KitchenNippon savored a bit of Sicily in its April 2016 class, courtesy of Mariangela Nuccio. Mariangela is the owner and operator of Cucinoteca, a cooking school in Milano, Italy. On her visit to Japan, she was kind enough to pay us a visit and teach a class on how to prepare arancini, panelle, and caponata – beloved dishes from her native Sicily.
Caponata, in simple terms, is a combination of eggplant, celery, tomatoes, olives, and capers simmered with a bit of white wine vinegar. Behind that simple description, however, is a more involved process requiring frying, deep-frying, or boiling, depending on the ingredient. In the end, the effort devoted to preparation is well rewarded with a dish originally developed by common Sicilians as a substitute for a similar dish prepared with fish.
KitchenNippon classes usually last about three hours, including final cleanup. This class went past five hours, giving everyone an experience with slow food Italian style. All of the effort to make the arancini, caponata, and panelle, though, paid off with delicious food and a very enjoyable afternoon. We thank our participants and, especially, Mariangella for sharing a bit of Sicilian food culture with us!
Text by Kitchennippon