Saturday, July 16, 2011

Susine di Zio

Yellow plums

Sweet little things in our uncle Sebastiano's orto...full of fruit trees and ripe violet eggplants, cherry tomatoes bursting off the vine lemons dropping every now and then to the ground breaking the song of the kids splashing  in the pool.


Still alive octopus and the fisherman

It's 8am as we struggle to get out of bed knowing the earlier we get there the more varied the selection of fish coming off the boats with the fishermen in the port of Isola delle Femmine. This is lunch today, traditionally prepared octopus, still alive when we bought it, swimming around in a white pail undulating its' gracefully long tentacles for the rest of its short life. I ask the fisherman to pose for me with this beautiful specimen from the sea, he oddly enough, happily obliges my tourist behaviour. Now with lunch swimming in my brain searching for exactly the right combination of ingredients to make an exquisite meal we stumble across fish so flavorful bought so tedious to clean that they are used primarily for broth (brodo di pesce). The scorfani are the perfect pasta choice for today.
Brodo di Pesce
serves 5

A basket or five medium sized scorfani
3 garlic cloves smashed
a small can of peeled tomatoes squeezed and broken to pieces
extra virgin olive oil 
salt and pepper
water for stock
acine di pepe one pack

Saute' garlic and peeled crushed tomatoes in olive oil until you've perfumed the air around you, add the fish cleaned and still whole ladle the sauteed tomato and garlic olive oil around the fish gently flavoring it and then add enough water to cover all the fish totally and bring to a boil. Once boiling and the fish begin to fall apart remove from heat and strain, there will be scales and bones and cartilage so use a fine strainer. Now what's left is a glorious red orange broth with glistening gold circles of olive oil floating at the surface. Replace in the pot and bring to a boil again then adding the pasta, cook until al dente adjust to your liking with salt and pepper and plate dusting each bowl with parsley and a few drops of raw extra virgin olive oil. Buonissima! 


Piazza Marina, Palermo

Early Sunday morning, probably the earliest I had woken up on this vacation yet, a new friend brought me to Piazza Marina the antique market on Sundays near the port of Palermo. After a cappuccino and an ice cold bottle of water we began our meandering through century old streets lined with vendors selling their treasures of old and new. What a find, after haggling the price of silver on the market and examining a myriad of ornately created keys from the early 1900's with a loop to be sure of their authenticity I merrily walked away a new collection forming before my eyes.
Treasures...Piazza Marina