In Sicily, spring is the celebration of life, which in cultural and religious terms is expressed in Easter; Primavera (Spring) and Pasqua (Easter) are synonymous – a fusion of nature, culture, family and food.
When it is spring in Australia, it is autumn in Sicily. but we seem to be able to buy goat in Australia during both seasons.
A popular spring meat and Easter Sunday lunch treat is kid or lamb, commonly roasted or braised, and all depending on how one’s mother cooked it.
My relatives in Ragusa traditionally eat ‘mpanata ri agnieddu – a focaccia type pie made with very young lamb (complete with bones) and enveloped with a bread dough crust, and this is because it is what my grandmother made at Easter and probably her mother before her.
In Australia the meat I buy is likely be considered as goat in Italy.
The kid recipe I have chosen to write about is a variation of capretto con le mandorle (kid with almonds), a recipe from the north western area of Sicily which includes Trapani, Marsala and Mazara del Vallo.
It is from the book La Cucina Tradizionale Siciliana by Anna Pomar, published in 1984. The book was given to me by Rosetta my cousin on one of the many occasions when I visited her home in Ragusa – this was her own copy and has her annotations all over it…. a bit like the books I inherited from my mother.
I love the texture that the almonds provide in the thickening of this dish.
I always like to make recipes my own and modify them to my tastes.
To this recipe I added more onions, bay leaves, stock rather than water and dry Marsala. Is it still the same recipe?
3-4 bay leaves,
salt and pepper to taste
Although Sicilians and Italians tend to eat their food lukewarm, the recipe states to eat it hot.