Tag Archives: Easter

AGGLASSATO braised meat with a thick onion sauce

When a food is Agglassato (from a French word glacer) it is glazed. For example if it is a cake it could be glazed with glacé icing, glace cherries are glazed with sugar, the surface of a meat Pâté or any meat or fish to be eaten cold could be glazed with a jellied stock. And to me this implies that the glaze has a sheen.

In Sicily there is a traditional dish called Agglassato also Aggrassato ( to further complicate matters it can be spelled Agrassato and Aglassato) and it is braised meat (veal, lamb, kid, tongue) cooked with large amounts of onions.It is also referred to as Carne Agrassata -meat carne =meat and it is a feminine word, therefore the ‘a’ at the end.

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Once cooked, the onions become very soft, the sauce is reduced and the onions became a thick puree Agglassato can also be eaten cold. This is when the onion sauce jellies, thickens and glazes the meat.

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Although this particular dish may have been influenced by French cuisine, lard rather than butter is used – lard being more common in Sicilian cuisine.

Agglassato seems to be a method of cooking meat which is fairly wide spread across Sicily with a few variations. Some use less onions, others add potatoes and in some parts of Sicily, especially in the South-eastern region grated pecorino cheese is added at the end of cooking. Sometimes the meat is cooked in one piece and held together with string, at other times it is cubed as in a stew.

The sauce (without potatoes) can also be used to dress pasta – remove some of the onion sauce for the first course (pasta) then present the meat for the second course with contorni (side vegetable dishes).

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The recipe is simple.

The ratio is:

1 kg meat to 1 kg onions
200 g lard or a mixture of lard and extra virgin olive oil
salt, pepper
½ -1 glass of white wine
rosemary or sage or bay leaves
meat stock (optional)

In a pan suitable for making a stew heat the lard, add the sliced onions, and herbs. Soften the onions on low heat and then add the meat (cubed or in one piece).
Toss the meat around until it is white on the surface (unlike other stews do not brown).

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Add the wine, cover and cook it over low heat for about 70 minutes per kilo of meat, less if the meat is in small pieces. Remove the lid about 15-20 minutes if the contents look too watery and allow the sauce to thicken.

If you are cooking kid or lamb (this is a common recipe for Easter especially in the south east of Sicily), the following ratio of ingredients is a useful guide.

2 kg kid, or lamb on the bone, cut into stew-size pieces
800g-1kg potatoes
500g onions
100g lard or a mixture of lard and extra virgin olive oil
salt, pepper
4 cloves of garlic (whole)
1 glass of white wine
rosemary or sage or bay leaves
1 cup of parsley cut finely
meat stock (optional)
100 g grated pecorino cheese

In a pan suitable for making a stew heat the lard, add the sliced onions, garlic and herbs (but not the parsley).
Soften the onions and then add the meat.
Toss the meat around until it is white on the surface. Add the wine, cover and cook it over low heat for about 50-60 minutes. Check for moisture and add splashes of stock or water if the stew looks too dry. In Sicily kid and lamb are slaughtered as young animals and depending on the age and tenderness of your meat you may need to cook it for longer.
Peel and cut the potatoes into small chunks and add them to the stew. Add parsley and stock or water to almost cover the potatoes and cook until they are done (probably 30 minutes).
At the end of cooking sprinkle with grated pecorino.

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In a previous post I have written about how my father used to cook tongue (lingua) in this way. Now and again he would also cook meat instead of tongue

See Recipe: Carne Aglassata-  Glazed tongue in onion sauce

Below is a photo of the whole tongue( lingua)  – this is removed from the sauce and sliced before being served.

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SCACCE and PIZZA and SICILIAN EASTER

It always seems a time for scacce in Sicily, but particularly at Easter.

I  have  already written about scacce (focaccia-like stuffed pastries) and for suggestions of fillings and the recipe and ways to fold the pastry, see the post called: Scacce (Focaccia-like Stuffed Bread).

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One of the most difficult things if you are a novice at making the traditional shaped scacce is the folding of the pastry. So, why not try just forming them into these shapes below instead. Use the same fillings and pastry as described in the post Scacce ( Focaccia- like Stuffed Bread) above.

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This scaccia (singular of scacce and not a misspelling) in the photo below is round and pie shaped. The filling is made from lamb and ricotta.

The braised greens on the side could also be used in a filling – spinach or chicory or broccoli- softened/ wilted and then sautéed in garlic, chili and extra virgin olive oil (but drain well).

There is a post for impanate with a lamb filling – a typical dish for Easter.

