Carote al Marsala

September 11, 2012

Do you have a garden bristling with more carrots than you know what to do with?

Marsala Carrots, copyright Jann Huizenga

Here’s the super-simple Carote al Marsala, a recipe I found in Nancy Harmon Jenkins’ Cucina del Sole: A Celebration of Southern Italian Cooking

Marsala, an ancient town on the western edge of Sicily, is famous for its namesake wine.


1 lb carrots

2-3 T unsalted butter + 1 T extra-virgin olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1/3 cup (or a bit more) dry Marsala


1. Peel the carrots if you wish and slice them rather thick.

2. Combine the oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat. When the butter starts to foam, toss in the carrot slices and stir.

3. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. When the carrots start to soften, pour in the Marsala. Continue to cook and stir. As the Marsala cooks down, add about 1/2 cup of water. Turn the heat to low, cover the pan, and cook 15 minutes or until the carrots are tender.

5. Uncover the pan. If a lot of liquid is left, raise the heat to high and cook it down until you have just a few tablespoons of syrupy liquid. Serve immediately, spooning the liquid over carrots.

Marsala carrots, copyright Jann Huizenga


I’m giving away a copy of Eating in Sicily today. To be in the running, just drop a comment on this post before midnight on Sept 13 EST and be sure to have an address in North America. You can tell us that you hate carrots, what your favorite Sicilian or Italian dish is, or anything else.

Click to subscribe to BaroqueSicily.

54 comments to Carote al Marsala

  • Anyone who didn’t like carrots had but to look at your lovely photos to fall instantly in love! I personally love carrots. I’ve been eating them since the age of four when nana told me that if I ate them, I wouldn’t have to use reading glasses when I was old. Well, truth be told, things didn’t work out exactly like nana said, but I still love carrots! 🙂

  • Well, this is quite a recipe that you posted here! One more way to use Marsala in the kitchen 😉

  • Nonnacat

    I just stumbled onto your blog! Can’t wait to purchase some Marsala. Seems I always travel the more difficult road in life. If I was Italian I would be Sicilian.

  • Amy

    I miss one particular dish from the restaurant Donna Fortunata in the little Sicilian hill town of Motta Saint’Anastasia. I can’t remember the exact name, but it was something like souta de cozze…they prepared the mussels in a flavorful base in a big shallow bowl and then covered the entire thing with a piece of dough and baked it in the wood fired oven. You could eat the mussels and dip the crusty top into the broth…heaven!!! I want to recreate it at home but I’m so afraid I’ll be disappointed I haven’t even tried. I AM going to make this carrot recipe, than you for sharing it!

    • Jann

      Hi Amy–I’m going to look up this little town you mention. Wow, what an unusual dish!!!! I will try to find out what it’s called…

  • Anitre

    My favourite dish is anything homemade by la familia. Otherwise, it has to be Arancini (any type). Can’t wait to try this recipe out. Thank you for sharing.

  • maria

    My current favorite Sicilian dishes are arancini for a snack and also granita and brioche for breakfast

  • beautiful picture Jann,
    yes this recipe looks great and it’s excatly the way my mamma does
    do you know that Ispica is the main producer of carrot?
    un abbraccio


  • Corin

    From reading your blog and trying some of your recipe , I think you and Katia should meet! Modica is a great place to visit and Katia is the most charming of people. I think you two would have lots in common… You should connect.

  • John Schinina

    Hi Jann, Is there no end to your wonderful blog, love everything you input. You have become my Sicilian conection and my beautiful Ragusa,Ibla. Thank you so much
    for this.

  • I love the fresh carrots in the first photo. They look so fresh and inviting. Thanks for the recipe – sounds yummy.

  • Cathy

    I LOVE carrots! And can’t wait to try this recipe, sounds wonderful… I agree would be a perfect side with roasted rosemary chicken. My poor sad garden is so pitiful this year, I’m just babying a few plants along hoping to have enough carrots for our Canadian Thanksgiving dinner next month! But I have a good friend who always shares some of her carrots with me 🙂

    • Jann

      Why is your garden sad this year, Cathy???? Not enough sun? Too much sun??? Too many rabbits??

    • Cathy

      Ahhh my poor garden.. As Golden Girl Sophia would say, “Picture it, NB Canada, July 2012″… It was such a great summer for gardens here and I have a lovely, just the right size, raised bed..big enough for my herbs, a few cucumber & tomato plants. We built it last year running alongside the ramp to our deck..unfortunately we did not think about shovelling the snow onto it in the winter… Now snow itself would be fine, great for insulating it BUT the de-icer crystals we have to put on the ramp when its frosty/icy is NOT fine for it!! Result: the soil was contaminated which became evident when the plants failed to thrive like they did last year..barely stayed alive. Sad days for a girl who prides herself on her organically grown garden and who scrupulously guards our own compost heap which produces amazing results normally.

