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Friday, 20 April 2007

recipe of the month : Involtini di pescespada

My Grandma Providenza's only job was that of raising her three, extremely spoiled, children and she used to spend entire days in the kitchen. I can still recall the delicious aromas, when she was organising her usual Sunday gathering, right after mass.
When she passed away a few years ago , I inherited her recipe book. The recipe I'm going to post today is one of my favourites: Involtini di pesce spada. (swordfish rolls)
I also remember when I was a child, anytime she was preparing this particular recipe and I happened to be "helping out" in the kitchen, I used to ask her to sing a particular song for me: "Lu Pisci Spada" (the swordfish) by Domenico Modugno. It is a famous song in sicilian dialect, which recounted a fishing expedition from the eyes of both the fishermen and two amorous swordfish.

Sicilian cuisine, especially the "Baroque" one, can be very complex at times, because of this it is always best to have somebody with you to show you all the "magic".
For those who would like to master this old traditional Sicilian recipe, Mamma Lucia from Ristorante Cin Cin in Palermo knows all the culinary secrets about it.

Swordfish rolls (involtini di pesce spada)

Ingredients (serves 4)
12 slices of swordfish (600-700g)
Extra virgin olive oil
100g grated mature cheese (pecorino if possible)
20g pine kernels
20g raisins
Lemon juice
1/2 a small chilli pepper chopped
Salt and pepper
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 small onion
12 bay leaves
4 skewer sticks


The filling: finely chop the onion and garlic and gently fry in olive oil until soft. Add salt and pepper, the pine kernels, the raisins, the finely chopped parsley, the cheese and the chilli pepper and mix well until it is fairly solid (though not too dry).

The sword fish: using a tenderiser, flatten the swordfish fillets and then add a spoonful of the filling and roll up. Once ready roll in olive oil and bread crumbs and place 3 rolls onto each skewer, divided by a slice of onion and a bay leaf.

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