When italy's favourite crepes, crespelli, travelled to america their name changed to manicotti and maria, a second generation italian from staten island, still makes them the way her grandmother did. they are still a popular supper dish in her family. watch her making them on the most recent episode on youtube now.
Farmer sarina making lolli pasta, which she served with dried fava beans and wild chicory from her fields. her husband watched, amused and delighted with the interest taken by us in this pasta, as she makes it most days for him.
Busiate with pesto alla trapanese last week in trapani. had to be done. made by angela and devoured by us. six whole cloves of garlic went into the pesto, along with fresh homegrown tomatoes, basil, almonds and pine nuts. it was gorgeous. for delicious busiate made with sicilian wheat flour @caradonna_azienda_agricola should be your first port of call.
Woo hoo! i'm delighted to announce the much asked for pasta grannies cookbook will be published by @hardiegrantuk on 17th october 2019 (yes, only 7 months away). it's a mixture of recipes and nonne who star on my youtube channel - as well as an in depth explanation on how to make the various pasta doughs by hand. it's available to pre-order now by clicking the link in our bio! 😊 🍝
When in sicily, you just have to try arancini, deep fried rice balls stuffed with homemade ragu that’s been mixed with creamy béchamel and a big hunk of cheese. in the catania area, they are a bit pointed - a male shape - while in palermo they are round - female shape. in ficarazzi they are so popular that they hold special sagres in the streets where everyone brings their own version for the town to enjoy. watch ninni make them on our stories now and keep your eyes peeled for her youtube video soon.
The incredibly skilled cristina in bologna last week making perfect tortellini each weighing two grams. served in brodo they are one of the most elegant of pasta dishes.
Yesterday we were served this for breakfast by the gorgeous lina of taverna la cialoma in marzamemi. at 70 years old, she still cooks for customers everyday. this was her pasta made with a gorgeous local wheat flour, artichokes, fresh tuna and prawns.
Watching 90 year old santina make ‘lolli nte busa’ was so calming - her delicate hands wrapping the dough around her ‘usa’ (the wheat stalk that she uses as a rod) then rolling them on the pettine. she served them with a tomato sugo, enriched with pork and the most intense sun-dried homemade tomato concentrate called strattu in sicily.
Today rosetta showed us a different version of pasta con le sarde. this one, from caltabellotta, uses fresh sardines (nice and plump at this time of year) that are fried and put into tomato sauce with anchovies and seasonal wild fennel that she foraged this morning. the dish is finished with toasted breadcrumbs with a touch of sugar adding a little sweetness that the raisins usually bring. it was absolutely delicious!
Today we met our oldest pasta granny to date! at 101 years old, letizia is still a sharp as ever, looks no where near her age and still enjoys a little attention- just look at that smile towards the camera. as she showed us how to make tagghiarini with fava bean purée and wild fennel she talked us through every step with such precision it was clear why she spent her working life as a primary school teacher. see our stories for more on this amazing lady, including her gorgeous art that she still produces daily. creativity, and pasta, is the key to long life it seems...