(link)‘Mpanata (A Lamb Pie, an Easter Treat)

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The photos for these scacce (and pizza) are from a small eatery in Catania. The filling is made from slices of fried eggplant, a little bit of tomato salsa and a little bit of caciocavallo ( Sicilian cheese) –  you could try provolone (cheese) instead.

Or you could try small pasty shapes as in the photo below (circle of dough = filling  on one side= fold over to make a half moon). The pastries in the photo below are  cooling on the racks in Dolcetti pasticceria (pastry shop  in Victoria Street Melbourne). Marianna is the pastry chef and her mum is Lidia –  and she is all Sicilian. Lidia visits Dolcetti  each Saturday to make these pastries. She calls her pastries impanate.  They are fabulous and she uses a variety of fillings.

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 What about just a pizza ….. These pizzas (in the photo below) are  from Pizza D’Asporto (Rifle Range Shopping Centre, Williamstown). They are made by Sicilians and are very good – worth a visit.

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Or what about a Sfincione?

(link) Sfincione di Palermo (a pizza/focaccia type pie)

There are other Easter type recipes on my blog….just key in Easter or Pasqua in the search space.

Go for it! Buona Pasqua!

SPEZZATINO DI CAPRETTO (Italian Goat/ Kid stew)

I am always very pleased to find goat meat and I found some at the Farmers Market in Albury-Wodonga when I visited there recently. The meat was from Boer goats (those attractive white and brown ones) bred and raised on a farm called Myrrhee Premium Boer Goats located on the Benalla-Whitfield Rd near Wangaratta and Benalla. It is also very close to the gourmet and wine country of the King Valley Region in North Eastern Victoria. The goats are free-range and the farm sell milk fed capretto and chevon goat meat – the young and the mature beast.

I also bought some goat sausages; these also contain a little pork meat.

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Spring in Sicily is the time to eat capretto (kid) and being in the northern hemisphere, many parts of Sicily celebrate Easter with kid. This photo was taken in the market in Catania in Spring and you will notice that whole or sides of meat are always sold with the head attached – not just in Sicily but all over Italy.  It is also common to leave some of the fur on one of the hooves. My mother used to say that this is because buyers want proof of what animal is being sold.

Notice also, the tripe on the tray in front of the carcase.

Veal or lamb can also be cooked in this very simple way for making a spezzatino (the Italian word for stew).

Usually potatoes are added to spezzatini (stews). I added fennel.

INGREDIENTS
1.5 k of chopped goat meat with bones (a young beast)
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 onion, sliced
2 carrots cut into large pieces
salt, freshly ground pepper
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
2-3 fresh bay leaves
1 cup chopped parsley
1-2 fennel, cut into quarters

PROCESSES
Heat the oil in a braising pan and over high heat brown the meat until it has a golden colour.
Remove the meat from the pan and sauté the onion, add the garlic and return the meat to the pan.
Add white wine, herbs and seasoning.
Cover and braise on slow heat for at least one hour before adding the fennel. Check during the cooking process to see if it will need more liquid and add a little water or stock.It may aslo need more cooking as this will depend on the quality and age of the meat.
Adjust seasoning if necessary, cover again and cook until the fennel is soft, but does not fall apart (about 20 minutes).

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ENPA (National Protection of Animals)

Nice to see this. For those of you who do no read English, in the province of Catania, Ristoworld (a network of people who are interested in food production and cuisine) is supporting ENPA in their objection to kill baby lambs, traditionally eaten at Easter.
I know my family in Ragusa used to make ‘Mpanata for Easter.
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A whole lamb used to be chopped up, bones and all and once dressed with with garlic, parsley, extra virgin olive oil and seasoning was wrapped in bread pastry. They no longer make this – Unfortunately this could be because it is too much work.
There is a recipe for ‘Mpanata  a lamb pie. It can be made with regular lamb.
Happy Easter
Marisa
                            E. N. P. A.

