is a Sicilian characteristic, and it was the hallmark of my mother's
kitchen. We would start a typical meal with something nutritious and
filling. Lentil and escarole
soup was a favorite of
mine. Then we'd have an inexpensive meat or fish dish,
stuffed calamari, or maybe a breaded
lemon chicken which we call
grandma's chicken because everyone in the family makes it after her
would always be a green salad as well as a vegetable salad, something
like broccoli with lemon and black olives.
Kids don't love broccoli, but they love olives and my mother knew how
to get nutrition into us. For dessert we always had fruit, fruit, and
more fruit. We grew up healthy.
made tomato sauce in large amounts
and kept some in the fridge, to ladle on top of meat loaf, or
to add to chicken cacciatore.
Using reserved tomato sauce gave the dish depth. And meat loaf had hard-boiled eggs in the center to stretch the dollar as much as possible.
celebrate the feast of Santa Lucia who was the patron saint of people
with weak eyes. The traditional Sicilian dish for this Saint's day was
cuccia which is made of wheat berries.
All the mothers in the neighborhood made cuccia, each in her own unique
way. Some were sweeter, some had chocolate, some had citron, some had
both. The mothers would prepare bowls of their cuccia for their neighbors
and the children were asked to distribute the food. On St. Lucia's Day,
the streets were alive with kids running around with food in their hands.
AL: Al is an award-winning film maker and the star pizza
chef of his family. His recipe for sfincione
- Sicilian Pizza - is inherited from his mother, but reflects
his creative touch.
generations continue: Read what Al's daughter, Marisa, says about her
dad & get more Sicilian recipes: click
history of pizza
the history of pasta
the history of sicilian
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