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From Piedmont to Sicily, Pino Cuttaia is the chef of “synthesis”. Licata, in the province of Agrigento, is the heart of his cuisine, Pino’s birthplace and venue of his own restaurant La Madia. Who has tasted the delicacies of this restaurant knows that cookery here is essentially creativity, a challenge, is the endeavor of making traditional dishes new and always different, celebrating them in the preparation and presentation, culminating in the synthesis between  gourmet delicacies, learnt in the most popular restaurant of Piedmont, and the strength and consistency of the typical Sicilian ingredients. The idea of this dish was born from the Sicilian culinary tradition: eggplant, ricotta cheese, tomato, basil. The match of the “Perlina eggplant”, carefully selected in the typology, yielded to a scent and lightness unique in olive oil frying, other than the unusual caliber suitable to the appearance of the dish, turning a traditional “good but a bit heavy” dish into one fitting the needs of a modern kitchen.

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Latest news: the eggplant cannolo proposed in these pages, which becomes a roll embraced by strands of spaghetti.

Chef PINO CUTTAIA

Perlina eggplant cannolo in crispy pasta

cannolo_melanzana_cuttaiaServes 6:
150 gr di capelli d'angelo
1 eggplant
4 "perlina" eggplants
500 gr di ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon of Ragusano cheese, grated

1
egg yolk salt, pepper, basil shavings of Ragusano DOP cheese cornstarch

5 gr saffron

For the tomato sauce:
500 gr Ramato tomatoes
1/2 onion

50 gr basil extra virgin olive oil
100 gr honey

4 unpeeled garlic cloves

For the basil oil:
2 dl extra virgin olive oil
a small bunch of basil

Directions: Slice the eggplant thinly, coat them well in cornstarch, wrap them in a cannolo aluminum mold to give it the desired shape and fry in abundant oil. Stir fry the onion, basil and the remaining eggplant cut into cubes; when all is wilted, add the ricotta cheese and cook for a further 10 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper. Blend everything with a hand blender and add the egg yolk and grated cheese. Fill the eggplant cannoli with the mixture. In the meanwhile, peel and fry the Perlina eggplants, which will be use to cover the stuffed cannoli. Blanch the capelli d’angelo pasta in boiling water and saffron, then wrap them onto the cannoli. Bake the cannoli at 200C until the pasta is crispy.

For the tomato sauce: Stir fry the onion, then add basil and chopped tomatoes. Add the garlic and honey, cook for about 20 minutes and put it through a sieve.

For the basil oil: Blend basil leaves with garlic then put it through a sieve, until a green oil is obtained.

Assembly: Pour a little bit of basil oil on a plate, arrange the crispy eggplant cannoli on top, then pour over tomato sauce and guarnish with Ragusano cheese shavings and fresh basil.

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