              Ente  Nazionale  Protezione  Animali

                                          Ente  Morale

Sezione Provinciale di Catania

Via Anapo nr. 45, Catania,  tel/fax 095270869 –  www.enpacatania.org – catania@enpa.org
COMUNICAZIONE AI MEDIA
CONTRO LA MATTANZA DI AGNELLINI PER PASQUA DUE ALLEATI  DI ECCEZIONE: ENPA E GLI CHEF RISTOWORLD
Ogni anno in Italia vengono uccisi oltre due milioni di agnellini per dare seguito alla barbara tradizione Pasquale di cibarsi di questi esserini innocenti.
Due milioni di vite che piangono dal momento stesso in cui vengono strappati alle loro mamme fino all’ultimo respiro mentre vengono sgozzati.
Chiamarla tradizione Pasquale e ricondurla ad una festività Santa  che parla di Rinascita, di amore e di purezza è raccapricciante.
Noi di Enpa Catania preferiamo chiamarla per quello che è: ingordigia.
Abbiamo accolto con estremo piacere la volontà dell’associazione di ristoratori Ristoworld di mettere in discussione questa macabra usanza, convinti che il buon esempio debba partire dal monito degli stessi addetti ai lavori. La Ristoworld non metterà nelle proprie cucine agnellini e con loro ci auguriamo che presto li seguiranno, gli altri.
Catania, 28 marzo 2013

 

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SICILIAN CASSATA and MARZIPAN AT EASTER (Food and Culture in Sicily, La Trobe University)

I usually coat my cassata with marzipan and every time I do this people tell me how much they have enjoyed eating the marzipan and how it compliments the flavours of the cassata.

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The last time I made cassata with marzipan was Saturday 23 March at Food And Culture In Sicily: Easter Cookery Workshop offered by La Trobe University and once again the people who attended the session liked the marzipan and said that they had never enjoyed eating it in the past.

The session began with a very interesting lecture on the history of food and feasting in Sicily, Italy and the Mediterranean.  Dr Gillian Shepherd is Lecturer in Ancient Mediterranean Studies and Director of the A.D. Trendall Research Centre for Ancient Mediterranean Studies at La Trobe University. During her lecture she focused on the literary and archaeological evidence for food production and consumption in the ancient world.

The lecture was followed with a food workshop and cooking demonstration that reflected the ways Sicilian cuisine has been influenced by the dominant cultures of the Mediterranean from ancient times to the modern day, which includes Greek, Roman, Arabic, French and Spanish cultures.

The cassata was very appropriate for this session, not just because of its derivation, but also because it was essentially and still is an Easter dessert. In time it has also become popular for Christmas.

Sicily produces large quantities of almonds and almond meal is used extensively for making traditional almond sweets and pastries. Marzipan fruit originate from Sicily and Sicilian pastry cooks are esteemed and employed all over Italy.

Marzipan when made in the traditional method is made by cooking a strong syrup of sugar and water and then adding freshly ground almonds. The mixture is kneaded till smooth (like bread dough) and then shaped.

The modern and easiest way is to make it with almond meal, icing sugar and water. It is still kneaded and rolled with a rolling pin. Unless you can buy fresh almond meal it is best to blanch the almonds and grind them yourself.

Over the years I have been making marzipan and adapting a recipe from Bitter Almonds, Recollections and Recipes from a Sicilian girlhood. Maria Grammatico has a very famous pastry shop in Erice in Sicily and her recipes have been recorded by Mary Taylor Simeti.

This is the original recipe:
2 cups (300 g) whole blanched almonds
2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar *
1/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
In a food processor, grind the almonds with about 2 tablespoons of the sugar until very fine, almost powdery.
In a food processor or in an electric mixer, combine the nuts, the rest of the sugar, the water, vanilla, and the almond extract.
Process or mix until the paste is very smooth. Remove to a marble slab or other cold work surface dusted with confectioners’ sugar and knead briefly by hand.
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Marzipan will keep almost indefinitely in the refrigerator.

****This is what I do: I use 2 cups of ground almonds and 1 and ½ cups of pure icing sugar combined with ½ cup of caster sugar – this adds the crunchy texture that compliments the ground almonds.

I really like the taste of natural almonds and if I am using fresh almonds I see no necessity to use vanilla or almond extract.

I usually mix the sugars and almond meal with my fingers and add the water slowly. I am cautious with water because if the mixture is too wet I may need to add more almonds and sugar. I knead it as if I am making bread and if it needs more water I add it to make the mixture pliable.

This is not the first time that I have written about Cassata or Easter or Marzipan and there are many other posts about these three topics on this blog.

This post has the recipe for making cassata:

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FOOD AND CULTURE IN SICILY: EASTER COOKERY WORKSHOP

La Trobe in the City is designed for anyone with an interest in history, literature and / or ancient cultures.

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Click on the link bellow for full details of the Lecture Series:
 Full details of the Program

FOOD AND CULTURE IN SICILY: EASTER COOKERY WORKSHOP
This is one of the workshops offered as part of the lecture series.

