Tag: Eve

New Year's Eve in Sicily: the chef's lunch, recipe included – Italian Cuisine

From the sauce of the false lean to the pasta 'ncasciata up to the buccellato, the lunch of the New Year of chef Procopio – recipe of the Aci trunzu cabbage as a gift

“The lunch of New Year's it has the scent of false lean sauce but also of cinnamon, toasted almonds and figs ". They are childhood memories that are perpetuated and relive in the memory but also in the dishes, those of Gaetano Procopio, executive chef of the Relais San Giuliano in Viagrande, at the foot of Etna.

The First of the Year it preserves the sacredness of the ritual of the holidays but also the adrenaline and the effervescence of a new year that is about to arrive. The sumptuous Sicilian tables overflowing with food narrate the gastro-Sicilian epic of millenary traditions. A texture made of contaminations, culinary stratifications bequeathed by the successive dominations on the island. Each dish is linked to a memory, an episode, a historical-legendary narrative.

Even the lunch of Sicilian New Year it does not escape anthropological storytelling and is intertwined with popular history. In the dialogue with the chef Procopio, who shared his with the readers of La Cucina Italiana New Year's lunch and its recipe, we enter the Sicilian kitchens, in constant ferment during the holiday period, in view of the big bouffe of the first of the year.

Chef Gaetano Procopio

"It starts with the appetizer – the chef tells us – where they can't be missing anchovy or ricotta crispelle, sweet and sour pumpkin, fried cod, stockfish salad, Sicilian caponata. The evergreens of Sicilian tables such as cured meats, cheeses and scacciate are inevitable ".

G.them appetizers, combined with Sicilian bubbles, they represent a warm up worthy of the best island tradition. The first courses are an unreserved homage to the most authentic expression of the island. Procopio has no doubts: “New Year's lunch pasta is a choice including lasagna, baked anelletti, n’casciata pasta. Personally, I will prepare lasagna, a classic that must not be missing to start the new year ".

A culinary marathon in slow motion, the table at the beginning of the year is an omen of health and joy, which in Sicily becomes even more high-sounding and abundant. We arrive at the latter with the joy and enthusiasm of waiting, well rewarded and satisfied. “The symbol of the New Year's Eve lunch is for me all in false lean, wrapped in pork rind and put in the sauce”- comments the chef Procopio. "In Sicily we call it"burnt"And it is the dish that takes me back to my childhood, when my grandmother started cooking the false lean on the evening of the 31st, only to wake up at dawn and flood the kitchen with the scent of sauce".

Octopus with sauce

THE Side Dishes are strictly made from seasonal and local vegetables, preferably wild such as broccoli, mustard, caliceddi, trunzu cabbage of Aci, the latter, a kohlrabi grown in the gardens of Aci, today a Slow Food presidium.

Like any self-respecting Sicilian chef, Procopio also makes the culinary memory a vivid present, signing a pact to give back to every Sicilian dish the gift of eternity.

"Almonds, chocolate, dried figs, pistachios, Sicilian mandarins, they guide us and prepare us towards the dessert of the beginning of the year. We are close to the grand finale, which for Procopio has a unique name and flavor: that of Sicilian Buccellato, “the true Sicilian dessert symbol of the holidays”, he adds. A donut-shaped cake, prepared with a semi-shortcrust pastry, stuffed with dried figs, almonds, dark chocolate, cinnamon, candied orange and citron peel, pistachios, walnuts, bitter cocoa powder. The work is completed with a garnish of candied cherries and chopped pistachios.

A pairing with a Sicilian sweet wine is a must: the Malvasia delle Lipari or the Passito di Pantelleria.

Memory takes yet another journey before final toast: the one that brings chef Procopio back to the decoration of the New Year's table. "All around is an explosion of perfumes: Sicilian mandarins, almonds, nougats, pistachios, a Christmas star as a centerpiece reminds us of the holiday".

Chef Procopio and the Aci trunzu cabbage

Chef Procopio's debut was in full adolescence, at the age of sixteen. It was then that he began his journey in Catania and its province, first in a pizzeria and later in the kitchens of restaurants and hotels in Taormina. After a preliminary apprenticeship on the island, chef Procopio arrives at The Pergola from Heinz Beck, where he spends five highly formative years. “Chef Heinz Beck taught me respect for raw materials and a great technique in working with ingredients”. The return to Sicily is in the kitchens of House Snout of Taormina and then in those of the exclusive Hotel Villa Sant’Andrea of the Belmond group.