      All is not lost however.. once the disaster came to light, in a fit one day in early July, I dug up most of the plants and replanted them in pots and there they all sat in my raised bed. My Pot garden I called it.. my teens are not amused with their old Mother.

      There was also the problem of the local fauna, wild and domestic. The neighborhood cats think my garden, as well as the gravelled underdeck, makes a glorious litter box. Me, not so much. Then add to the mix the skunks digging for grubs, etc etc…

      So, all manner of branches and sticks were gleaned from the nearby piles of dead brush previously cleared, and were stuck all around the perimeter and between the newly planted pots to deter the wildlife from digging. Now Himself thinks I’ve confirmed his opinion that I’m crazy. But hey, it did work for the most part.

      Now, I have a big family party every summer, and this year met cousins from away that I’ve never met before and have to try to explain WHY I have a lovely raised bed with about 20 pots of various items sitting in it. Later I realize I never explained why the sticks are in there. I wonder if they will come back next year.

      Then I have the parish priest come to lunch one day, beautiful day, we BBQ and sit on the deck. He inquires on the garden and I explain the reasons it looks like something from the Blair Witch Project. “Have you seen that movie Father?” I ask. “No” he says. Later I think thru the evening, “Dear God don’t let him rent it now to see why my garden reminds me of it!!!” Every second word in it is the F-bomb I think!

      So, now after the entire summer, it appears the offending chemicals have suffiently leached from the soil and things began to pick up, but the summer is done here, lovely warm days but cool evenings so its a case of too little too late. But I do have wonderful bumper crop of sage I will put to good use. And the bed has been moved out away from the deck in any case (this was done before planting & the realization that the soil was contaminated) so we shouldn’t have this problem next year.

      Jann, you shouldn’t have asked, this long winded post is your fault 🙂 On the plus side, my virtual tour is going well, I left Badolato quite awhile ago, not sure where I am now but I am making tracks in any case!!

      Hope all is well with you & I’d love that cookbook! xoxoxoxo

    • Jann

      Cathy!!! I’m breathless!! You surely win the prize for the loveliest comment posted on this blog!!! This is the basis for a great short story–maybe send to a gardening magazine?? Ouch, about the chemicals you accidentally dumped on the garden. And so funny about the parish priest! But I see you are a very dedicated gardener all the same. Now I must go look up Badolato to see where your virtual tour of Italy has taken you… Thank you for the laughs xxxxxxxxxxxxxxoooooooooooooo

  • Jann, I love carrots!!! And even though I can’t be in the running I just had to tell you how – grated with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and salt to taste. Simple. But your recipe looks like something much more special. The colours alone are enough to make my mouth water. Which reminds me – devo andare a buttare la pasta! Thanks for another beautiful post. Jxx

  • Charlie

    Oh how sad to be sitting here a full one year since my visit to Sicily and wishing I was returning again soon. But then, I see this amazing story about possibly winning a book on Eating in Sicily and my joy has returned! If I am chosen, I promise to drink the appropriate Sicilian wine to go with each prepared meal…

  • ((( ‘Delizioso’ )))

    Yummmmmm. Mmmmmm. Oooooo.

    Xxx Kisses for you, sweet Jann.

  • sandee wheeler

    I got carrots at the Farmers Market today but I don’t have any Marsala! I will have to track some down. I am jealous hearing how many of your blog followers are traveling to Sicily!

  • Thanks Jann for the delicious sounding but simple recipe, and the photos on this post and all of your posts. They are a treat to the eyes. Love the food in Sicily with the Italian Middle Eastern African influences. I will be in Sicily in a few weeks to experience it firsthand, and I am thinking of teaching my Italy Retreat for Women Workshop in Sicily next year. Grazie mille for a beautiful blog.

    • Jann

      Hi there Lenora, thanks for leaving such a sweet comment and welcome! Have a wonderful trip and let us know if you decide to run your retreat in Sicily. Hope so!

  • Jill

    Those look great, but what I’d really love right now are some settembrini figs!

  • Jan Walcott

    This sounds like a fabulous recipe! I live in a northern suburb of Chicago, and 2 suburbs south of me is Highwood, Illinois, an enclave for more than 80 years for southern Italian and Sicilian immigrants. Noted also is that this town has some of the best restaurants in all of Chicagoland, both Italian and otherwise.

