sauce, 2.Swordfish and eggplant sauce, 3.sardines sauce( two different sizes),wild fennel sauce, artichoke caponatina. You can also check out their official website to look other products they offer. For most of their products you can find different sizes: from very small portion: for 1 max 2 people, to very big jars for 4-6 people.

Here  you can find their official website( both in English and Italian): http://www.fratellicontorno.com/english/

How do they taste? They do taste quite close to the original recipes, however not completely the same. They are a good approximation to a homemade recipe. As I will show later in this blog, I do use their products,but I always add my personal touch to make them as close as I can to a fresh sauce. To whom live far away from Italy, some ingredients are very seldom available: like swordfish, cuttlefish ink, celery or artichokes, so they really help you to recreate those recipe otherwise impossible to make.

How is the quality? Compared to other brands that offer similar half-ready to go products I find the quality very high. The ingredients used are genuine and natural, no colorants added, no chemical stuff inside. Usually you only find a very little amount of sugar or salt as last ingredients ( so very low percentage), in order to preserve the taste and acidity level. In some recipe they also use olive oil, which is quite rare for these kind of products.

Here an example of ingredients used in ‘Swordfish and eggplant sauce’(jar 2 from left to right):Tomato, swordfish (20 %), eggplant (20 %), sunflower oil, white wine, extra virgin olive oil, capers, garlic, mint, sugar, salted sardines puree, salt, chilli.

Packaging: I really like the packing style, very Italian, with bright color, but mostly I have to say: their cans and glass jars are very sturdy!If you’re traveling inside EU, as I do, you can board them easily.For me it’s a tradition to bring home some of their stuff for the next months when I get nostalgic of my hometown, and they’ve never cracked or damaged!

frat_contorno02

Where can you buy them? They are very easy to find in any good quality supermarket, not only in Sicily but in whole Italy. Also, some of their products are sold in USA but under a different brand name: “Cuoco“.

How much do they cost? The price can fluctuate very much. I would say from 1 up to 5 € for big jar ( around 400 gr of caponata). I also find that they can be quite often on sale or promotion ( for example I’ve often found cherry tomatoes sauce for 0,89 cent pro bottle), so watch out!

Vote: A–

For me, overall they are all good products, none of them let me disappointed. I have to say that I’ve still not tried the whole range ( for example mushrooms,tomato concentrate nor pesto etc..)That’s why I don’t speak up with a full A. My only regret is that you can’t find them in the rest of EU! Definitely I suggest to buy one of their products as souvenir from Sicily, so you could recreate for your friends or family some original Sicilian recipe you ate there :))

*All opinions are genuinely my own. I am not affiliated or paid by the company*

Pasta with Pistachio ~ Recipe

pasta_pistacchioTime: 15 minutes

Ingredients:  2 people very hungry!

  • 1 onion
  • 180 gr pasta you like
  • 125 gr pancetta ( bacon bits)
  • 200 ml double cream
  • 100 gr pistachio
  • 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • pepper

1. Put the water on the stove with some salt in it and when the water is boiling throw your pasta in.

2. In a pan put a tiny amount of olive oil or butter. Meanwhile, chop finely a onion and let it fry on the hot pan. After 3 minutes add also your pancetta  and cook until it changed its color. Watch out,try not to overcook it, otherwise it will become too crunchy.

3. Add your double cream and let it boil a little to reduce with medium heat. When you see it’s reducing, add your pistachio and only the grated skin of an orange . This will make a huge different: giving a touch of sophisticated and more gentle taste. Don’t skimp on pepper now, you should have obtained a soft-green cream.

4. Drain your pasta “al dente” and add it in your cream. Get it all mixed and serve with more pistachio on top….and it’s done!

This the absolute final favorite pasta for my fiancée. If I really want to spoil him, I make this typical Sicilian pasta with pistachio from Bronte. If you come in Sicily during your vacation, stop by any supermarket and you’ll find it already crumbled and ready for this pasta and many other recipe.