Sunday, January 1, 2023

Sicilian Cacuzza Recipes Gagootz

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 Growing Cucuzza in your backyard .. An Italian-American time-honoted Traditon ..



  PASTA con CUCUZZA    


Pasta & Gagootz !!!   Pasta & Gagootz is a long time favorite with the Bellino Family. Cucuzza, a.k.a. Gagootz is oh so Sicilian, and third only to Eggplant (Melanzane) and Artichokes, as the most popular and loved vegetable of all. Well yes there’s tomatoes and we love cauliflower quite a bit too, but Gagootz? Yes Cucuzza is the big Italian Squash eaten mainly by Italian-Americans, and mostly those of Sicilian and Neapolitan origins.  Even in the Italian-American community, still not many  know of this amazing Baseball Bat sized vegetable that most Sicilians do. So yes Cucuzza is ours, we Sicilians and other Southern Italian peoples, but not everyone you see. Hey, we love to share, but once in a while we like to keep a few things to ourselves. Doesn’t everyone? My mom used to make this often, along with Zuppa di Cucuzza from her mothers traditional recipes from Lercara Friddi. The recipe is oh so Sicilian, tasty and whimsical too. If you make it, you and your guest are sure to love it, as we Bellino’s have for more than 100 years now. Mangia Bene!    



RECIPE : PASTA GAGOOTZ

1 large Cucuzza (Italian Squash) 
1 medium Onion, peeled and chopped 
¼ cup Olive Oil 
1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes 
4 cloves Garlic, peeled and sliced 
1 – 28 ounce can "Best Quality" imported ITALIAN Tomato Passata
1 pound Green Beans, cleaned and cut in half 
¼ cup fresh Basil leaves torn in half 
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano Cheese



Peel the Cucuzza with a vegetable peeler and scoop out an large seeds if there are any and discard.

Cut the Cucuzza (Gagootz) into 1 ½” pieces. 

Place Cuccuzza and olive oil in a 6-quart pot and cook on low heat for 5 minutes. 

Add onion and cook for 4 minutes more. Add garlic and cook on low flame for 2 minutes. 

Add red pepper flakes and cook 1 minute while stirring. 

Add tomatoes and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. 

While the sauce is simmering cook the green beans in a large pot of boiling salted water for 3 minutes. 

Drain the beans in a colander and put in the pot of sauce after it has been simmering for 12 minutes. 

Continue cooking for a total cooking time of 40-45 minutes for the sauce. Add basil and cook two minutes. Cook pasta according to directions on package. 

When finished cooking, drain the pasta in a colander, reserving about 7 tablespoons of the pasta cooking water. 

Put the pasta back in the pot it cooked in. Drizzle on a little olive oil and mix. 

Add 1/3 of the sauce to the pot with the pasta and mix. Divide the pasta among four plates. 

Top each plate of pasta with a little more of the sauce. 

Give a plate to each guest, pass the grated cheese and enjoy.

 

Pasta Gagootz ... 

Excerpted form GRANDMA BELLINO'S ITALIAN COOKBOOK by Danie Bellino Z



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zzPastaGAGOOtZ

  
PASTA GAGOOTZ

This and other Great Sicilian Recipe

in GRANDMA BELLIO's ITALIAN COOKBOOK

by Daniel Bellino Z











zzGagootz


Stewed CUCUZZA

a.k.a. GAGOOTZ







SEGRETO ITALIANO

SECRET ITALIAN RECIPES

PASTA CUCUZZA & SOUP

GINO'S PASTA SEGRETA "SECRET SAUCE"

LASAGNA - MARINARA

And Much More ...



.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Taormina Sicily Food & Tours

 

 





Piazza Aprile

TAORMINA

SICILY





HOTELS in TAORMINA

SICILY & WORLDWIDE






Teatro Greco

TAORMINA

SICILY




WHAT to SEE in TAORMINA


Today, Taormina lives on tourism. Visitors flock from all over the world to see its Greek-Roman theatre, amble along its perfectly preserved Mediaeval streets, admire its dramatic views of Mount Etna, and immerse themselves in the archetypal Mediterranean atmosphere.

The main attraction is, without a doubt, the theatre. Now home to all manner of events, including plays, fashion shows, concerts, and cinema festivals, the Teatro Greco, as its name suggests, started its life in the 3rd Century BC hosting performances of works by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes. Originally quite small, it was enlarged by the Romans to accommodate their own particular brand of theatrical extravaganza. The views from the theatre are spectacular, taking in a (usually) smoking Mount Etna and the Bay of Naxos down below.

