Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Best Roast Chicken Sicily Agrigento

ChickenPULUMBOagrigentoSICLY

The BEST CHICKEN Ever !!!

ROSTICCERIA PAALUMBO

 

AGRIGENTO

SICILY

  .

MeRIGATONIpalumboAGRIGENTO

 

PASTA al FORNO

   
PALUMBO ANTONELLO ROSTICCERIA
Piazza Pirandello , AGRIGENTO , SICILIA (SICILY)

Yes the BEST CHICKEN Ever ! I kid you not. And so Cheap, they're practically giving it away, Just 3.5 Euros for 1/4 Chicken (Leg & Thigh) and probably the Best Roast Potatoes you've ever Eaten as well, "I kid you not." I couldn't believe how absolutely wonderful, the kind of place you're Always Looking For but often don't find, PALUMBO is Awesome. As soon as I walked through the door of this place and saw the Rotisserie Chickens Cooking, I knew I wanted to have some. It's a rosticceria and all the food is layed out before you for you to choose from, there's: Frittata (Italian Omelette), ARANCINI (Sicilian Rice Balls), Eggplant Caponata Fried Eggplant, Eggplant Parmigiano, PASTA , The CHICKEN & Potatoes, and more ... It's a Family run place and has a nice warm friendly atomosphere. You can either Eat In or Take Out as many of the locals do, running in for ARANCINI, Roast Chicken, Eggplant, Frittata and what-not. 

I started my meal with Pasta al Forno, Rigatoni Baked with Ragu and Pecorino Cheese (ONLY 3 Euro), and followed the Pasta with the BEST ROAST CHICKEN I've ever had in my life, "It was Amazing" !!! I couldn't believe how wonderful the food was and the price were so low, they were practically giving it away. From going there two times I could see that this Family built their business on having absolutely Delicious Food and super low prices, with food to take-away or eat there in a nice warm ambiance if you like. When I was leaving the next day to take a 3 hour Bus Ride to Catania, I made sure I came here to get a Couple ARANCINI, FRITTATA , and Fried Eggplant to eat on the long bus ride. When I got hungry on the bus, I was sure glad I did. Love this place, and wish there were more around like it. My BEST MEAL in SICILY !!! No doubt.
     

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GRANDMA BELINO 'S COOKBOOK

RECIPES From My SICILIAN NONNA

Available on AMAZON.com

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Sicilian American PIZZA Recipe

SfincioneSICILIAN.jpg

SFINCIONE

This is Real Authentic SICILIAN #PIZZA

the Kind you find in PALERMO

  RECIPE :
  • 1 tablespoon dry active yeast
  • ¼ cup/45 grams fine semolina
  • 2 cups/255 grams 00 flour or all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

FOR THE TOPPING:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing pan and drizzling
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ cups plain tomato sauce (look for passata, which is not a thick purée)
  •  Salt and pepper
  •  Pinch of red-pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
  • 1 cup/85 grams grated pecorino or other sheep’s cheese (3 ounces)
  • 8 anchovy fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces
  •  Dried oregano, preferably Sicilian
  1. Make the dough: In a mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, put 1 cup lukewarm water and yeast. Add semolina and stir to make a thin paste. Let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes, until bubbly.
  2. Add flour, salt and olive oil, and mix until dough becomes a rough mass. Knead dough until smooth, about 5 minutes. Dust with flour as needed, but don’t add much: This is meant to be a soft dough. Put kneaded dough in a resealable plastic bag or a bowl covered with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably longer, up to 24 hours.
  3. Make the sauce: Put 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water, and raise heat to high. Simmer briskly until all the water has evaporated and onions are soft. Add tomato purée and bring to a simmer, then turn off heat. Season with salt and pepper, and add red pepper to taste. Allow mixture to cool, then stir in bread crumbs, grated cheese and anchovies. Let mixture rest for 5 minutes, then taste and adjust seasoning.
  4. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle olive oil to coat the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet. Remove dough from refrigerator and press down to deflate. Using a rolling pin, flatten dough to a small rectangle.
  5. Transfer dough to oiled baking sheet, and, using the palms of your hands, stretch dough to the edges. If dough is rebellious and resists, let it rest for a few minutes, then stretch again. (It may take 2 or 3 attempts.) Cover dough loosely with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel, and set in a warm place to rise. After 30 minutes or so, dough should have doubled in thickness.
  6. Spoon the topping evenly over the dough, then use a spatula or the back of the spoon to spread the topping smoothly over entire surface, leaving a half-inch border. Drizzle surface with 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil.
  7. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes on the oven’s middle shelf, until nicely browned. Check the underside to make sure it is crisp, and bake for a few more minutes if necessary. (Tent top with foil if top has browned too quickly.)
  8. Remove from pan to a cutting board. Sprinkle with a little salt and a large pinch of oregano. Cut into 8 square slices. Serve warm or at room temperature.
 

