Messina couscous – Italian Cuisine – Italian Cuisine

Messina couscous - Italian Cuisine


A couscous seasoned as a focaccia, the typical Messina one. The recipe by Francesco Arena of the Panificio Arena di Messina

Also this year a San Vito Lo Capo It took place Cous Cous Fest, event that year after year in the seaside resort among the most beautiful and well known in the province of Trapani, Hosts a party that celebrates the peace and integration of peoples. For the occasion, Francesco Arena of Panificio Arena from Messina interpreted the couscous with great originality. From 1939 to Messina, the Panificio Arena is synonymous with craftsmanship, in February 2019 Francesco received the award for Best Baker Best in Sicily from the food and wine newspaper "Cronache di Gusto" and last December the panettone craft of the Panificio Arena were included in our ranking of the 20 best in Italy.

The Messinese at the Cous Cous Fest

The name of the dish The Messinese at the Cous Cous Fest tells the idea of ​​travel and the mixture between two Sicilian territories, between two different and fascinating gastronomic cultures, very rooted in the territory. The couscous, a dish from the San Vito tradition that testifies to the coexistence of the Maghrebian culture with that of Sicily, meets the traditional focaccia from Messina. Thus was born the idea of ​​replacing the traditional leavened dough with a cous cous base and stuffed with tuma cream, scarola emulsion, confit tomatoes, fresh anchovies fried in extra virgin olive oil, toasted almond flakes and caper powder from Salina. Using some of the ingredients of the typical Messina street food preparation, with some important additions, Arena launches the challenge transforming the focaccia in cous cous base and proposing an innovative cooking of hand-cut semolina. Here is his homemade recipe.

The Messinese at the Cous Cous Fest

Ingredients for 4 people

For the preparation of couscous
500 g of semolina for couscous – water – salt – extra virgin olive oil – cinnamon sticks – 1 sprig of rosemary

For the broth
water to taste – salt – oil – carrots – celery – leeks – tomato – onions

For the tuma cream
500 g of whole milk – 50 g of butter – 25 g of flour – 70 g of tuma – salt – black pepper

For the escarole cream
curly endive (endive) – extra virgin olive oil – salt – peeled almonds

For confit tomatoes
datterino or piccadilly tomatoes – salt – sugar – rosemary – pepper – oregano

To complete the dish
fresh anchovies – extra virgin olive oil – salt

For the preparation of couscous

Glue the semolina in a fairly large bowl. Pour the semolina a little at a time and let the water flow down onto the back of the hand. With the palm of your hand rotate the semolina on the plate until small lumps are created. Once incantato, adjust salt and pour extra virgin olive oil, stirring the couscous in your hands. Add a small piece of cinnamon and rosemary, put the couscous in the special couscous sauce and steam for about 75 minutes. Once cooked, shell the couscous with the help of a fork. (If using the precooked couscous, boil water with cinnamon and rosemary for a few minutes and soak the couscous with the flavored water following the instructions).

For the broth
Clean the vegetables and cook them in water. Bring to a boil and cook for about an hour.

For the tuma cream
Melt the butter in a saucepan, pour the flour, being careful not to let the lumps form, once you have obtained a cream, pour the milk and mix with the whisk until the mixture is thickened, then add the previously cut diced tuma. Mix, add salt and pepper and leave to cool.

For the escarole cream
Bring the water to the boil, cook the endive for a few minutes, pass it in water and ice to fix the bright green color. Squeeze, add the peeled almonds and blend with the immersion mixer adding extra virgin olive oil flush, create an emulsion, keep in the fridge for an hour.

For the preparation of the confit tomato
Cut the tomatoes in two parts and lay them on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt, sugar, oil and spices and bake at 120 ° C for about an hour.

For the preparation of anchovies
Clean the fish by removing the head and bone. Fry them in extra virgin olive oil, drain the fish and add a pinch of salt.

To finish the dish
Press the couscous inside a pasta bowl, creating the base of the dish, pour the cream of tuma, the emulsion of endive, lay the confit tomatoes and finally the fried anchovy.

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