Sicilians like to eat fennel at the end of a meal to aid digestion and when paired with tangy orange, it makes a light & refreshing salad, half fruit, half vegetable!
We have our own version of this salad but we met Genni in Messina and she served it to us with pine nuts, raisins and pumpkin seeds which add some crunch & extra nutritional benefits. It's definitely a recipe to try over the summer season!
This is a typical dish from Messina which incorporates so many of the fresh ingredients of Sicilian cuisine. Recipes in Sicily vary so much by cities and regions and Vitina told me that despite visiting her family in Sicily so many times, this was the first time she ever experienced this dish. Her family is from the Eastern side and the food is different! This is a very popular recipe and is a creative way to make an eggplant spaghetti sandwich covered in rich tomato sauce, cheese and fresh basil.
Pasta fagioli, or a soup made with pasta and beans, is a staple for most Italian families. The beauty of this soup is how each family and often, each family member, has their own versions. Variations include using pork, sausage, chicken broth, and different types of beans, such as Navy or Cannellini beans.
This version of Pasta Fagioli is packed full of vitamins and nutrients from the vegetables, Papa Vince tomato sauce and EVOO, as well as creating a complete protein from the combination of the beans and pasta. Quick and easy to make for a healthy weeknight dinner, it comes together in less then a half hour.