Dinner Dish: Sicily Cooking with Marsala Wine
Italy is a land of more than just pizza and pasta. In fact, every one of the 20 regions has its own distinct dishes and flavors, and that's no where more apparent than in Sicily, which you can discover during one of our cooking classes. While the island's cuisine is influenced by the Mediterranean Sea, like other areas of Italy, it is also impacted a great deal by North African and Middle Eastern influences.
No matter where you are on this beautiful island, savor the flavors of arancini (fried rice balls), pane e pannelle (chickpea fritters), and sfincione, a different kind of pizza. Many of the dishes here also use Marsala wine, which comes -- from you guessed it -- the town of Marsala located in western Sicily.
The complex dry or sweet wine resembles a sherry, works well with both savory or sweet dishes, and is made from both white and red grapes. It's classified in six ways -- fine, vergine, vergine soleras, stravecchio, superiore, and superiore riserva -- and all can be used to make such dishes as veal marsala and chicken marsala. The wine is also a delicious companion to other local specialties; dry Marsala goes well with olives, goat cheese, and smoked meats, while the sweet wines are best with desserts (especially chocolate) and Roquefort blue cheese.
During our cooking vacation "Authentic Sicily for the Food Lover," you'll not only visit a Marsala winery but learn to make traditional dishes like veal scaloppine with Marsala wine.
By Liz Hall
"Dinner dish" is a blog series, where The International Kitchen discusses recipes and the history of particular regional foods. Have a food you want to learn more about? Contact us today.