Mackerel ‘in Saor’ (Sgombro in Saor)

A classic and delicious dish from Venice is pesce in saôr, which does not mean ‘sour’ fish but ‘flavored’ fish (saôr comes from ‘sapore’). The recipe was invented in Venice as a way to preserve fish, and even though we have … Continue reading Mackerel ‘in Saor’ (Sgombro in Saor)

Spaghetti with Mackerel and Breadcrumbs (Spaghetti allo Sgombro con pangrattato dorato)

Bea has Sicilian roots and that clearly shows in the recipe for Vermicelli alle Alici con pangrattato dorato that she posted recently. Since fresh anchovies are not so easy to find around here and it is a lot of work to clean … Continue reading Spaghetti with Mackerel and Breadcrumbs (Spaghetti allo Sgombro con pangrattato dorato)


If you don’t want to cook but like to impress at a dinner party, bresaola is what you should look for in an antipasto. Bresaola is Italian air-dried, salted beef that has been aged two or three months. Like carpaccio (raw beef) it is often served with shaved parmesan, roasted pine nuts and arugula, but it has much more flavor. Bresaola has a very rich pleasant flavor. I like to brush the bresaola with a bit of aged balsamic vinegar. The good stuff is called aceto balsamico tradizionale, is aged for at least 12 years, and very expensive. But you only need half a teaspoon or so per serving.  Continue reading “Bresaola”

Fennel Pasta

I had fennel left over after making fennel polpette using only the greens. I decided to use the fennel to make a Sicily-inspired pasta dish with raisins, pine nuts, and saffron. When I made this for the first time, I thought it was a bit bland. Now I added sugar and parmigiano and the result is very tasty. The flavors of the raisins, saffron, and fennel work together very well and are supported by the pine nuts and parmigiano. This is a nice vegetarian pasta dish that I will make again. I am not sure if it resembles any traditional Sicilian pasta dish. Continue reading “Fennel Pasta”

How to make your own Pesto alla Genovese

Pesto is one of those things that is so much better when you make it yourself rather than buy it in a store! I’m talking about the most common and famous type of pesto here: Pesto alla Genovese. This sauce is made from basil, pine nuts, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, parmigiano reggiano, aged pecorino, and some salt. If you buy a jar of pesto in a store, chances are that it will contain parsley, sunflower oil, cashew nuts, or even potato. Not to mention preservatives. But the worst problem is that store-bought pesto in most cases has a strong … Continue reading How to make your own Pesto alla Genovese