You must try the Sicilian Caponata, every guide book told me. It is the flavor of Sicily, they said. I did. I tried many varieties of the quintessential eggplant dish, and all were delicious. Generally, the dish involves eggplant, although my research has shown that it is the sweet and sour dressing of vegetables, not the eggplant that make a dish a caponata. But let’s be honest, most of the time it is an Eggplant Caponata!
For our couscous, I paired monkfish with a quick stew of carrots, celery, and tomato with basil, cinnamon, and saffron, a perfect mix of Sicilian and North African flavors. The broth is very quick to make, so you do not need to labor over it for hours like you would the Lamb and Duck couscous. I am really happy with this dish, it will be a perfect dish for spring and summer meals as the weather warms up!
Spaghetti Nero d’Avola with Shellfish Daria Souvorova 1 hour, max if you need to clean and de-beard the shellfish, about 20 minutes if everything is pre-cleaned serves: 10-12 Earlier this week, I shared with you the dishes that we served for the Antipasti course of our big Sicilian dinner. Today, we continue with our primi…
Today, I wanted to share with you my favorite of the trio, my Homemade Pasta with Lemon Ricotta and Squid Ink Sauces. Yes, you heard that right! Two sauces! I had a dish in Catania where ricotta was paired with squid ink, and this inspired the sauce pairing. I wanted to elevate a humble pasta dish with homemade pasta and the aesthetic experience of mixing ivory and ebony. There is a subtle warmth to the color of a ricotta cream, and a bit of lemon juice and zest brings out the luxurious creaminess of ricotta. I served the pasta mixed with this sauce. On the side, I served a gorgeously complex sauce of aromatics fried and blended in with squid ink, cooked with pieces of squid. This black, velvety sauce, once poured onto the pasta with Ricotta cream, creates an instant contrast both visually and on your palette. I am so proud of this dish I can’t even explain how wonderfully it worked out.
I figured the midnight black of the bread would aesthetically pair well with the bright orange of the Sea Urchin Uni, and the light fishiness of the flavor would work well with my dish. I even did a test-run of the flavors for Nico and my anniversary dinner the week before. It was an incredible success.
This past weekend, Nico and I had a little feast, just the two of us… it was a pretty healthy feast! I bought a lot of beautiful cuts of fish during my last visit to Trader Joe’s and wanted to give swordfish steaks a try.
I decided to treat them to my favorite “fish solution.” I seared the bad boys in butter and let them finish cooking in the oven. Then, I scraped up the browned bits with a bit more butter, capers, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Since my lovely friends Keith and Jackeline gave us an herb planter, and the basil is turning into a beast, so I decided to throw in some sliced basil instead of the traditional parsley. It was delicious.
Today, I wanted to “class up my pasta” by adding some truffle zest to the dough. I was having friends over, after all. My original plan was a beautiful Stuffed Porkloin with Anchovies, Olives, Tomatoes, and Capers…which was going to be the long and short of it. but a friend was Pescatarian so I wanted to make sure we had something else to serve.
Escargots à la Provençale Daria Souvorova 3 hours 20 minutes serves: 2 We have been celebrating a lot here at Chez Nous Dinners of late! Over the past few weeks, we had our Catalan Dinner celebration, we celebrated Nico’s (my partner’s) 31st birthday with a Moroccan Feast, and the two of us threw ourselves a…