Five seafood specialties you must try in Sicily

Apart from the countless cities to visit, natural and archaeological attractions, crystal clear sea and beautiful beaches, Sicily can also boast a great enogastronomical heritage.

Whether you are a lover of pasta or second courses made of fish or meat, or a lover of sweets, you will surely not be disappointed by your stay in the island.

Completely surrounded by the sea, Sicily is able to offer excellent seafood dishes, fresh and delicious. Here is a list of those you absolutely must try if you are in Sicily!

Messina Swordfish Rolls

Typical of the city of Messina, swordfish rolls are a delicacy that you absolutely have to taste: here is how to prepare them.

The main ingredient is fresh swordfish, cut into very thin slices. The filling is made of breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic, capers and grated parmesan or pecorino cheese. The stuffing must be blended with a good extra-virgin olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. If you want, you can also add some cubes of caciocavallo cheese.

Once the swordfish slices are stuffed, close them carefully so that the filling does not spill out during cooking. Once done, the rolls should be greased with oil and dipped in the leftover stuffing; then you can thread three or four of them onto a wooden skewer and proceed with cooking. They can be cooked on a grill, on the barbecue or in the oven. With just a handful of quality ingredients, you will eat a mouthwatering delicacy!

Sarde a beccafico

Sarde a beccafico is another tasty and very famous seafood dish. There are many variants of this sardines recipe: there is the version from Palermo, the one from Messina and, finally, the one from Catania.

In the Palermo version, they are shaped like rolls, stuffed with a filling made of breadcrumbs, parsley, raisins, pine nuts, garlic and flavored with the juice of half an orange.

The Messina version, instead, includes capers in the stuffing and then the sardines are fried. If you wish, you can also add some cheese, like parmesan, pecorino or caciocavallo.

In the Catania version, on the other hand, they are not rolled up: instead, they are arranged one on top of the other, with the stuffing in the middle, including cubes of caciocavallo cheese. Once dipped in egg and breaded, the sardines are fried. They must be served and enjoyed piping hot alongside a few slices of lemon.

The origin of the name is very curious: the expression “sarde a beccafico” derives from a bird, known as Beccafico, that nobles used to hunt and eat. The common people could not afford this dish and therefore decided to recreate it with ingredients they could afford, such as sardines.

Stockfish “a’ghiotta” Messina Style

Typical of the Messina area, stockfish “a’ ghiotta” is a delicacy that you cannot miss if you are in the surroundings of Messina. The main ingredient of this dish is obviously the stockfish, the Norwegian dried cod. Here is how to prepare it.

Once you have washed and boned the stockfish, cut it into medium-sized pieces. In a saucepan, sauté some onion, celery, parsley, capers (previously desalted) and olives and wait until the onion has browned. In the meantime, peel and cut some potatoes; season with oil, salt and pepper, according to your taste.

Next, add the pieces of stockfish to the sauté and cover with tomato sauce and water. Add the diced potatoes. Cook everything over low heat with a lid: the cooking must be slow and gentle. Once everything is ready, serve piping hot, accompanied by generous slices of bread: it will serve to scoop all the tasty sauce out of the dish!

Anchovies Meatballs

Anchovies meatballs are a classic of Sicilian gastronomic tradition and they can be enjoyed all over the island. Being flavorsome, they are also loved by children who do not always like fish.

First of all, it is necessary to clean anchovies well, eliminating head, bone and all entrails. After washing them, they must be minced, even in a rather coarse way, in a large container. Add an egg to the blue fish, which will act as a binder for the mixture, parsley, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese and a few spoonfuls of breadcrumbs: the mixture must be compact and perfectly blended.

Once you have obtained this mixture, shape the meatballs and then pass them in more breadcrumbs to coat them. In a large, high-sided frying pan, heat some seed oil. When hot, fry the meatballs until golden brown. Then, place the meatballs on absorbent paper to remove any excess oil.

Besides being a perfect second course, the anchovies meatballs can also be a winning idea for an aperitif or a buffet.

Stuffed squid Sicilian style

Stuffed squids are cooked all over Sicily.

Like all popular recipes, there are many variations of it. If you are a squid lover, then you will not refrain from trying this dish: Let’s learn how it is prepared.

After cleaning and washing the squids, proceed with the preparation of the stuffing. All of the typical Mediterranean ingredients are used: capers, anchovies, breadcrumbs, black olives and various flavorings.

The tentacles previously removed during the cleaning are finely chopped and fried in extra virgin olive oil for a few minutes. Once cooled, they are placed in a bowl together with pitted olives, desalted capers, anchovies, breadcrumbs, garlic and parsley and the mixture is seasoned with salt and pepper. We then proceed to fill the squid, which will then be closed at the base with a toothpick to prevent the spilling of the stuffing.

Now filled, the squids must be placed on a baking sheet and put in the oven with a generous amount of oil, a sprinkling of bread crumbs, salt and fresh parsley.

Some also add raisins and pine nuts to the filling.

These are just five of the many seafood dishes you can savor in Sicily: when you’re on the island, let your appetite guide you and enjoy many more delicious dishes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.