Details of the workshop:

Saturday 23 March, 11.00am–3.00pm
Institute for Advanced Study, La Trobe University
Melbourne campus (Bundoora)

Presented by Gillian Shepherd and Marisa Raniolo Wilkins

Cost: $115 (full), $105 (discount)
Registration census date: Friday 15 March

This session will commence with a lecture on the history of food and feasting in Sicily, Italy and the Mediterranean.

Gillian Shepherd will focus on the literary and archaeological evidence for food production and consumption in the ancient world.

This will be accompanied by a food workshop.

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Yesterday I visited La Trobe University at Bundoora to check out the venue and finalise the recipes for a demonstration/cooking class I am giving as part of the university’s lecture series on the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean.

The food that I’ll be talking about and cooking for the class reflects the ways Sicilian cuisine has been influenced by the dominant cultures of the Mediterranean from ancient times to the modern day, which includes Greek, Roman, Arabic, French and Spanish cultures.

Some of the recipes will be from my book Sicilian Seafood Cooking.

Since my cooking demonstration is planned for the weekend before Easter, it was natural to select some foods that would be prepared in Sicily at Easter, which is one of the most significant times of the year for Sicilians. Whether they were ruled by Greeks or Romans, Arabs or Spaniards, Easter in Sicily marks the start of Spring and a time of celebration.

It should be a very interesting session and I hope to see you there.
Marisa

Course code: SC03
Online registration is available at:
latrobe.edu.au/humanities/litc

or contact Sarah Midford
School of Historical and European Studies:
s.midford@latrobe.edu.au

About Gillian Shepherd:
Dr Gillian Shepherd is Lecturer in AncientMediterranean Studies and Director of the A.D. Trendall Research Centre for Ancient Mediterranean Studies at La Trobe University.

Gillian studied Classics and Fine Arts at theUniversity of Melbourne before going on to complete a PhD in Classical Archaeology at Trinity College, Cambridge, followed bya research fellowship at St Hugh’s College,Oxford.
Until her recent return to Australia to take up her position at La!Trobe University, Gillian was Lecturer in Classical Archaeology at the University of Birmingham, UK.

Her research interests are the ancient Greek colonisation of Sicily and Italy, burial customs,and the archaeology and art of Greece and Magna Graecia.

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EASTER IN SICILY – A SICILIAN FEAST IN RAGUSA – Recipes and Giuggiulena

It has been a while since I have had an Easter in Sicily and I am feeling very nostalgic. This year, a large group of my relatives in Ragusa are all going to celebrate lunch at Stefania and Aurelio’s country house, just outside Ragusa and I wish I could be with them.The country house is a stable which in the 18 Century belonged to a local Baron called La Rocca.

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Stefania and Aurelio bought the property several years ago (it also has a few surrounding buildings and land) and they are slowly converting it into a beautiful holiday home. They are using local artisans to recreate and restore many features in the original style and character. As much as possible they have kept its original outside appearance and interior features, especially the original carved wooden ceiling.

I do miss my relatives (and the feast that they will be sharing), but I also miss Spring in Sicily.

In Sicily, spring is the start of everything. It is the time when the island comes alive – flowers bloom, vines sprout and vegetables ripen. Spring is the celebration of life, which in cultural and religious terms is expressed in Easter. In Sicily Primavera (Spring) and Pasqua (Easter) are a fusion of nature and culture, family and food.

The ancient Greeks (once settlers in Sicily) also marked spring and – like the Christian Easter – their myth celebrated another resurrection from the dead through the legend of Persephone.

The Greeks considered Sicily to be Persephone’s island because, according to the myth, Pluto, the god of Hades, who imprisoned her in his underworld realm, abducted Persephone from the Sicilian town of Enna.

So Persephone’s grieving mother, the goddess Demeter, (goddess of agriculture) plunged the island into a barren winter, until Zeus, the father of the gods, struck a bargain with Pluto to let Persephone to return to land of the living for six months of the year. So it is that when Persephone is released from Hades, Demeter allowed the world to thaw and bloom before her daughter must once again return to Pluto and Hades.

The pagan traditions were slightly transformed and unofficially accepted into the rites surrounding devotion to the Christian saints. Offerings of bread, cheeses, and sweets, associated with pagan harvest rituals, are common in many of the present-day festivals.

Some of the foods the relatives will be eating are on my previous posts.