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RECIPES FROM MY SCIILIAN NONNA

CAPONATA

ARACINI (Sicilian Rice Balls)

PASTA con SARDE

MACCHERONI RAGU SICILIAN

These RECIPES and More ...

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Sicilian Street Food Palermo

Pane Meusa
 
Beef Spleen Sandwich
 
AKA as VASTEDDI in New York
 
 
Vender in PALERMO
 
PANE MEUSA
 
 
 
SFINCIUNI
 
Real SICILIAN PIZZA
 
PALERMITANA
 
 
 
 
 
CANNOLI por DOLCE
 
 
GRANDMA BELLINO'S COOKBOOK
 
 
STUFFED ARTICHOKES
CAPONATA
 
ARANCINI (Rice Balls)
 
CUCUZZA
 
and More ...
GO Back to SICILY with Italian Cookbook Author
Daniel Bellino "Z"
.
PalermoSTREETfoodsbgv.jpg
MANGIA BENE !
Eating PANE MEUSA
Beef Spleen Sandwiches
STREET FOOD of PALERMO
SICILY
MeeeeSICILY17
BACK to SICILY
.
 

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Sunday Sauce Italian Gravy

 
SIMMERING The GRAVY
 
Or is It SAUCE ???
 
 
 
This is a Great Debate, and there is really No Right or Wrong, either term is correct, it all depends what geographic location that yoru family is from in America or the Old Country of Italia. Whether your family is from Napoli, Sicily, Calabria, or live in New York, Chicago, Boston, or Philly, the most important thing of all is not what you call it, Sauce or Gravy, but how the product taste, it has to be beyond good. 
 
Amother factor that varies, is what you and your family put into your Sauce. The most popular is a Sauce (Gravy) made with Sauasge, Meatballs, and Braciole (Braciola). Some families, like mine love to put Ribs in their Sauce, some put Pig Skin Braciole, some Lamb or Pork Neck, and some families even put chicken into their Gravy, which I myself do every now and then, especially if the local grocerry store has Chicken Thighs on sale. And speaking of sales, we always stock up on Maccheroni (Pasta) and Tomatoes whenever they are on sale as well.
 
For recipes on How to Make SUNDAY SAUCE  alla CLEMENZA from the Francis Ford Coppola  film The Godfather , how to make Dolly Sinatra Meatballs and Spaghetti Sauce, the Bellino Family Sunday Sauce, and Mamma DiMaggio's Sunday Gravy, get a copy of  Daniel Bellino "Z" s SUNDAY SAUCE , When Italian-Americans Cook.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sunday Gravy
 
Another Family Recipe
RECIPES for SUNDAY SAUCE
 
aka GRAVY
 
alla CLEMENZA
 
alla SINATRA
 
alla BELLINO
 
alla DiMAGGIO
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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Sicilian Muffoletta Bread






A Muffoletta Loaf




Brief History of The Bread.


Muffoletta bread refers to a special kind of bread.  The bread originated in Sicily hundreds of years ago.  The bread has a unique shape, with a softer crust and denser interior than most Italian bread.  Its form and texture make it ideal for filling and for sandwiches.

Because it is unique, the muffoletta bread is often difficult to find, and many bakers use the muffoletta name for bread that is not made in accordance with the authentic recipe.

Sicilian Roots


Authentic muffoletta bread originated in Sicily hundreds of years ago.  Ingredients include the standard ones for making Italian bread:  flour, water, yeast, salt, shortening and sugar, plus fennel or sesame seeds for the top. 

Shape and form

The authentic muffoletta bread from Sicily is baked with a softer crust and a denser interioir than 'normal' Italian loaves.  Its shape is round (about 10" diameter) and lower in height than 'normal' loaves.  Fennel or sesame seeds usually top the loaves.  (Fennel seeds often top the muffoletta loaf in Sicily, where the bread was invented, while sesame seeds usually top the muffoletta in the U.S.) 
The authentic muffoletta is a pure bread.  That is, the ingredients consist only of flour, water, yeast, sugar, salt, shortening and (for the top) fennel or sesame seeds.  The bread’s ingredients do not include hard wheat, brown flour, olives, rosemary or any of the other exotic additions often added by many artisan bakers.
Note: Traditional French and Italian breads are made with the identical ingredients in essentially the same way. The major difference between them is their shape: French bread tends to a long and round shape, like the baguette, while Italian tends to a round and thick shape, like the ciobatta.
Like all great breads, the muffoletta should be enjoyed and eaten on the same day it is baked.  The flavor peaks within a few hours if not minutes after being removed from the oven.  The texture of the bread reflects the warmth with a soft exterior which contrasts with the dense interior.

