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My culinary trip to Sicily, with Style travel  was a wonderful combination of History and Food.

It was on my bucket list. Ellen my travelling friend of many years saw an advertisement from Style travel in the newspaper , for a kook reis naar Sicily and knowing my dream of Sicily we enrolled

The course  was run by Nicoletta Tavella from Cucina del Sol in Amsterdam, assisted by a friend Claudio Varone



the view from our hotel

It was an interesting trip and gave us a great taste of Sicily, two expeditions to interesting places Siracuse, Noto and Modica

In Siracusa Ellen and I found a super place for lunch while the group walked around the city.

My favourite Vongole with a divine sauce with Bottargo

It was too much for me, the rest I managed to join in and very much enjoyed a fantastic wine tasting in a boutique hotel Hotel Zash in a village near our hotel

A beautiful sword fish dish with a sweet onion sauce

here follows a recipe from my files to give you an idea

but here the fish was cut very thinly and very tender

Grilled swordfish steaks with aubergine butter and bean & caper salad

Serves 4



4 swordfish steaks, 150-200g each

Olive oil




  • Brush the swordfish steaks with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Place the steaks on the grill and cook on both sides for only a couple of minutes until nicely marked in a criss-cross fashion.
  • Remove on to an oven tray and finish cooking in a pre-heated oven to 180ºC for 6-10 minutes.


Egg plant butter

2 medium egg plants cut into 1cm cubes

2 courgettes, cut into 1cm cubes

5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste

Salt and freshly ground black pepper



  • Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Put the egg plant and courgette cubes in a large roasting tin. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the oil and sprinkle with black pepper. Roast in the oven for 35-40 minutes until tender.
  • Put the vegetables and remaining oil into a food processor, pulse to a coarse paste. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice.


Bean and caper salad

250g French beans (haricot verts)

30ml chopped garlic

30ml capers

6 boiled quails eggs, sliced in half

60ml olive oil

30ml lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Blanch the beans in boiling salted water, then refresh under cold running water and pat dry. In a large bowl, place the beans, garlic, capers, quail eggs, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Toss and serve with the swordfish.


Place the fish on a serving plate, put a spoonful of egg plant butter on the steaks place the bean salad on the side.



A tuna tartare Sicilian style with oranges – against my principles fruit with fish but delicious

much better than Sole Picasso from the Oesterbar

again recipe from my files

try using some oranges instead of tomatoes

Tuna tartare, Tomato tartare and bottarga


300 gr tuna fillet – sashimi quality

4 large tomatoes

olive oil

salt and pepper



Finely chop the tuna and adjust the seasoning with a little salt and pepper. Divide into four portions and form into circles.

Skin the tomatoes, deseed, and dice the flesh finely. Adjust the seasoning and divide into four portions and form into circles.

Slice the bottarga thinly. Place a tomato tartare and a tuna tartare on a plate and place a few slices of the bottarga on the top of the two tartares. Drizle with extra-vergine olive oil and a few grinds of black pepper.



We had 3 cooking workshops in Hotel Etnas’ professional kitchen, a lot of chopping and cooking and fun together . I opted for the cannoli on the last day, but now know why I had avoided them in my own lessons. Very difficult to get the pastry perfect.

an old recipe I had in my files

good luck


Cannoli alla Siciliana – Cannoli filled with ricotta and fruit

For 50 cannoli


Ingredients dough:

250g flour

½ tbsp cocoa powder

1 tbsp sugar

1 cup marsala

1 tbsp salted butter

1 egg white


Ingredients filling:

600g ricotta

135g castor sugar

100g glace fruit

2 tbsp orange juice



40g chocolate, roughly chopped

50g roasted pistachio nuts, roughly chopped



  1. Mix all the batter ingredients together to form a dough, roll out with a rolling pin or pasta machine
  2. Cut into squares of about 12cm. Shape these around a metal pipe and seal the edges together with egg white. Deep fry until golden-brown
  3. Mix all the filling ingredients together and fill the cannoli using a piping bag just before serving. Dip the ends of the cannoli through the chocolate/nut mixture.

A dish  we made in our course delicious

Nicoletta developed this for the Vis Bureau so you may be able to find the recipe

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