Another testimony of Taormina’s ancient origins is the Odeon. Right in the middle of the old Roman town, just below Palazzo Corvaja, this small theatre was built by the Romans when the town became a military colony in 21 BCE. It was used both for theatrical and musical performances organised for the cream of local society. Strangely, at some point it disappeared, only to resurface again in 1892 when a blacksmith hit upon something that turned out to be red bricks while digging his land. He dug a little deeper and called in the experts who uncovered first the cavea, then the orchestra and finally the scene.

Taormina is centred around its main thoroughfare, Corso Umberto I. At the beginning of this charming street is perhaps the greatest symbol of Taormina’s long varied history: Palazzo Corvaja. Its architecture is a sublime mix of Arab, Norman and Gothic and includes battlements, mullioned windows and shady courtyards. The Arabs built the original tower as part of the town’s defences. Its cubic structure, which is typical of many Arab towers of this period, is thought to have evoked that of the Ka’aba in Mecca. In the 13th Century, the tower was enlarged by the Normans who added a wing containing a hall and some wonderful artwork. The Spanish followed suit, adding another wing at the beginning of the 15th Century to house the Sicilian Parliament. Its present name recalls one of the town’s most important noble families who owned the building from 1538 to 1945.

For the first half of the 20th Century, until after the 2nd World War, Palazzo Corvaja became a kind of lodging house for poor families and fell into disrepair. After the war, it was restored to its former glory and in 1960 another section was added to house the local tourism offices. The main part now houses the Sicilian Museum of Art and Popular Traditions.

At the other end of Corso Umberto I is Piazza del Duomo, complete with 13th-century Cathedral and Baroque fountain. As with many churches of this period in Sicily, the Duomo, dedicated to St Nicholas of Bari, has a distinctly fortress-like quality thanks to its robust structure and the battlements that delineate the roof. Its Renaissance doorway belies an essentially Gothic interior complete with a rose window at the west end.

Taormina is served by its very own cable car which ferries tourists to and from the seaside resorts down along the coast. Extensive beaches, rocky coves, tiny islands (such as the famous Isola Bella) and sea stacks abound, making this enchanting coastline a firm favourite with Sicilians and visitors alike.






THINGS to Do in TOARMIN, Mt ETNA, SICILY







MICHAEL & APOLLONIA Wed

GET on The  GODFATHER Movie SICILIAN TOUR & LUNCH

From TAORMINA, SICILY






The GODFATHER


PRIVATE TOUR From TAORMINA to SOVOCA

And FORZA d' AGRO, SICILY








PALERMO - SICILY






COOKING SICLIAN



NONNA BELLINO

SICILIAN COOKBOOK

RECIPES

SICILIA





LUXURY HOTELS - TAORMINA,  SICILY


GRAND HOTEL TIMEO - TAORMINA

A BELMOND HOTEL



GRAND HOTEL TIMEO

A BELMOND HOTEL

TAORMINA





The POOL


A BELMOND HOTEL




The GRAND HOTEL TIMEO




The GRAND HOTEL TIMEO



Taormina’s , Grand Hotel Timeo, A Belmond Hotel, Taormina is opposite the Greek Theater and offers panoramic views of Mount Etna and the Sicilian Coast. It features an outdoor pool and spa.

Rooms at Grand Hotel Timeo, A Belmond Hotel, Taormina are all air conditioned and offer, satellite TV, mini-bar, private bathroom and free Wi-Fi. Some rooms have views of the sea or the hotel gardens with magnolias, cypress and palm trees.

Grand Hotel Timeo, A Belmond Hotel, Taormina serves an American buffet breakfast. The Michelin starred restaurant serves both Sicilian and Mediterranean cooking, and Literary Terrace & Bar provides drinks and snacks on its sea-view terrace.

The wellness center at Grand Hotel Timeo, A Belmond Hotel, Taormina includes a sauna, Turkish bath, gym and massage services. Guests can also relax on the nearby private beach, using the free beach shuttle service.

Grand Hotel Timeo, A Belmond Hotel, Taormina is 3.1 mi from the Taormina-Giardini Naxos Train Station and 45 minutes' drive from Catania Airport. Private transfers can be arranged to and from the airport and train station.

Couples in particular like the location – they rated it 9.9 for a two-person trip.