    There is a small bakery si chiama (called) “Maria’s”. She makes wonderful cookies and many take out items. Her arancini are meravigliosi!!! Also there is a small Italian market si chiama “Poeta’s” which has marvelous imported items, and the best Italian butchers (Lucca and his brother) to be found almost anywhere. At Poeta’s you can buy a baguette of true Sicilian bread created by a local carpenter. If he is working on a job though, you are out of luck! We have traveled all over Italy and found much of the bread in the North to be nothing short of leavened sawdust. But “Concetta’s” bread is to die for!!! Sesame seeds and just enough of a salty chewy taste. Ohhh! The cashier at Poeta’s told me once of an obviously wealthy man who was sent to the store to get a loaf by his wife. He complained bitterly about the $5 price and left in a huff in his Mercedes. He was back, chagrined, about 20 minutes later —- he had eaten the whole loaf on his way home! Magari!!!

    • John Schinina

      Hi Jan Walcott, My daughter lives in Grayslake, I’m sending her your leads, she always talks about my mothers Arancini, hope Maria’s, who by the way was my mothers name, can satify her wish to once again eat, Arancini Meravigliosi . Thanks for the lead and also Concetta’s bread.

    • Jann

      Jan–what a great story. Well, I would love to visit Highwood! If I ever get back to Chicago… (I grew up there till age 16.)

  • Dom Modaro

    My question is, who did the Photography? Presentation is everything….well, almost. Sembra deliziosa!

  • Jaima

    Now I know what to do with the bottle of Florio Marsala I just got. I love carrots and the photo makes them look even more delicious!
    The book looks fabulous too!

  • Margo Chavez

    I have carrots now, ready to try this dish. I wonder what else would work well besides Marsala?

    And I would love a recipe for arancini, one of my favorite Sicilian yums.

  • Corin

    Looks delightful, carrots are a favorite. Spent 10 day in Sicily with Katia Amore at the Lovesicily cooking school, fabulous.

    • Jann

      Oh my, Corin–lucky you! How nice to get your comment. 10 days of cooking in Sicily makes you an expert! I hope someday soon to have the pleasure of meeting Katia.

  • suzanne

    I don’t usually like cooked carrots, but those look great! I think I will serve them with a roast chicken….

    Grazie tante!
    – Suzanne

  • Giulia


    I ALWAYS love your blog! My favorite food on the entire planet is raviola al forno with ricotta inside. My second favorite food is just ricotta, but it has to be fresh, unpasteurized and, of course, Sicilian. I’m so close but so far away; I’m stationed in Naples but for complex reasons have great difficulties with traveling. The food up here just doesn’t cut it in comparison! I will return to Sicily within the next few months at least. I cannot wait. My heart will forever be in Acireale….

  • Mmmmm. I LOVE this… but I’m wondering what it would go well with for a simple dinner. Could I put it over some kind of interesting pasta or would rice be better?

    • Jann

      Ciao Barbara–I think Susanne (above) has the right idea–maybe as a side to roast chicken or a grilled pork or chicken cutlet. If you’re vegetarian, maybe with a little rice??? There’s really not enough “sauce” to dress a pasta.

  • Bonnie

    Hello Jann –
    Melanzane is one of my favorite dishes! Sometimes we opt out of the sauce and just eat the fried eggplant over a warm slice of bread with a dash of salt! Just 4-1/2 more weeks until I arrive in Sicily!!!

  • Thanks for this, Jann. I have to confess, if I were making the recipe today I’d probably use all olive oil–a great oil from the Belice valley or the Monti Iblei–instead of the butter.

  • joanne mcdevitt

    Yum, just YUM.. easy and exotic. Perfect Sicilian touch to an American thanksgiving dinner.

  • Nancy

    That recipe sounds delicious. I will have to try it. By the way, I love carrots. But what could be better than Italian style.

  • sue gaughan

    Hi Jann~
    I have been enjoying your blog for sometime now!
    I was wondering if you could recommend a driver and guide for Sicily, or maybe a website that would give travel advice.
    Thank you for your assistance!

  • John Ferguson

    Ciao Jann! I love carrots! I’m actually getting ready to make my signature carrot omelet in a few minutes. The photos look very appetizing I must say. I think that this recipe would also be excellent with cubes of pumpkin or squash. Flying off to work in an hour!

  • Brenda

    Caponata, cannoli & cassatta are some of my favorite Sicilian dishes. It’s hard to pick just one! I am just discovering more of Sicily and it’s cooking so I am sure I will come across more. It seems to be an absolutely beautiful country and I hope one day to discover it in person. Again & Again! Grazie per le sue storie e il blog. e magnifico!

  • Nina Perruccio

    A recipe that Bugs Bunny would have kept all to himself!

  • That looks like a yummy recipe. Would love the book and good timing. I will be in Sicily next month. Can’t wait.

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