Ciao a Tutti!
In this week's episode, I'll be making "Pasta con Sarde" (Pasta with Sardines), perhaps one of the most traditional dishes from the beautiful island of Sicilia. Here to help give us the low-down from Mo-town (Palermo, that is) is the lively and electric, Nonna Rosalia Caravella. In an embarrassingly short time she helps me turn our loose collection of ingredients from under-achieving loners into a well-adjusted and healthy meal. Whether it's the ornate rainbow of colors outside or the sweet and salty flavors inside, this dish always provides a bounty for the senses.
Of course, since both you and I learn side-by-side with our Nonne, I'd like to share some of the more important things I've learned from my experience with Nonna Rosalia -- and you can use them before, during and after the preparation of our dish:
- Bucatini pasta does not function as a straw as well as you'd think
- The fennel we used grows wild in the mountains of Sicily (and anything/anyone else that may have is none of my business...)
- Using saffron to dye your pasta blond is a great way to give it that Upper West Side look at a Lower East Side price ... and finally,
- While cayenne pepper is a great way to speed up your metabolism, I advise not to consume it by the tablespoon, as you may find swallowing, tasting and breathing more difficult than normal
What's especially great about these tips is that they can be applied to just about every cooking scenario imaginable (including the second one, in a way). Remember, folks, cayenne pepper is like perfume -- don't swallow too much of it.
One last thing: Before you go and watch our latest episode, there's going to be a new edition to the blog section of our page. Since we update our recipes all the time, every Thursday we'll feature a handful of them, as well as tips and tricks to help along the way. We'll also be highlighting the wonderful Nonne that provide them to us, so be sure to check back here every Thursday for the newest additions to the Cooking with Nonna family.