Grand Hotel Timeo

TAORMINA, SICILY




TAORMINA HOTELS

TAORMINA SICILY

WORLDWIDE




San DOMENICO Palace .. Taormina -  A 4 SEASONS HOTEL




The San DOMENICO PALACE HOTEL - Pool

TAORMINA, SICILY






A ROOM with a VIEW

San DOMENICO PALACE HOTEL

TAORMINA



The San DOMENICO PALACE HOTEL - Taormina

A FOUR SEASONS HOTEL


San Domenico Palace, Taormina, A Four Seasons Hotel a unique hotel, with terraces overlooking Mount Etna and the Bay of Taormina. It features a fitness center, a beauty corner, and an outdoor swimming pool.

This luxury hotel in Taormina consists of 2 historic buildings. The Garden Wing is a former 15th-century convent with cloister. The Grand Hotel Wing was added in 1896.

All rooms are uniquely decorated, and equipped with air conditioning and TV with satellite channels. Most rooms offer views of the sea, and some also have a private balcony.

Mentioned in the most famous food guides, the restaurants and bars of the hotel serve traditional Sicilian cuisine. Breakfast buffet is served at the restaurant and includes local pastries.

Couples in particular like the location – they rated it 9.9 for a two-person trip.


RESERVATIONS & BOOKING









MAP of TAORMINA

SICILY






PALERMO- SICILY






ANTICA FOCACCERIA San FRANCESCO






PALERMO














AUTHOR DANIEL BELLINO "Z"

SIRACUSA















Sicilian GODFATHER Movie Tour Lunch SICILY

 



The GODFATHER






BAR VITELLI

SOVOCA , SICILY

Where MICHAEL CORLEONE Meets Mr. VITELLI

And ask for APOLLONIA'S Hand in MARRIAGE





The WEDDING of MICHAEL CORLEONE to APPOLLONIA VITELLI


From TAORMINA, SICILY to SAVOCA & FORZA d' AGRO SICILY

Where the SICILIAN SCENES of The GODFATHER were FILMED

by FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA, 

with AL PACINO & SIMONETTA STEFANELLI






SICLIAN GODFATHER Movie TOUR with Optional Lunch



Description of Tour :



Enjoy the sights and tastes of Italy à la The Godfather in the company of a knowledgeable, English-speaking tour guide. 

Your guide will pick you up at your hotel or port at a time suitable to you before beginning your tour in Savoca, a medieval hilltop town where the fictitious Michael Corleone hid out during the "Going to the Mattresses" scene. 

In Savoca, stop at Bar Vitelli, which looks exactly as it did in the movie. At Bar Vitelli, you will be invited to take pictures with an authentic Sicilian shotgun, see pictures from The Godfather movie, enjoy the view from the square where the wedding scene was filmed, and purchase souvenirs. 

The highlight, however, will be an optional tasting of Sicilian cannoli and lemon granita.

Your next stop will be the church of Santa Lucia, where Michael and Apollonia got married. You will follow in the footsteps of the newlyweds down the hill into the town. Once in the town, visit another ancient church, dating back to the 13th century. 



Enjoy the sights and tastes of Italy à la The Godfather in the company of a knowledgeable, English-speaking tour guide. 

Your guide will pick you up at your hotel or port at a time suitable to you before beginning your tour in Savoca, a medieval hilltop town where the fictitious Michael Corleone hid out during the "Going to the Mattresses" scene. 

In Savoca, stop at Bar Vitelli, which looks exactly as it did in the movie. At Bar Vitelli, you will be invited to take pictures with an authentic Sicilian shotgun, see pictures from The Godfather movie, enjoy the view from the square where the wedding scene was filmed, and purchase souvenirs. 

The highlight, however, will be an optional tasting of Sicilian cannoli and lemon granita.

Your next stop will be the church of Santa Lucia, where Michael and Apollonia got married. You will follow in the footsteps of the newlyweds down the hill into the town. Once in the town, visit another ancient church, dating back to the 13th century. 

Your guide will tell you about the filming processes involved in shooting The Godfather and some fun trivia about the movie, the director, and the actors. Discover the history of the real Sicilian mafia from your guide.

Hear how the mafia rose to power, its structure, and about the "Law of Silence", "Men of Respect" and the "Boss of the Bosses".

After all this walking and learning, you will be taken to visit one of the best wine bars in Savoca where you can try excellent Sicilian wines and locally produced, traditional food including cheeses, salami, prosciutto, olives, and homemade bread. 

During the tour in Savoca, you will also see the mirror monument dedicated to Coppola, on the panoramic terrace overlooking the Ionian coast, the site of Michael Corleone's wedding scene.

Your tour will continue to Forza D'Agro, another stunning hilltop town. Your guide will lead you along abandoned streets towards the historic square where you will visit the churches Santissima Trinita and Santissima Annunziata.


