Taormina Sardines

February 10th, 2021 § 0 comments

Many years ago, HG/BSK toured Sicily with daughter Lesley R. and her husband, Profesore Massimo R. The distinguished Profesore (who grew up in the Sicilian city of Siracusa), was an invaluable and learned guide. The family (which included very young granddaughters, Arianna and Sofia) had a wonderful time absorbing Sicilian history, scenery, architecture (including the ruins of Greek temples), food, wine and sweets. (Best Pasta a la Norma ever and dreamy pastries). When the R. family returned to Italy, HG/BSK booked into a luxurious hotel in the hilltop town of Taormina with incomparable views of the Ionian Sea. Taormina was a favorite vacation spot for Winston Churchill and for many years a haven for gay writers and artists. The hotel dining room (as well as HG/BSK’s bedroom) was perched over the sea. At a table set with beautiful silverware, dinner plates and crystal, a courtly waiter served HG/BSK a Sicilian specialty—Pasta con el sarde. This was perfect linguine covered in a mind blowing sardine sauce that reflected the Arabic influence in Sicilian cooking, the omnipresence of the sea and the shimmering sunlight. BSK vowed to make an effort to duplicate the dish when HG/BSK returned to the USA. BSK has been successful. BSK’s version is sumptuous. HG/BSK enjoyed it last night on Prince Edward Island. This is how The Wonder Woman made it. First, a sofrito of olive oil, white wine, anchovies, pignolia nuts, garlic, shallots, saffron and dried cranberries (the Taormina version used currants but these were not available and the cranberries were a tasty substitute). Finally, this was mixed with a tin of very good plump Porftuguese sardines. Poured over linguine, the dish brought back many happy memories of sun and fun.

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