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Here are the links:
There will also be baked capretto (kid) and wild spring greens collected from their property and sauteed in virgin olive oil and garlic  (see top photos, taken at one of the other family feasts in the country house).
Franca will make scacce and sguogghiu (alternatives to scacce)

They will be buying cassata from the pasticceria (pastry shop) and making cassatedde. In Ragusa (and nearby Modica) these are little baked tarts with a pastry bottom and a ricotta, sugar, egg and cinnamon. Some add candied orange.

In the rest of Sicily, cassatedde are ravioli like pastries and fried.

Picture of cassatedde:

The pasta will be a must. Zia Niluzza will be making gnucchateddi (causunedda) all night for so many people!( She never takes off her jewellery when making pasta). She may even make large ricotta ravioli with a strong ragu made with pork and conserva (strong tomato paste).

And there will be homemade liquers: Nocello (made with green walnuts) and Mandarinetto (made with green mandarins)

And small sweets: Cotogniata (quince paste) rolled in sugar and Giuggiulena (or sesame seed torrone). It is also called Cubbaita and is said to be a legacy from the Arabs who lived in Sicily.

Giuggiulena, recipe:

INGREDIENTS

1k honey, 1 k sesame seeds, 4 cups sugar, ½ teaspoon of each: cinnamon, cloves, grated orange peel.

PROCESSES

Melt the sugar in a large saucepan on very low heat, when sugar is melted add honey. Add sesame seeds and aromatics mix well. Remove the torrone from the heat quickly (or the sesame seeds my burn). Let cool slightly.
Pour mixture onto a tray with baking paper or a marble that has been coated with oil. Spread evenly and quickly before the torrone hardens, cut into rectangular pieces before it cools and store in airtight containers.

 

Photos of Stefania and Aurelio’s country house:

Aurelio with one of his horses on the property.

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One of the many lunches at the property. On this occasion the local cheese makers were invited…..this is why there are all those men at the table. They bought cheeses for us to taste.

 

PRESNIZ and GUBANA (Easter cakes in Trieste)


In Trieste, while the Sicilian relatives were eating their celebratory desserts at Easter, we were either eating presniz or gubana (also called putiza) – both are made with similar pastry (gubana has yeast) and fillings containing different amounts of a mixture of nuts, sultanas, peel and chocolate. A little grappa or a little rum always helps.

The presniz or gubana are then placed into a round baking tin and coiled inside the tin so that when baked, the sides will join up and form a round shape when removed from the tin.

The preparation of gubana requires several steps in order to allow a sourdough to develop using very little yeast.

Pastry with yeast:
500 g flour 00
20 g of yeast
2 cups milk
130 g sugar
100 g butter
1 lemon, peel
1 egg yolk to complete
butter for the plate
3 eggs
salt
 
FOR THE FILLING:
150 g raisins,
60 g Mixture: candied citron,  candied orange, prunes, dried figs
150 g of walnuts
60 g of pine nuts
60 g almonds
100 g of dark chocolate
1 glass of grappa or brandy
2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs
30 g butter
2 eggs
grated zest of ½ orange and ½ lemon
 
Heat 4 tablespoons of milk and when it is warm, add the yeast and let it bubble.
Mix 100 g of flour with a teaspoon of sugar and the yeast dissolved in milk. Cover and allow to rise. When it has doubled in volume, add the remaining flour and remaining sugar, eggs, softened butter, a pinch of salt, grated lemon peel and milk. Work this into a dough. Allow to rest 24 hours.

Prepare the filling:

Soak the walnuts and almonds in boiling water, remove their skins and chop them finely.
Soak the raisins in alcohol for a couple of hours. Add the rest of the fruit cut into small piece sand soak for another hour.
Add grated chocolate  peel and pine nuts.
Add 1 beaten egg (beaten with a fork) and  soft or melted butter .
 
Roll out the dough on a towel in a thin rectangular shape (about 5 mm thick).
Fry the breadcrumbs in a little butter and when cool spread them over the dough.
Cover with the filling and leave a boarder around the edge (2 cm) . Roll it up on itself, in the shape of a coiled snake. Arrange on baking paper or buttered and floured baking tray.
Brush the surface with 1 beaten egg yolk, sprinkle with a little sugar and bake in a preheated oven at 190 ° C for about 45 minutes. Serve luke warm or cold (it cuts better and it is usually made well in advance of being eaten).
 

All you need to do is look at a map of Italy to understand why much of the cuisine in Trieste (Friuli-Venezia Giulia), is influenced by Austro-Hungarian and Yugoslav traditions.

