Sicilian August menu: all the recipes to prepare and bring to the table
In the middle of August, between vacations and summer vacations, we have more time to devote to cooking and preparing more complex dishes. Between lunches and dinners with family or friends, the possibilities expand, and preparing an August Sicilian menu is a great way to spend time with those you love around a table set with gastronomic delights.
As we always say, Sicily is a land incredibly rich in culinary specialties and, especially in the height of summer, the dishes for creating an August Sicilian menu that everyone will really enjoy are countless.
For this reason, we decided to make it easy for you by creating a list of the best typical dishes that are absolutely not to be missed in August, with seasonal ingredients that can be found almost anywhere. Well, let’s get started!
Sicilian August menu: dishes from the land and the sea
Rich though not austere, full of ingredients and strongly linked to the goodness of its land, Sicilian cuisine is the fruit of the ideal succession of cultures from the four corners of the Mediterranean.
Trinacria uniquely represents, as perhaps few regions in Italy do, the development of a precise taste identity: indeed, here we find an incredible amount of local ingredients, herbs and spices, products and recipes with centuries or rather millennia of history behind them.
Well-known or lesser-known dishes that tell the story of the land of Sicily and invite everyone to taste and share the flavors. Let’s discover the dishes not to be missed for a mouthwatering August Sicilian menu!
Pasta with urchins from the sea
We put pasta with sea urchins at the top of the August Sicilian menu list. Why? Well, because it is a simple dish to prepare, because it only takes a few simple ingredients, pasta with urchins is the epitome of seafood pasta dishes, with its intense flavor of the Sicilian sea encapsulated in a single dish.
In fact, urchins with simplicity and goodness enhance the scent of the sea, guaranteeing all the flavor of the Mediterranean. If you think of Sicily, you immediately think of the scents and flavors coming from the sea, and for those who love seafood cuisine, this dish is absolutely not to be missed!
Whether you choose to use spaghetti or linguine, it is important to pay attention to the freshness of the urchins. The fish and shellfish must be fresh to ensure a dish that is beautiful to look at but also tasty and flavorful.
It is absolutely impossible to create a Sicilian August menu without including our Eggplant caponata. Also known as Caponatina, it is one of the most famous appetizers in the region, especially in the western area, prepared with eggplant, pine nuts, celery, onions, olives and capers and then topped with a sweet and sour sauce.
Caponata, however, originated as a fish dish! There are several variations of this dish, varying from region to region. Certainly, the caponata made in Palermo is the best known and most popular. But we must also consider its etymology: “caponata,” in fact, is said to derive from “capone,” the name given to the lampuga, a fish with fine but rather dry meat that was served at the tables of the aristocracy.
The origin is noble then, but the recipe also spread among the people who could not afford the fish, as it was expensive, so they decided to replace it with eggplant! Whether you decide to serve it as an appetizer or as a main course, with vegetables or with fish, it is a dish that cannot be missing from any self-respecting Sicilian menu.
And if we are talking about eggplant, then we must also mention the delicious and famous Eggplant Parmigiana. The original recipe calls for the use of caciocavallo cheese, pecorino cheese, local eggplant and basil, but there are countless variations for this dish as well. The important thing is that it is made with several layers!
In some areas of Sicily, for example, eggplant parmigiana is prepared by creating a breadcrumb coating of the eggplant slices, with eggs and flour, and then arranging them in an oven dish with the topping of sauce, cheese and sometimes prosciutto.
A tasty recipe, but for strong stomachs. Is there a lighter version of Eggplant Parmigiana? Yes, and even simpler. All you need to do is cut the eggplant into thin slices, roast or bake them in the oven and then arrange them in the oven dish, stuffing them with fresh tomato sauce, basil and caciocavallo cheese. A variation definitely more suitable for the month of August!
Pasta alla norma
If you go to a trattoria, restaurant or food store in Sicily you will find her among the pasta dishes: Pasta alla norma.
Loved by all, it is a first course made with fried eggplant and tomato sauce, which can be garnished with ricotta salata and basil. Fragrant, fresh and very tasty, pasta with eggplant originated in the Catania area and its name comes from the tragic heroine of Vincenzo Bellini’s opera of the same name.
It can be prepared with either short or long pasta and there are a few variations of this dish, depending on where you eat it. For example, if you happen to go to Palermo and go up to Piana dell’Occhio, we recommend that you stop by U Zu Caliddu and taste the Pasta alla norma prepared with fresh tomato sauce and fresh ricotta cheese. A real treat!
Ah, then don’t forget to enjoy a Faccia di vecchia, it is their specialty!
The culinary origins of the Sicilian island inevitably lead back to the Arabs. Thanks to them, today we can enjoy one of the tastiest traditional Sicilian dishes, an authentic symbol of this land, so much so that it is included among its traditional agri-food products.
Fragrant and rich in flavors that evoke the lands washed by the Mediterranean Sea, cous cous or couscous is a recipe of Maghrebi origin that arrived in Sicily during the period of Arab domination.
From the exchange of cultures and gastronomic habits, Cous cous alla Trapanese was born, which has become one of the region’s typical dishes, particularly in the Trapani, Mazara del Vallo and San Vito Lo Capo areas. Unlike the North African cous cous, which is prepared with meat, Trapani-style cous cous is made with fish.
