What would carnivale in Sicily be without a deliciously decadent lunch?
We were invited to the home of a woman with amazing skills in Catanese cooking. This woman is the mother of my husband's best friend, more like his adopted brother and therefore his adopted mother. I have been hearing for years about the only time hubby got very ill after over-eating. It was at a carnivale lunch very much like the one we went to on Sunday. The culprit was an incredible pasta dish, known as maccheroni con cinque (or in our case otto) buchi (five or, in our case, eight-holed macaroni). I love my pasta tubes big, and these were the biggest I've ever had. This was pasta fresca, prepared with a ragu and mixed with fresh ricotta cheese. Amazing! and amazingly filling! No one in their right mind could have two enormous portions like my husband did many years ago, although I can now (almost) understand how he could have tried to get away with that, this dish prepared by this woman is just that good.
Anyway, after the pasta, there was an abundance of other dishes to try: fried fava beans, wild greens sauteed with garlic, and artichokes come to mind. All lovely. I won't even go into the desserts as I was too full to indulge and the little one was so silly and sleepy at this point I was afraid he might hurt himself. I only managed to savour a bowl of homemade lemon sorbet, perfectly light and fresh after a heavy meal.
Although I wasn't able to attend any real carnival celebrations this year due to a bad round of colds-turned-flus that just won't seem to go away, this incredible lunch made me feel like I didn't completely miss out on the festivities.
And I am also pleased to finally know what maccheroni con cinque buchi is all about, apparently a type of pasta that is particular to this part of Sicily this time of year. Is that true all fellow Sicilian's out there?