Broder’s Pasta Bar not only serves up fine Italian food, the Southwest Minneapolis restaurant does great cookbook signings too. A Sunday afternoon filled with beautiful books, pleasant conversation, tasty food samples and great wine – life doesn’t get any better. A group of food and wine enthusiasts came to meet Fabrizia Lanza and have her sign copies of her new book, Coming Home to Sicily.
Broder’s prepared two recipes from the cookbook, which were a fall sampling of authentic Sicilian cuisine. Grilled sweet and sour squash (Zucca in Agrodolce) with red onion had an earthy flavor as lively as the vibrant fall color of the dish. The second food sample, Palermitan pizza (Sfincione) combined red onions, tomato sauce, pecorino and anchovies into a light bite. To make Sfincione, Lanze advises to use fresh oregano, preferably wild.
The four featured wines were produced in the Lanza’s region of Sicily. The Sallier de la Tour vineyard rests in the fertile Jato Valley. Many vineyards and other agricultural estates form a patchwork over the Sicilian countryside. In fact, Sicily is one of the largest wine growing regions in the world.
This lush agricultural backdrop inspires Lanza’s cooking. In addition to her own interpretations and family heirloom recipes, Lanza draws from experience growing up with chef-prepared Monsu cuisine, which melds together French and Sicilian culinary traditions. For her, cooking is a family tradition as rich in subtleties and complexities as the land itself.
Thirty years ago, her mother Anna Tasca Lanza started a cooking school on the family’s Sicilian estate. Today, Lanza runs the well-respected Case Vecchie and shares a selection of choice recipes used there in her new cookbook.
Prior to Minneapolis, Lanza made stops in New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago. Her last stops are in California where she will visit to San Francisco followed by Los Angeles to wrap up her U.S. book tour.
Of course, the Edina Eater made a point to attend the Broder’s Minneapolis book signing event and purchase a copy fresh out of the printer’s box. Lanza signed the book too. This will always be a special book. Collecting cookbooks is a passion that goes back many years for the Edina Eater. Coming Home to Sicily is a true keeper with captivating photographs of food production, featured recipes and picturesque landscapes. Coming Home to Sicily enchants the eye and the heart.
What fun it would be to study real Italian farm to table cooking in an atmospheric villa like the Case Vecchie cooking school. For the time being, it is enough to gaze at the book and dream of an Italian holiday filled with expertly prepared, fine food.
All the while, the experience can be brought to life through the culinary direction provided in Coming Home to Sicily. No doubt, the recipes will be fun to try. It’s time to get cooking in the Sicilian style.