According to tradition, cous cous must be made strictly by hand, through the technique of incocciatura: the semolina is worked for a long time with the hands and with a lot of dedication, until it comes together and gives birth to the typical grains. Cooking takes place in the couscoussiera, a special pot for preparing traditional cous cous, similar to a steamer.
The semolina grains are then seasoned with a tasty seafood broth, which can be made from shellfish, mollusks or fresh fish. Spices and scents, such as garlic and onion, as well as parsley, almonds, cinnamon, bay leaves, and cloves, should not be missing.
Try it and you will be delighted.
Pasta with sardines
Pasta with sardines is a very tasty traditional first course, one of the signature recipes of the wonderful Sicilian cuisine. Although sardines have a strong flavor and tend to be salty, the dish is harmonious and is the perfect combination of sweet and salty, with an irresistible nuance of flavors.
The origins of this tasty dish are poor, and the ingredients are closely linked to the land: fresh sardines, fragrant wild fennel, raisins and pine nuts that give it sweetness.
Variants of the recipe are, as is always the case, many and concern, for example, the presence of saffron, which, in some places on the island, is not used, or baking, which is common, for example, in the Palermo area.
Pasta with “tenerumi” (sweet Sicilian zucchini leaves)
Pasta with “tenerumi” is a delight to discover and is a typical dish of Sicilian cuisine. You will hardly find it elsewhere, because it is a plant that grows on the island precisely in the summer season. The tenerumi plant is that of the Sicilian zucchini, beautiful to look at with its wide, cascading leaves and even more enchanting flavor!
As simple to prepare as it is tasty, the recipe for pasta with tenerumi is made with the sweet Sicilian long zucchini and its tender leaves. There are several variations of this dish as well.
Pasta with tenerumi looks like something between a dry pasta dish and a soup. Traditionally it is prepared with chopped spaghetti, which can be bought already in the format or obtained by breaking the classic ones, with your hands, into several segments of 2-3 cm each. The spaghetti is cooked in the same water in which the leaves are cooked and then seasoned with a thick tomato sauce made with oil and garlic.
It can be served hot, but we recommend preparing the sauce first and letting it sit so that it releases all its flavor and aroma before combining it with the pasta and serving it. At least once in a lifetime, you must try it!
Peperoni “ammuttunati” (buttoned peppers)
Peperoni “ammuttunati” are a quick and easy recipe to bring a really tasty August Menu to the table.
You can use red, yellow and green peppers to prepare this dish; just cook them in a pan by combining stale bread crumbs or breadcrumbs, pecorino cheese, capers, oregano and olive oil.
We recommend preparing them in the oven to make the dish lighter and to create a crust that gives more flavor and crunchiness to the dish. A real treat! A variation of this recipe for your August menu, could be the Sweet and Sour Peppers (peperoni in agrodolce). Really delicious even in summer!
Zucca in agrodolce (sweet and sour pumpkin)
Although pumpkin is not a seasonal food, it can be found everywhere. Sweet and sour pumpkin is a delicious side dish for meat or fish dishes or to accompany cheeses.
The process is quick and easy, but we recommend letting the sweet and sour squash rest once cooked for at least an hour so that the squash gets more flavor.
You can then prepare it in advance, even the day before, and leave it in the refrigerator until serving. It thus becomes, with a good cheese, fresh or aged, also a delicious appetizer.
Melanzane ‘mbuttunate (buttoned eggplants)
It takes very little to make melanzane ‘mbuttunate and enjoy a great main course perfect for vegetarians and those who want to serve light but flavor-packed dishes.
Inspired by Sicilian tradition, they are a tasty dish to share for a family meal. Long eggplants, slightly more bitter than round ones, tomato sauce, spices and cheese. They are tasty either hot or served slightly warm.
Why are they called ‘mbuttunate? Literally, “mbuttunate” means “buttoned up,” because incisions are created in the surface of the eggplant inside which garlic, mint and cheese are inserted in a gesture that may resemble buttoning buttons in buttonholes.
On your August Sicilian menu, they can be served as a dish following the main course or as a side dish or appetizer. Try them to believe!
Pantesca salad or Pantelleria-style salad
It is a triumph of Mediterranean flavors and colors for the Pantesca salad, a typical recipe from the island of Pantelleria made with simple, quality ingredients such as cherry tomatoes, Tropea red onion (known for its sweet taste) and black olives.
The Pantesca salad is a perfect side dish for grilled fish or meat main courses, but also as a single dish for a light lunch, perfect for the summer months. The protagonists are Pantelleria capers, a true pride of the island. These intensely flavored buds, mostly preserved in salt, are a valuable ingredient for flavoring salads and side dishes but also first and second courses.
What about dessert? Here’s what we recommend!
When it comes to dessert, you have to impress! After a tasty Sicilian August menu, it is important to end the summer lunch or dinner with a dessert that leaves a lasting memory of the island of Sicily.
What to serve then? We recommend serving a light and fresh dessert, without a doubt. Among the favorite summer desserts, you cannot miss gelo di mellone (sicilian watermelon pudding), mulberry granita or the classic lemon granita and cannoli filled with sweet ricotta and chocolate chips.
Or, if you don’t have cannoli wafers on hand, you can make a tasty fresh ricotta cream with sugar and chocolate chips to serve in a bowl. Your guests will love it and want more!
Ready to impress everyone with this Sicilian August menu? Do you have other Sicilian recipes to recommend for the summer month? Leave a comment!