Sicilian baked pasta is one of the most popular dishes in Sicily and emulated by all Italian and non-Italian tourists, and has also enjoyed huge success in the United States and overseas. It is conceived as a single dish because it is rich in meat, peas and cheeses and therefore both tasty and balanced.
Precisely for this reason, being a very appetizing dish but certainly not gourmet or suitable for special occasions, it is prepared rather for family gatherings and therefore for birthdays, Sunday lunches or holidays such as Father’s Day. It is in fact a very simple dish that can be made without difficulty even by youngsters without much experience.
Typical Sicilian dishes and Sicilian baked pasta
In the field of food & wine, Italians are truly unbeatable: the cultural tradition of the Belpaese makes the cuisine essential and from region to region it is possible to find typical dishes which are very different from each other, ready to delight the taste buds.
Among the most successful Sicilian dishes throughout the country, in addition to the tasty cannoli, there is certainly Sicilian baked pasta that we suggest for Father’s Day: a simple and super-inviting dish to be served during the occasions of family reunions but also on a Sunday or during the week.
Baked pasta is, as its name suggests, literally “baked pasta”. The pasta is prepared according to traditional cooking methods and drained al dente: it is then seasoned with a simple sauce or meat sauce and a mix of aged and fresh cheeses. The aged cheese is grated to mix the pasta, while the fresh one is reduced into cubes to give consistency in cooking. The pasta is then placed in a baking tray and cooked first, then grilled to brown it.
Other typical dishes of Sicilian culture
Sicilian baked pasta is one of the best Italian dishes most appreciated by tourists but not only. This main dish of Sicilian baked pasta is actually a complete dish: the rich ragu, combined with the generous amount of cheeses used, makes it perfect as a single course, to combine with a light vegetable or fresh salad.
But in restaurants in Sicily or in bars it is possible to taste numerous typical dishes and sweets, such as:
- Ragu fried rice balls
- Pasta alla Norma
- Fresh granita
- Panelle (made with chickpea flour)
- Panino ca ‘meusa (typical Palermo street food)
and much more. The list would be endless.
Sicilian baked pasta recipe and where to eat it
For Sicilian baked pasta it is necessary to have:
- 400g of mixed mince veal and pork
- 150g of tomato paste dissolved in 1 / 2lt of water
- 200g of frozen peas
- 350g of Sicilian rings (or other type of pasta of your choice)
- 100g Primosale (fresh pecorino cheese)
- 80g grated Caciocavallo cheese
- half a glass of red wine.
To make it is sufficient to prepare a sauté of red onions and oil in which you brown the minced meat. After you will blend the meat with the wine at a very high heat and, once the wine has evaporated, add the tomato paste and the peas and cook until reduced.
The pasta rings will be cooked normally. Once ready, they should be drained and creamed with grated cheese and meat sauce. They will then be poured into a greased baking pan and covered with breadcrumbs and garnished with primosale in chunks. Cooked in the oven at 180 ° until brown with a possible last passage of 5 more minutes under the grill.
If you do not want to try your hand at making Sicilian baked pasta but, instead, you are looking for ideas on where to eat in Sicily, we can suggest the Bar Ristorante Menza in Catania, super cheap place that would seem to offer its guests the best baked pasta of eastern Sicily.