Shaped for Filling


The shape of the muffoletta bread makes it ideal for stuffing.  The bread is round, thin and dense. 
In Sicily, residents fill the bread with cheese, fish or meat.  In New Orleans, Sicilian immigrants in 1906 created the famous sandwich with the bread, filling it with olive salad, meats and cheeses.  Because the bread is so dense, it absorbs the oil in the olive salad.  As a result, the sandwich retains the liquid ingredients without leaking.  Most Italian loaves lack the density to absorb the olive salad.




Muff


The Famous MUFFULETTA SANDWICH

of NEW ORLEANS

Filled with Salami, Cheese, Mortadella, and Olive Salad

This is 1/4 of a MUFFULETTA SANDWICH

at The CENTRAL GROCERY Where This Sandwich was Invented

By S. LUPO a SICILIAAN IMMIGRANT o NEW ORLEANS

Back around 1906



Unlike other Italian bread

For customers in many parts of the world, including the U.S., the surface and texture of the original muffoletta bread are unusual.  The exterior is softer and its interior is denser than customers expect.  Therefore, bakers today often use a different recipe to make a loaf which they call a muffoletta but which does not have the characteristic exterior or interior.  Most so-called muffoletta recipes produce a harder crust and lighter interior than the softer, denser original.



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A LOAF of SICILIAN MUFFOLETTA




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GRANDMA BELLINO'S COOKBOOK


RECCIPES FROM MY SICILIAN NONNA

DANIEL BELLINO "Z"


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The SANDWICH


The authentic muffoletta sandwich from New Orleans requires the original ingredient:  the authentic muffoletta bread (see above);  the authentic muffoletta olive salad (see above);  mortadella (the Italian sausage);  cappicola (the Italian ham);  salami (the hard Genoa salami);  provolone (the Italian hard cheese);  and emmanetaler (the hard Swiss cheese).

The original sandwich was constructed so that the bread retains all the fillings for several hours without leaking. 
Recall the history:  the Central Grocery made the sandwiches very early in the morning.  The Sicilian farmers in New Orleans purchased the sandwiches to eat at mid-day.  Because the muffoletta bread is dense, the bread absorbed the olive oil and did not leak.  In addition, because the sandwich was not eaten for several hours, the many flavors of the salad, meats and cheeses melded together and grew complex.
As for the salad, hundreds of recipes for the muffoletta sandwich can be found on the Internet.  However, a review of many of the recipes shows that few of them are authentic.  Many include non-traditional ingredients, like lettuce, tomatoes and mayonaisse.  The key to the muffoletta sandwich is simplicity of ingredients, whichi produce a complexity of textures and flavors.






Inside a CENTRAL GROCERY MUFFULETTA


Nobody makes a MUFULLETTA SANDWICH anywhere near as good as at the Origintor of this Awesome Sandwich. A word of  warning if you go there to get one, and you should. The Sandwich is Incrediable and its fun to sit in the old Italian Groceria where the sandwich was invented and beccame famous. However, the owner of the place is the Most Miserable Bastard you could ever want to come across, really miserabel. He has the personality of a DEAD FISH, I kid you not, just look on YELP and you'll see all the bad reviews of his horrible demeanor. This being said, don't let it bother you. Simply go in, wait on line, order a half or whole MUFFULETTA, pay for it, get your sanddwich and sit down and enjoy, you want have to deal with the A-HOLE again, and you will be eating one of the World's Great Sandwiches. Hey therre's a price to pay for everything.







BREAD RECIPE 


This classic recipe for Italian bread and produces a muffoletta with a crusty exterior and soft, airy interior.  This recipe complements modern taste for lighter bread.  To that extent, the muffoletta bread from this recipe differs from the heavier and denser original but succeeds with more contemporary tastes. 
This bread may be used for the muffoletta sandwich but should not be limited to that use.  The bread is excellent if served alone and is a fine accompaniment with antipasto, wine, cheese or dinner.


Ingredients :

  • 1 Cup warm water (110F)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 3 Cup bread flour (approximately)
  • 1 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp shortening
  • Sesame Seeds

Directions :


In a 2-cup glass measuring cup, combine the water and sugar.  Then stir in yeast, and let the yeast mixture stand until foamy -- about 5 to 10 minutes.
In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the flour, salt and shortening.  Then add the yeast mixture.  Process until the dough forms a ball, about 5 seconds.  Stop the processor and check the consistency of the dough -- it should be smooth and satiny.  If the dough is too dry, add more warm water, one tablespoon at a time, and process just until blended.  If the dough is too sticky, add more flour, one or two tablespoons at a time, and process just until blended.  When the dough's consistency is correct, then process the dough 20 seconds to knead it.
Lightly oil a large bowl by swirling the oil to coat the bottom and sides.  Place the dough in the oiled bowl and turn it to coat all sides.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place, until it has doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
Lightly grease a baking sheet.  When the dough has doubled in bulk, punch down the dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.  Form the dough into a round loaf, about 10 inches in diameter and place it on the greased baking sheet.  Sprinkle the top of the loaf with sesame seeds, and press the seeds gently into surface of loaf. 
Cover the dough very loosely with plastic wrap and let it rise until it has almost doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. 
Place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 425F.  Remove the plastic wrap and bake the loaf in the center of the preheated oven for 10 minutes.  Then reduce the heat to 375F and bake for an additional 25 minutes.  The loaf is done when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Cool completely on a rack before slicing.
Makes 1 muffoletta loaf.