In Forza D'Agro, you will see the piazza where young Vita Andolini escaped from Don Ciccio's men and you will walk up to the remains of a 12th-century Norman Castle to admire the panoramic view of the Ionian coastline.






The WEDDING DAY

MICHAEL & APPOLONIA

At The CHURCH of San NICOLA






The CHURCH of San NICOLA

SAVOCA, SICILY

Where MICHAEL CORELONE & APOLLONIA are MARRIED




FORZA d' AGRO

SICILY




SAVOCA, SICILY





SICILIAN GODFATHER RECIPES

From NONNA BELLINO


Make SUNDAY GRAVY (RECIPE)

Just Like MAMMA CORLEONE



On The 5oth ANNIVERSARY of The GODFATHER Movie, we want to Pay Homage to the towns that the Sicilian scenes of the Movie where Filmed in, in SICILY.


The Godfather is one of the most iconic films in cinema history, was released on 15 March 1972. The film was a resounding popular success and a Hollywood milestone that inaugurated the season of event films. The movie deals with themes related to the founding of America as a melting pot of races and, in this case, explores the realities swirling around Italian immigrants. Folklore and Mediterranean mythology are the main themes of the entire trilogy. Those are narrative strands expressed especially in the scenes shot in Sicily, the historical and legendary place of origin of the Corleone family.

Although most of the scenes are shot in the United States, director Francis Ford Coppola brought the entire crew to Sicily to shoot the "Sicilian" scenes of the film. The warm landscapes, the isolated, sleepy villages, the baroque churches and the tanned faces of the people all contribute to the authenticity of the scenes shot in Sicily.

Let's find out which famous scenes were shot on the island and which locations were chosen to film the Sicilian scenes of The Godfather.




SAVOCA,  SICILY


In 1971, the Godfather's troupe left for Sicily to shoot the scenes of Michael's exile and others. Initially, Coppola had decided to shoot the scenes in the Palermo town of Corleone: unfortunately, however, problems arose due to organised crime, which demanded protection money to allow the director to shoot the scenes in their territory.

So the cast of The Godfather moved to Taormina while waiting to find a more suitable location for filming. At that time Coppola met Sicilian Baron Gianni Pennisi, a well-known painter and international jet set member. The baron advised Coppola to visit the towns of Savoca and Forza d'Angiò in the province of Messina, two places that were very suitable for the location and logistics of the American film.

Coppola was fascinated, and so the shooting of The Godfather in Sicily could begin.

After the assassination attempt on Vito Corleone, his son Michael decides to get involved in the family business to avenge the assassination attempt on his father: he kills a corrupt police captain and a drug boss. For this reason, Michael is forced to flee the United States and is sent to Sicily, where some family friends will hide him until things calm down and where the young son of immigrants will have the opportunity to rediscover his origins.

The Sicilian scenes of The Godfather are filmed in Savoca, now one of the Most Beautiful Villages in Italy. Here you can see the famous Bar Vitelli where Michael asks his father to marry Apollonia: originally the structure was a former farmhouse, transformed into a bar for filming. Today you can find many objects related to the film inside the building: we recommend you try their tasty lemon slush.

For Godfather fans, the Church of San Nicolò is one of the most interesting places. Although no scenes were filmed inside, several shots show the extraordinary 13th-century façade. Savoca, however, is not only remembered for having hosted the protagonists of the Godfather. Savoca is also a very picturesque historic centre characterised by narrow streets that intersect each other, historical buildings from the Middle Ages and wonderful views overlooking the Gulf of Taormina.



MICAHEL & APOLLONIA




FORZA d' AGRO. Sicily "The WEDDING of MICHAEL CORLEONE


The scenes of Michael's wedding are so iconic: the exit from the church alongside his young bride Apollonia and then the wedding procession walking through the streets of the village. The town in question is Forza d'Agrò and the church where the wedding takes place is the Cathedral of Santa Maria SS Annunziata. Coppola pays homage to this picturesque inland Sicilian village with wide shots that highlight the honey-coloured rock buildings in contrast to the green trees.

In Forza d'Agrò, you can also visit the beautiful remains of the Norman castle, the Durazzesco Arch and the church of the Triad.





APOLLONIA

CORELONE , SICILY

Scenes for CORLEONE wher Not Filmed in Corleone, Sicily

The SICILIAN Scenes in The GODFATHER were Filmed

In the towns of SAVOCA & FORZA d' AGRO Sicily








MICHAEL CORLEONE
Talks with Apollonia's Father
Mr. VITELLI
At BAR VITELLI