20 more Sicilian dishes you shouldn’t miss when you go to Sicily

I admit I didn’t expect that my post with the 10 masterpieces of Sicilian cuisine would get that popular. So, if you’re looking for more Sicilian dishes, check out this list for your culinary trip to Sicily.

Sicilian dish
Eating together with my family at my parent’s house in Sicily.

1. Arancine

Arancine comes from Arance, which means Oranges. That’s because the fried rice balls stuffed usually with meat sauce and peas or mozzarella and ham look like big juicy oranges. As kid once arrived in Palermo after a 24 hours journey by car all the way down the boot, my oncle Totò used to go first thing for some Arancine for us from a nearby rosticceria in San Lorenzo.

Sicilian Dishes
Arancine (con licenza Public domain tramite Wikimedia Commons)

For the recipe check Jamie Oliver’s Blog or this great video (in Italian):

2. Alivi cunzati (Seasoned olives)

If you like olives, you will go crazy for this dish. Seasoned olives are made with olives (in brine) of course, costs of celery, garlic, carrots, parsley, red wine vinegar, olive oil EV and salt. The quantity of each of the seasonings is up to your taste. I do two different versions: regular and spicy, simply by adding some peperoncino (chili). It’s perfect with home-made bread and young cheese from sheep milk called Primo Sale.

3. Pane ca meusa (Palermo’s Spleen Sandwich)

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How does that sound? Not very good? Don’t judge to early. The calf spleen is cooked in boiling water and than cut in thin slices. And then fried in hot lard. For the sandwich I would recommend the Mafalda with sesame seems, some Caciocavallo cheese, lemons and salt. It’s a typical Palermo street food. I’m doing it at home hosting at least half of the Sicilian community from the neighborhood. I’m not sure if Rocky Basile is still preparing U panino ca meusa, but they were the best:

4. Pane e panelle (Chickpea Fritters Sandwich)

Another sandwich, but with Chickpea Fritters.

Sicilian dishes
Pane e Panelle (Photo palermomania.it)

5. Stigghiuola (Grilled lamb guts)

You’re sure you want to know this? Ok, at your own risk:

It consists of guts (usually of lamb, but also of goat or chicken) which are washed in water and salt, seasoned with parsley and often with onion and other pot herbs, then stuck on a skewer or rolled around a leek, and finally cooked directly on the grill. (Wikipedia)

Don’t try to grill them at home. It’s purely made for the streets of Palermo (my father would disagree, however).

6. Gattò (timbal of potatoes)

Fascinating story behind this dish. I learned from my grandmother that the rich Sicilian families during the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in the 18th century ruled by the Borbone used to have a French Chef, a monsù. That’s how the French gateaux found his way into the Sicilian cuisine becoming the Gattò. For my gattò I use cooked potatoes, eggs, cheese, bread crumb and stuff it either with ragù or ham and cheese. Check out this Gattò recipe

7. Sarde a beccafico (Stuffed sardines)

Sarde a beccafico

Beccafico is a figpecker. Don’t worry, there is no bird in this dish. But the sardines look like a figpeckers that through their tails in the air. Hard work cleaning the sardines. They have to be open like a book, washed and dried. Then stuffed with fried bread crumb, anchovy filets, pine nuts, garlic, parsley, sultanine, rolled and put in a baking tin with lemon slices and bay leaves and finally cooked for 15 minutes in the oven. Check out this Sarde a beccafico recipe.

8. Anelletti al forno alla palermitana (Oven backed pasta Palermo style)

This is one of my favorite Sicilian dishes! Who doesn’t love Pasta al forno anyway. In fact it doesn’t really matter what you put in as long as it is rich (of calories and taste), sophisticated and exaggerated (like a Sicilian women). I prepare it with a ragù sauce, salami, salsiccia, cooked eggs, fried eggplants, besciamelle sauce, caciocavallo and pecorino cheese. The little rings (Anelletti) stick perfectly together so that you can create fantastic pasta cakes.

Sicilian Dishes
If you can’t find the Anelletti, you can use other pasta types (of course, someone from Palermo would disagree)

9. Pasta chi vruoccoli arriminati (Pasta with cauliflower)

The first time I presented this dish to my wife, she looked disappointed. It’s true, the name isn’t fancy. After all, it’s just cauliflower (and it stinks a bit). Wright? Wrong! Pasta chi vruoccoli arriminati is prepared with cauliflower indeed, but also saffron, pine nuts, raisin, pecorino cheese. Try it.

10. Sicilian BBQ

For a right Sicilian BBQ you need the Sicilian sausage made of pork meat, called Sasizza (or Salsiccia in Italian). The salsiccia can be used in many different ways, like cooked in tomato sauce or baked in the oven with potatoes. But grilled is in my the best taste.

