Food, Glorious Sicilian Food!

“Food is more essential than clothes”
Sicilian proverb

I feel guilty that I have not written much, but I’ll get around to it. Tonight, though, I’ll take you on a bit of a tour of the food we’ve had this week. Some, like the pizza at the top of this article, was great. Some was okay, and some was, well, let’s say I’ll never order it again. Ever.

Speaking of that pizza, we got it at Antica Pizzeria Guglielmo in Monreale, a small place behind the duomo. Gary had a four cheese pizza, and Kathy and Ed tried one with ham. Rob and I ventured a little out of the box and had the one with green olives, red peppers, ham, provola, and peccorino romana cheese.

Palermo is famous for street food (aka stuff they make with offal/innards), most of which I wouldn’t eat. I do, however, love a good arancine. Basically, they are rice balls filled with something good, coated with bread crumbs, and deep fried. Sometimes you can get crappy, heavy ones that are mostly rice with little filling, but we found delicious ones above at Focacceria del Massimo, a little place on Via Bara.

We had some pretty good salads, and I didn’t see rocket (arugula) anywhere. Note that two of them have corn (normal), and all three have radicchio (which they can eliminate for me). I liked the one I had tonight with pineapple and prosciutto (far right).

Grilled veggies

The best grilled veggies we had included grilled tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, eggplant, radicchio, and fennel,

Meat and cheese

What is better than a serving of meats and cheeses? Let me point out that the salami at the bottom of the plate has pistachio in it. You can find pistachios in everything, including…

Fettuccine with pistachio pesto

….the pasta. We had a specialty of the night at Antica Birreria the night everyone arrived, the fettuccine with pistachio pesto. Mine was plain (above), and the guys ordered theirs with shrimp (below). In addition to the less-than-appetizing look (Believe me; the cheese saved this photo.), the taste wasn’t great, and the guys didn’t like fighting with their shrimp

Fettuccine with scampi and pistachio pesto
Fried pasta

Kathy ordered “fried” pasta, and that was not much better. As you can see, it was rigatoni covered in a red sauce and then burned fried. I actually liked it better than my fettuccine, and she liked mine better than hers, so we switched.

None of us enjoyed the meal that night, and while Mike and had a good experience at the place in November, it is now off of my list. Sorry, dudes. I get sick once, and that does it for me.

Handmade pasta with cauliflower and cheese

At Bisso Bistrot, four of us ordered a handmade pasta with cauliflower and cheese. Imagine my surprise when they brought out what you see in the photo above. The white squares are the cheese, and I’m not quite sure what gave the sauce the greenish cast unless they used green cauliflower.

The pasta they used was pici pasta, a thick, handrolled dough. To make it, they combine water and flour to form the dough, and they flatten it with a rolling pin. They cut it in strips and than roll the pieces between their palms to form the noodle.

I’m a big fan of cauliflower, but I most certainly didn’t like that pasta and didn’t earn the Clean Plate Award for the second night. (Side note: You have to adnit it didn’t look appetizing.)

Sausage and beans

Ed had sausage and beans over potato puree. I had debated that and bowed out because I love cauliflower. Oops.

Sicilian appetizers

Let me end with a photo of something we all enjoyed—Sicilian appetizers from Ristorante Carlo V. In addition to the French fries, which I needed because my stomach was still upset from that pistachio sauce, we had panelle (chickpea fritters—the flat rectangles) crocchè (potatoes covered in crumbs—the tubes), and panzerotti (potatoes stuffed with prosciutto, cheese, and besciamella—the rectangles).

I’ll be back with more stories and good food soon….

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