The apple strudel that is celebrated throughout the year and is a standard dessert in the kitchens of Triestini, has yet again a variation of the pastry, some of the nuts, peel and chocolate, but also raw apple. My mother always used the delicious apples because they were the sweetest. In all three desserts, the pastry is rolled around the filling. See Strucolo de Pomi

One year I went to Sicily for Easter and brought a presniz for the Sicilian relatives to try. I had gone to considerable trouble, buying it from what was considered to be the best pastry shop in Trieste and handling it carefully so that it would not be damaged while travelling.

There was no enthusiasm when I put it on the table, most of the relatives were too full to try it (it was presented with coffee and liqueurs after the big Sicilian Easter lunch after all), and those who did try the presniz did not express any great enthusiasm.

Tradition and only Sicilian food is everything for most Sicilians and I could probably say the same about any other region in Italy.

The traditional desserts for Easter in most of Sicily are made with ricotta. Many have cassata, made with sponge cake, ricotta, chocolate and candied peel, others, like the Ragusani  have cassatedde, small, baked ricotta filled tarts made with short pastry (cassatedde can be different shaped ricotta filled pastries in various parts of Sicily – some versions are smaller adaptations of cassata, some cassatedde are fried instead of baked). Very different, quite delicious and perhaps as interesting as presniz and gubana.

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘MPANATA (A lamb pie, Easter treat)

Having relatives in Ragusa who celebrate Easter in a big way, I am very familiar with the ‘mpanata ri agnieddu – a focaccia type pie made with very young lamb (unfortunately) complete with bones and enveloped with a bread dough crust. This is the traditional specialty for the Easter Sunday lunch in Ragusa and it is not the type of pie where you discard the pastry – the flavourful juices from the meat and herbs soak into the bottom crust and are appreciated as much as the filling. My relatives make large round pies, but as you can see in the photo above, individual sized  pastries could be made as well, but these are not as traditional.

Sicilian food like Italian food is regional so ‘mpanata ri agnieddu may not be eaten in other parts of Sicily.
Circular floral bowl with handles

The word ‘mpanata (impanata in Italian) appears in a Sicilian lexicon in 1785 and is highly likely to have come from the Spanish word empanada, a derivative from the word empanar which means to wrap or coat with bread the semi-circular stuffed pastries common in the Spanish speaking countries and in Spain.

Although it is commonly accepted that empanadas are a Spanish innovation it is possible that ‘mpanate may also have been adaptations of the breads of ancient civilizations in Sicily. The Greeks were renowned for their breads. The Romans continued this tradition and over time the breads in Sicily were enriched with flavours and fillings. There are many names for these, for example the ‘nfigghiulata, fuazza, pastizzu, ravazzata, scacciata, scacce and sfinciuni.

You will not believe just how simple the Easter ‘impanata is to make.

INGREDIENTS

The filling

You will need 1.5- 2 kilos of cubed, lean lamb (from the shoulder or leg). The lamb the Ragusani use is very young and they include some of the bones, chopped into smallish pieces. As we all know bones add flavour, but I do not recommend you do this unless you  tell your guests to be careful of the bones.
To the meat add, parsley, chopped garlic, salt and black pepper and a dash of extra virgin olive oil.

Leave this to steep overnight.

The bread dough
flour, plain (durum wheat), 900g
yeast, 50gr (fresh) or dried yeast, follow instructions on packet
warm water, ½ cup
extra virgin olive oil, ½ cup
salt to taste
PROCESSES
Dissolve the yeast in a little warm water and add to the flour. Mix into a dough, adding a little water until you get a firm consistency.
Sprinkle with some flour and leave under a tea towel to rise for about 1 hour.
After the dough has risen, add a little olive oil and knead again until the oil is totally absorbed. Traditionally, the Ragusani add lard – you choose.

 

Heat the oven 200 C

Roll out the dough to 1.5 cm thick. There will be two discs of dough to cover the filling. Make one slightly larger than the other – the biggest one will go on the bottom. You can use a large pie plate or just place it into a well-oiled baking pan so that if any juices escape they will be contained.
Add the meat in one single layer in the centre of the dough.
Cover the filling with the smaller disk of dough, moisten around the edges with water and seal the crusts (first fold the dough around the border and then pinch together). Make a couple of slits on top.
Brush with a little olive oil or with a little beaten egg.
Bake for about 1½ hours until the crust is golden.
After about 40 minutes, cover the pie with foil to keep it from burning.

 

Let the pie rest for 1 hour before eating to allow the meat juices to be absorbed by the bread dough on the bottom layer. For some, this is supposed to be the most memorable part of the pie.

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