What I love about Sicily is that when you go for a stroll by the sea you encounter a bewildering variety of delicious, yet simple, food offerings. Using just a few but fresh and tasty ingredients they combine them in the best ways possible to titillate your senses as you sit by the sea and enjoy its fruits
More known for the Sugo Nero di Sepia, Cuttlefish is also very tasty without the ink. Inspired by the ingenious simplicity of Sicilian cuisine this recipe starts off with the cuttlefish sautéed with garlic, chilli and olive oil, deglazed with white wine and simmered with tomatoes and a touch of capers.
If you want to make Sugo Nero add the ink sacs from the cuttlefish
Cuttlefish 500g cut in 1cm squares. You can ask fishmonger to clean cuttlefish and save the ink if using. If doing yourself make sure to remove the cartilage and innards
Garlic 2 cloves crushed
Chilli Flakes 1/2 tsp
Olive Oil 1tbsp
White Wine glass
Tomatoes 3 chopped. I used very ripe beef tomatoes but long cherry tomatoes cut in half are good as well
Capers 1tbsp preferably Maltese
Spaghetti or Linguine 500g
Heat olive oil on medium high heat and add garlic and chilli for 1 minute. Add cuttlefish for about 5 minutes until the translucent bits turn white then add the wine. This might flame a bit don’t panic! Turn down heat add tomatoes and capers and a dash of water. Cover and simmer until tender about 20-30 minutes. If it gets dry add water from pasta, if it’s too liquidy take off lid and turn up heat towards end of cooking. Meanwhile cook spaghetti al dente in lots of well-salted water. Drain and mix in the pan
Due to the circumstances I have been availing myself more of the ambulatory services that prowl the streets of Mosta. Every morning the bread van brings its freshly and traditionally baked bread from Qormi at 10.45 on the dot. I bought some lovely ftira this morning.
Today I also chanced a mobile fishmonger who had some nice fresh tuna for sale. It is the season for wild tuna. My first thought was to make ħobż biż-żejt with fresh tuna. This would also have been lovely, with a mix of kunserva, tuna, butter beans, olives, capers, tomatoes and olive oil but I had that not so long ago so instead made a simple chickpea salad with tomatoes, spring onions, basil and a balsamic vinaigrette.
250g Fresh Tuna
1 Chilli chopped
1 Clove Garlic chopped
Few mint leaves
1 Tomato cut in half
For the Salad
1 Can Chickpeas drained and rinsed
3 Tomatoes Chopped
1 Spring Onion sliced
6 Basil Leaves thorn roughly
In a plate place garlic, mint, chilli and a tablespoon olive oil and set aside
In a bowl mix the chickpeas, tomatoes, basil and spring onion. Add 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper.
Season the tuna and add a tablespoon of olive oil making sure it is smeared on both sides. Heat a heavy-based frying pan on high heat and sear for one minute on each side. Place in the chilli and garlic mixture and allow to rest.
Meanwhile cut the ftira in half, rub half the tomato on each side until red and drizzle with olive oil. Spoon on some of the salad and the thinly sliced tuna.
With an invitation to a sail tomorrow my contribution will be roast Mediterranean vegetables. These are a perfect accompaniment to freshly caught fish (optimistic!) but also can be eaten with fresh bread, pasta, rice or couscous (more realistic).
Duration Prep 20min, Cooking 1 hour (approx)
Tomatoes 2 (optional)
Garlic 1 large clove
Chili 1 small
Olive oil 4 tbsp
Salt and Pepper
Wash and prepare vegetables into bite sized chunks. Place into a roasting pan, add garlic and chili, salt and pepper and drizzle olive oil generously.
Place into a very hot oven 200°- 220°C and leave until the vegetables start to brown (around an hour depending on oven).