There are still two years as a resident chef in one of the most charming places in Sicily, Monks of the Black Lands, before arriving in 2021, al Relais San Giuliano, a boutique hotel de charme in Viagrande, not far from the Etna volcano. In this historic residence, one of the most beautiful in Sicily, Procopio directs the brigade of the I Palici Restaurant, recently awarded two forks by the Gambero Rosso.

Chef Procopio collects the Aci trunzu cabbage

"I define myself as a contemporary chef – comments the chef – because my cuisine does not distort the ingredient but respects it in its essence while declining it in different expressions". Vegetables from the garden, meat, fish but above all a great technique and discipline that allow Procopio to work the raw materials with great skill without taking them to extremes and taking them away from their matrix.

Like when he conceived and created a vegetarian menu entirely dedicated to trunzu cabbage from Aci, a vegetable particularly loved by the chef because it is versatile, with extraordinary properties and above all a local resource. "Trunzu Cabbage Water Lily”Is the dish that best represents me, comments Procopio, who shared the recipe with the readers. It is carpaccio of trunzo cabbage marinated in vinegar with Sichuan pepper, cabbage powder and trunzo cabbage leaf sauce.

"Today being contemporary means reinterpreting the past but without distorting it, adding the contemporaneity of the technique together with the total respect for the raw material".

Recipe: Aci trunzu cabbage water lily

Arci trunzu cabbage waterlily

Trunzu cabbage from Aci
White balsamic vinegar 40gr
Carricante white wine 20gr
Salt 2gr
Black pepper 1gr
Extra virgin olive oil 130 gr
Sesame oil 20 gr
Black sesame 1gr

Remove the leaves, and pass them to an extractor. Peel the stems and cut them into a diamond shape and the central part in a slicer, marinate them in white wine, white balsamic vinegar and vinegar. With the peels of the central part dried at 60 degrees overnight, obtain a purplish powder. Prepare a dressing with 25 g of marinade, sesame oil, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.

Text collected by Liliana Rosano

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New Year's Eve in bubbles: what to choose and what to combine – Italian Cuisine

Sparkling wine or champagne? Here are ten proposals to celebrate the last of the year and as many recipes to combine for your dinner

There is no party without it bubbles. But which ones to choose? Wine shops and supermarkets are overflowing with labels, not to mention the almost infinite variety that e-commerce offers with wineries and specialized platforms, now able to deliver your favorite or desired bottles home in a few days. Finding your way around the selection is not easy, especially if you want to try something new. The winemakers of the Bel Paese offer a very wide choice of sparkling wines both classic method (that of champagne and Franciacorta, with refermentation in the bottle) and Martinotti (that of prosecco, with refermentation in steel tanks). But for those who want to broaden the borders, it is Champagne it is an excellent alternative, especially with this year's vintage wines and rosés. During the holidays, according to the observatory forecasts Ovse (Economic Observatory for wines and sparkling wines), almost 70 million bottles made in Italy will be uncorked in Italy, at a cost of 610-620 million euros. Lower expenditure for bottles from beyond the Alps.
Here are the 10 bottles of prosecco, classic method sparkling wine and champagne with the comment of Enrico Mazza of Sommelier Coach, and our advice on bottles and combinations for a last year with a bang … at least for the palate, which he will thank.

New Year's

A Prosecco? Yes please!

"For the appetizer, choose a Brut or Extra-dry type, so that it is not too sugary, even better if in the Prosecco Superiore DOCG version, where the taste notes are even more complex and interesting".

Masottina R.D.O. Ponente 2020 Brut – Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Rive di Ogliano DOCG
Fresh and varied bouquet with notes of bergamot, white pulp fruit and acacia flowers. The palate offers fresh and delicate floral fragrances enhanced by pleasant mineral nuances. Pairing: cold appetizers.

The Cuvèe of the Founder Graziano MerottoValdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut Millesimato 2020 50th Edition
A bottle homage to the founder for the first 50 years of activity: it releases on the nose immediate notes of white fruit and citrus, pleasant floral sensations accompanied by a mineral verve. Savory and fresh, it is perfect for an aperitif, but also suitable for the whole meal. Pairing: polenta and cod.

