Sicilian Christmas Pasta: Sciabbo

December 22, 2012

I posted this recipe last year: Sicilian Christmas noodles, otherwise known as sciabbo.

It’s a wonderfully easy dish from Pomp and Sustenance by Mary Taylor Simeti. Mary is an authority on Sicilian cuisine and its history, and I’m thrilled she allowed me to share it with you.

Take a look at some of the ingredients:

Some of the ingredients for sciabbo, Sicilian Christmas noodles, copyright Jann Huizenga

Mmmm! Cocoa and cinnamon and red wine and onion go into sciabbo.

The complete list of ingredients:

1 medium onion

1/4 cup olive oil

3/4 pound pork meat, diced small (I used ground pork)

2 T tomato extract (or 3 T tomato paste)

1/2 cup red wine

2 cups plain tomato sauce (I used a good store-bought sauce)

2 cups water

salt

1/2 t ground cinnamon

1 T sugar

1 T unsweetened cocoa

1.5 pounds lasagna ricce (I used pappardelle)

Instructions:

Sauté the onion in the oil until soft. Add the pork and cook, stirring, until browned. Add the tomato extract and the wine, stirring to dissolve the extract completely.

Cooking Sciabbo, Sicilian Christmas Noodles, copyright Jann Huizenga

Add the tomato sauce and the water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 40 minutes until the meat is tender and the sauce is thick.

Sciabbo, Sicilian Christmas Noodles, copyright Jann Huizenga

Correct the salt (if the extract is salty, it may not be necessary to add more). Stir in the cinnamon, sugar, and cocoa.

Cook the pasta in abundant salted water until it is al dente, drain well, and toss with the sauce. You may wish to serve grated cheese on the side, although I think sciabbo is better without it.

Sciabbo, Christmas Noodles, copyright Jann Huizenga

Merry Christmas! Sending warm, fuzzy thoughts your way.

***

Some Sicilian-Americans still cook seven fishes for Christmas Eve, but Mary Taylor Simeti emailed me that this tradition pretty much died out in Sicily itself after World War II. She has written other wonderful books too, including Sicilian Food: Recipes from an Abundant Isle and a memoir, On Persephone’s Island.

***

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How ‘Bout Sciabbo for Christmas?

December 22, 2011

So you’re wringing your hands trying to figure out what in blazes to cook for Christmas Eve?

You can unwring them now: sciabbò is the answer.

These are Sicilian Christmas noodles: a wonderfully easy dish that drew raves (I kid you not) from my three luncheon guests today. The recipe comes from Pomp and Sustenance by Mary Taylor Simeti. Mary is the absolute authority on Sicilian cuisine and its history, and I’m thrilled she’s given me permission to share it with you.

Take a look at some of the ingredients:

Some of the ingredients for sciabbo, Sicilian Christmas noodles, copyright Jann Huizenga

Yes! Cocoa and cinnamon and red wine go into sciabbo.

The complete list of ingredients:

1 medium onion

1/4 cup olive oil

3/4 pound pork meat, diced small (I used ground pork)

2 T tomato extract or 3 T tomato paste

1/2 cup red wine

2 cups plain tomato sauce (I used a good store-bought sauce)

2 cups water

salt

1/2 t ground cinnamon

1 T sugar

1 T unsweetened cocoa

1.5 pounds lasagna ricce (I used pappardelle)

Instructions:

Sauté the onion in the oil until soft. Add the pork and cook, stirring, until browned. Add the tomato extract and the  wine, stirring to dissolve the extract completely.

Cooking Sciabbo, Sicilian Christmas Noodles, copyright Jann Huizenga

Add the tomato sauce and the water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 40 minutes until the meat is tender and the sauce is thick.

Sciabbo, Sicilian Christmas Noodles, copyright Jann Huizenga

Correct the salt (if the extract is salty, it may not be necessary to add more). Stir in the cinnamon, sugar, and cocoa.

Cook the pasta in abundant salted water until it is al dente, drain well, and toss with the sauce. You may wish to serve grated cheese on the side, although I think sciabbo is better without it.

Sciabbo, Christmas Noodles, copyright Jann Huizenga

Merry Christmas!

***

Some Sicilian-Americans still cook seven fishes for Christmas Eve, but Mary Taylor Simeti emailed me that this tradition pretty much died out in Sicily itself after World War II. She has written other wonderful books too, including Sicilian Food: Recipes from an Abundant Isle and a memoir, On Persephone’s Island.

***

Click to subscribe to BaroqueSicily.

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