La Trobe in the City – Ancient Mediterranean Lecture Series, FOOD AND CULTURE IN SICILY: MENU FOR EASTER COOKERY WORKSHOP

This was one of the workshops offered by La Trobe University as part of the 2013 lecture series. It was held on Saturday 23 March 2013.

Marisa displays cime

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.

I accompanied the lecture 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 recipes I cooked were:
Maccu (pulses)

Caponata (eggplants, peppers, nuts, breadcrumbs). Will be eaten with bread.


Pasta che sardi – Pasta con le sarde (Sardines, breadcrumbs, currants, pine nuts, wild fennel)

Pasta con sarde 1

Ficato ri setti canola:  Sicilian Pumpkin with vinegar, mint, sugar and cinnamon


For the workshop I collected some wild greens and the audience was able to see the differences between the wild variety and the cultivated species; wild fennel is one of the ingredients in Pasta Con le Sarde.

Marisa La trobejpg

Cassata (pan di Spagna/sponge cake, ricotta, nuts, marsala, citrus peel, chocolate and marzipan)

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