Waves of invaders and occupiers – Greeks, Romans, Carthaginians, Byzantines, Normans, Spaniards, Austrians, Arabs – informed the culinary traditions of both Sicily and Sardinia, but Sicily is agriculturally bountiful and much of Sardinia is mountainous or sere and the cuisines are quite different. Sardinians, who say that “all evil comes from across the sea”, withdrew inland to avoid the intruders, and country dishes based on pork, lamb, sheep (and cheese from the latter two) and game brightened with wild herbs predominate. Sicily embraced all that the outsiders brought – citrus, marzipan, eggplants and ice cream from the Arabs, cactus pears, squashes and chocolate from the New World – have become important ingredients in Sicily’s gloriously multicultural cuisine.
Caponato di San Bernardo: Cooked Eggplant Salad with Nuts, Raisins and Chocolate
Carpaccio di Tonno: Tuna Carpaccio with Lemon
Fregola Sarda: Spicy Sardinian Couscous with Shellfish
Agnello al Vino Rosso: Lamb Cooked in Red Wine
Broccoli Siciliana: Cauliflower (called Broccoli in Sicily) with Spicy Anchovy Sauce