Falsomagro and Seadas, the Christmas feast is served
Because of its morphology, Italy has four great regions that are generally considered as macro areas: Northern Italy, Central Italy, Southern Italy, and the Italian islands. In previous posts, we saw the most traditional holiday season dishes in the first three.
Today we discover the mouthwatering delicacies typically prepared for Christmas in the Italian islands: Sicily and Sardinia.
Panadas (Sardinia) – They are delicious small savory pies traditionally served as starters or as part of buffet during the holiday season or for special celebrations. The word ‘Panada’ is derived from Latin expression ‘panada panem’ meaning food wrapped in bread dough. Indeed, its use recipe dates back to Roman times. The filling varies widely and can be prepared with virtually any meat, fish, and vegetable. Ingredients may include eel, pork, lamb, pork, cheese, peas, artichokes, and beans. The flavor may be further enhanced with dried tomatoes, garlic, and parsley. Vegetarian versions are made with zucchini, eggplants, artichokes, peppers, potatoes.
Ripiddu nivicatu (Sicily) – In the old days, Sicilians didn’t want to throw away anything from their lovely squid. Thus, its ink became a typical element of Sicilian cuisine. Today, with its wonderfully delicate flavor of squid, it is considered a very prestigious ingredient. The ‘snow covered mountain’ is as spectacular as tasty. It is a delicious representation of volcano Etna covered by snow with a flow of lava. The dark squid ink risotto piled in the middle of the plate is the mountain. Fresh ricotta lightly cooked on cast-iron forms soaked in oil acts as snow. And the flow of red lava is interpreted by a spoonful hot tomato sauce with chili.
Falsomagro (Sicily) – The name says it all: falsomagro (or farsumagru in dialect) means ‘false lean’. With a recipe dating back to the 13th century, this seemingly innocent roll of lean meat hides an extremely rich filling. For this reason, most Sicilian families serve it, with their own variations of the recipe, only for Christmas or for special occasions. Farsu magru is prepared with flattened slices of beef or veal superimposed to form a large rectangle with, on top, slices of pancetta or mortadella. The filling, evenly spread on the meat, contains crushed bread slices, cubed cheese and ham, chopped onions, garlic, and fresh herbs. Hard-boiled eggs are laid in the middle, and the meat is rolled around them. The rolle is then tied and cooked in the oven.
Seadas (Sardinia) – Also known as Sebadas, they are one of the sweets of the Sardinian shepherd tradition. One of the ingredients that shepherds always have at hand is cheese, and they bring it together with honey for an irresistible combination. Seadas are large fried puff pastry ravioli filled with young pecorino cheese and glazed with refined (and very bitter) strawberry tree honey. Their name derives from the word ‘seu’, which in the local dialect means ‘tallow’, because of the shine that the honey gives to this sweet.
Ilona Catani Scarlett
Cover ph: Cedrello