Italians do It Better

«The classic method differs from Prosecco due to the refermentation in the bottle rather than in the autoclave. This method gives bubbles that can also be many fine, numerous and that never seem to end .

Rotari AlpeRegis Rosé 2015 – Trento Doc
Millesimato produced from selections of Pinot Nero and Chardonnay grapes with maturation on the lees for at least 36 months. With a pink color, tending to coppery, it has a fine and persistent perlage. Its aroma is intense and fragrant of raspberry and cherry, with light notes of biscuit and yeast. Pairing: theoctopus and potato salad.

Puiatti – Yellow Ribolla
Persistent perlage and intriguing nose, with notes of broom, pear and Golden apple, aromatic herbs. Mouth biting and crunchy, fresh, with a long finish. Food matching: fried fish.

Enrico Serafino – Zero Riserva Pas dosé
It is the sparkling wine that best represents Enrico Serafino Alta Langa. Complex, multifaceted, full-bodied, elegant and intense, with a vibrant structure and a very long mineral aftertaste. Pairing: tagliolin with fake truffle (by Antonino Cannavacciuolo).

Banfi Cuvée Aurora Extra Brut – Alta Langa DOCG – 2017
From Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, it has a straw yellow color, fine and very persistent perlage. Intense and fragrant aroma, with hints of candied citrus peel, acacia honey and toasted hazelnut. Fresh and savory, it goes well with oysters, raw and cooked seafood and shellfish. Pairing: char roll with prawns.

His majesty, the champagne

"Choose a Blanc de Blancs made from 100% Chardonnay, which with its delicate, light scents, with vegetal and citrus notes, will be able to enhance and accompany a great first course of traditional Italian cuisine. Or ideal for the "midnight bang" an excellent vintage (a single vintage), perhaps even aged, which will help us meditate on the year just past and better face what is coming ".

Hopefully, Rosé in the evening

Dom Pérignon x Lady Gaga Limited Edition 2006
The design of the bottle alone is a prelude to a "limited" experience, just like this bottle. The bouquet has notes of spices and cocoa. On the palate, the silky texture blends into a dense, vigorous texture with a vegetal and lymphatic lightness. Food matching: shellfish medallions.

Moët & Chandon – Grand Vintage Rosé 2013
From a late harvest, it embodies a year of anticipation, of trepidation. The nose has intense fruity notes, the palate is refined, with a fruity expression of autumnal notes. Pairing: citrus risotto with smoked sturgeon.

Until the end

Veuve Clicquot – Madame Clicquot Grande Dame 2012
A tribute to "La Grande Dame de la Champagne" which this year has changed its look relying on the creativity of Yayoi Kusama: the Japanese artist, famous for his universe dotted with wavy shapes and imaginative polychromies, has decorated with his own iconic motifs the packaging and the bottle of La Grande Dame 2012, invariably based on Pinot Noir (90%). A precise and delicate wine, playful, lively and cheerful. Just like his image. Pairing: sea urchin yolk and burrata.

Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque 2013
From 50% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Noir, 5% Meunier grapes "it stands out for its harmony", says Séverine Frerson, chef de cave of the Maison. «Harmony in the proportions that combine Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in almost equal parts, but also harmony over time. This is «a majestic cuvée that maintains its style and philosophy as it matures. Perfect for the midnight toast. Pairing: legumes.

Baccalà au gratin, the Molise recipe for Christmas Eve – Italian Cuisine

The cod au gratin, in Molise arracanato, is a typical dish of Molise that is prepared on the occasion of Christmas Eve, when traditionally it is eaten lean

  • 800 g desalted cod fillet
  • 200 g of stale bread crumbs
  • 40 g walnut kernels
  • 40 g raisins
  • 8 pcs dried figs
  • parsley
  • garlic
  • cooked must
  • extra virgin olive oil

For the recipe of cod au gratin, clean the cod, removing all the thorns and place it in a pan suitable for passing from the oven to the table. Coarsely blend the breadcrumbs.
Chop the figs, walnuts and raisins. Finely chop a sprig of parsley with 1 clove of garlic and distribute part of it on the cod. Mix the remaining mince with the breadcrumbs and the chopped dried fruit. Season the fish with a drizzle of cooked must, then cover it with the mixture of bread and dried fruit. Drizzle with a drizzle of oil and bake at 180 ° C for about 20 minutes.

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