Sicilian dish

11. Pesto alle arance (Pesto sauce with Oranges)

This might not be a Sicilian pasta recipe, but all the ingredients are typical for my home island cuisine. It’s very easy to prepare, too. All you need are 4 peeled oranges (better if organic), some basilk leaves, 100 gram shelled almonds, 1 spoon of toasted pine nuts, olive oil EV and salty ricotta cheese. But all ingredients, except of the ricotta cheese in a mixer and mixe it to a smooth creme. For the pasta type, I recommend the Bucatini.

12. Pasta Carrittera (Pasta with cold tomato sauce)

This is one of my favorite pasta dishes for the Summer time. The name of this dish is given by the cart-driver “u carritteri“, who didn’t have the chance to cook their pasta sauce along the road. It’s a cold tomato sauce made with peeled and than smashed tomatoes, basil leaves, garlic, olive oil and salt. After Spaghetti aglio ed olio it’s the fasted pasta dish to prepare, too.

Sicilian dishes
Easy to prepare, fresh and tasty.

13. Babbaluci picchi pacchi (Snails Palermo style)

Babbaluci or babbaluceddi are snails from Southern Europe. During the hot and dry summers they hide into their shells, that is the best time for harvesting and eating. Yes, it’s weird. But you should try at least one time. Traditionally the snails are prepared for 15th of July, the fest of Palermo’s protector Santa Rosalia. There are two recipes to prepare it: a white version with garlic and parsley and a red version with tomato and red onions. My mother used to add also some vegetables like celery and potatoes creating a sort of minestrone. “Picchi pacchi” means nothing else than the sound it makes when eating the babbaluci… slurp.

14. Baccalà a ghiotta (Cod fish in white wine)

In Sicily we know two type of conserved cod fish: baccalà which is conserved in salt, and stoccafisso which is unsalted and dried by air – a heritage from the Norman. The challenge of preparing the Baccalà is to get the salt away, otherwise the sauce and the fish will result too salty. I recommend therefore to keep the Baccalà for 3 days in cold water with few lemons and changing the water several times. A ghiotta refers to something cooked in a sauce. In this case a white wine sauce seasoned with onions, parsley, celery, tomatos, black olives and capers. The version prepared in Palermo includes also potatoes which are cooked together with the fish in the same sauce.

Cooking Baccalà in umido. #lacucinadellozio

A post shared by Michele Aggiato (@micheleaggiato) on

15. Caciu all’argintera (Fried cheese with Portwine sauce)

No, we aren’t in Switzerland. A very easy recipe if you have the right ingredients like a 1 cm thick slice of caciocavallo cheese, garlic, Marsala (Sicilian Portwine), oregano, salt and pepper. The cheese is fried in some olive oil EV with with entire gloves of garlic, extinguish with 1/2 glass of Marsala, seasoned with oregano and peper and let to melt under the lid of the pan for few more minutes. Eat immediately.

Sicilian Dishes
Ragusano (Photo Wikipedia)

16. Baccalà fritto con cipolle in agrodolce (Fried codfish with sweet-and-sour onions)

I couldn’t tell you what is more important of this Sicilian dishes: the fried codfish or the sweet-and-sour onions. I’m tempted to say the onions. I love it. Particulary sweet-and-sour. All the magic is the right balance between vinegar and sugar. I recommand the red onions. For every 2 spoon of vinegar I use 1 tea spon of sugar. Than it’s up to you if you prefer it more sour or sweet. Slice the onions, fried it gently in some EV olive oil, as soon they get glasy at the sugar and the vinegar. Let it cook untile the vinegar is almost evaporated. Serve it with the fried codfish filets and few leafs of mint for decoration.

17. Sarde fritte alla palermitana – Fried sardines

The greatness of this Sicilian dish is the bath in vinegar marinade the sardines receive before getting fried. I like to serve it with fresh parsley and red chili. It’s very easy: Scale the sardines by holding them under cold running water and cut it into a butterfly filet. Dry the sardines with kitchen paper, put the sardines in the vinegar marinade, than pass it in a plate with flour and fried it in hot EVO. Repeat.
Sicilian dishes

18. Falsomagro

It’s a typical Sicilian meat dish. The Falsomagro is a threshold of our christmas menu.

19. Sfincione (Sicilian Pizza)

The Sicilian Pizza is called Sfincione in Palermo and Rianata in other parts of the Island. Also other Italian regions knows this variety of pizza. Nowhere the taste and smell is more exciting than in Palermo. 🙂 OK,  I’m not impartial.

20. Anciovi alla Catanisi (Anchovy Catanese Style)

Sicilian dishe

The anchovies are raw (make sure they are fresh when you buy it) but still cooked, without cooking 🙂 in fact, the fish is cooked in a vinegar marinade during one night in the fridge. My mother uses lemon juice to marinade the anchovies. I prefer apple vinegar, as the lemon juice is to acid for my taste. Than the anchovies are simply seasoned with salt, pepper, OEV, parsley. A orange salad is the perfect match with this delicate Sicilian starter.

Do you need a Sicilian recipe, a menu idea and a cool anecdote to tell? Write me a comment.

I’m happy to help.

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