cover image The Food of Sicily: Recipes from a Sun-Drenched Culinary Crossroads

The Food of Sicily: Recipes from a Sun-Drenched Culinary Crossroads

Fabrizia Lanza. Artisan, $40 (320p) ISBN 978-1-57965-986-8

Culinary instructor Lanza (Coming Home to Sicily) skillfully weaves history, geography, and culture into this fascinating portrait of Sicilian cuisine. Recipes range from simple to elaborate; the seafood chapter, for example, features both straightforward grilled squid and a double-crust swordfish pie. Everyday tomato sauce is followed by trapanese pesto made with almonds, cauliflower, pine nuts, and raisins, and the involved anelletti timballo, pasta that is first boiled and then baked with eggplant, tomato sauce, prosciutto, and cheese. Fresh busiasta pasta calls for just two ingredients (semolina flour and water), but each strand must be hand-rolled on a bamboo skewer or knitting needle. The dessert chapter does not disappoint, offering mouthwatering lemon and almond granitas and, for the more ambitious, cannoli, ricotta-filled turnovers, and rolled fig cookies. Lanza relishes the uniqueness of hyperlocal ingredients: cauliflower from Palermo is green and pungent, while the variety in Catania is purple and sweeter. She notes Sicily’s involvement in the slow food movement and efforts to support small-scale producers, and provides a handy list of sources for hard-to-find ingredients. The result is a valuable guide to an abundant region that will be a welcome companion in the kitchen—or on a trip to Sicily. Agent: David McCormick, McCormick Literary. (Sept.)