Lunch for B&B friends

November11

The four of us (on separate trips) had recently visited mutual friends in Sicily and we had not had an opportunity to compare travel notes.  I decided to cook something Sicilian to get the memories flowing.  I chose a selection from Jamie Oliver’s cookbook entitled Jamie’s Italy.  His preamble indicated that the dish had been on the menu at a restaurant in one of the roughest parts of Palermo_44207495_sicly_afp_416b We too had enjoyed a similar dinner near the train station in Palermo.  We were able to sit outside in a former train car.  We all had pastas-clam, swordfish, shrimp/basil and sardine/fennel.  Everything was mopped up with great Italian bread and downed with a fine local red wine.  The owner came around with complimentary lemoncellas.  We weren’t certain if they were always offered or if it was because we were so obviously tourists-taking pictures of our meals and each other.

Ahh Italy

Ahh Italy

Ah Italy….I digress.  Jamie’s version was tossed with arugula.  I made my version with peas for two reasons a) it was one of the few vegetables left in my fridge and 2) I had been so impressed by how Sicilian recipes were the delicious combinations of fairly simple ingredients.  Here’s a rough idea of the recipe.  Heat 3 glugs of extra virgin olive oil in a large frying pan and toss in 2 cloves of chopped garlic and chilli seeds to your liking.  Brown a bit and add a pound or so shrimp.  I then added ½ cup of sake because I was out of white wine as the recipe called for in addition to a 2 heaping tablespoons of mashed up sun dried tomatoes.  Next came the zest and juice of one lemon before I made sure that the shrimp was cooked and then tossed in the peas and cooked spaghetti.

When we served the bowls, we offered a drizzle of truffle oil that we had brought home with us from the Cinque Terre area of Italy. We had learned that it was inappropriate to offer parmesan as Italians don’t add cheese to a seafood pasta. I had also baked a 9 grain bread that I served with balsamic and an olive oil that our Sicilan friends gifted us with.  It was from their own olive tree and was pressed in the community press.

As it was lunch time, we didn’t even serve dessert.  Just put on a pot of tea to look at pictures of their trip.


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