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Friday, June 15, 2018

Minestra di Maialle e Cavolo






PASQUALE and FRIEND

Mangia di Minestra di Pied di Maialle


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PIGS FEET and CABBAGE SOUP


alla PASQUALE


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GRANDMA BELLINO'S COOKBOOK

RECIPES FROM MY SICILIAN NONNA





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Thursday, June 7, 2018

Street Food of PALERMO




CHECK OUT THIS GREAT VIDEO OF PALERMO and he CITY'S STREET FOOD

ARANCINI (Rice Balls) , SFINGIONE ( SICILIAN PIZZA) and PANE MILZA aka VASTEDDA

which are BEEF SPLEEN SANDWICHES with RICOTTA and CICIOCAVALO CHEESE.. Yumm !!!!







GRANDMA BELLINO'S COOKBOOK


STUFFED ARTICHOKES

CAPONATA

ARANCINI (Rice Balls)

CUCUZZA

and More ...




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Saturday, March 31, 2018

BEST SELLING ITALIAN COOKBOOK

. .  
 
 
 
IF YOU LOVE ITALIAN-AMERICAN or SICILIAN FOOD                                               
  -  YOU MUST BUY THIS BOOK!
 
Review from un SICILIANA-AMERICAN SIGNORA
If you're just beginning to learn Italian cooking - or you're advanced.....you'll find at least ONE recipe in this book you'll have to try. But more likely, you'll find several. What I love about this selection of recipes is that they include strictly Italian; Sicilian; and Italian-American dishes. The author recognizes Italian-American as a cuisine unto its own. Falling into all three categories myself, I have a large collection of Italian and Sicilian cook books, but none specifically for Italian-American. I think this is about as close as I'll get. Dishes from my childhood (along with some charming anecdotes from the author) are in here and my mouth waters just thinking about which one I'll make first.

The recipes are rather simple just like *real* Italian food. I remember the time I asked Zia Elena for her spaghetti sauce and meatball recipes. To me, she was the Queen of authentic and delicious Sicilian/Neopolitan cookery (she married one of those northern Italians, so learned to cook for him. I had to ask her on the sly as no one would admit to her superior culinary skills in front of their own mothers!) Her list of ingredients was short and of course, delicious. Most Italian recipes are like that ---- not complicated, but delicious.

I give this book two paws up! For the price, it's such a deal, it should be in any cook book collection which focuses on the three types of Italian food. And lest the reader say, "But I thought Sicilians *were* Italians..." You can read up on this on the internet and see that Sicily had hosted numerous types of colonies for hundreds of years by everyone from Greeks, Arabs, Byzantines, even Scandinavians!. It only became part of Italy in 1860. Then in 1946 it became an autonomous region. Why does this matter? Sicilian cooking has many influences and so differs, although at times in subtle ways and sometimes in a complete composition expression to the more northern Italian food and customs. Due to Sicily's proximity to Greece, a dear Greek man once told me (as I choked on the sweetness of the baklava he had just given me), that Sicilians were "just Greeks" who wanted to be Italians. May be a grain of truth in that.!
 

If you love this outrageously ethnic food, then I highly recommend this. It's the kind of book I wish Zia Elena would have written and left to me! 
 
Thanks, 
 
Daniel
 
 
 
 
 
 
Premium Italian Pasta From Napoli
PACCHERI - RIGATONI - DITALINI
.
 
 
SEGRETO ITALIANO
 
SECRET ITALIAN RECIPES
 
SECRET RECIPE CREAMY ITALIAN SALAD DRESSING
 
GINO'S SALSA SEGRET "SECRET PASTA SAUCE"
 
JERSEY SHORE PASTA CRAB SAUCELe CIRQUE'S ORIGINAL Recipe "PASTA PRIMAVERA"
 
The BEST LASAGNA Ever !
 
CLAMS CASINO
 
GRANDMA'S SUNDAY GRAVY
 
and More ...
.
 

Sunday, March 4, 2018

How Make ITALIAN ICE LEMON GRANITA

. .
 
 
HOMEMADE LEMON ICE
 
aka GRANITA
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CLARA'S LEMON ICE RECIPE
 
 
 
GRANITA
 
 
 
 
.
 
 
 
CLARA Plates Up some LEONON ICE
 
 
 
 
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MY SICILIAN HAT and LEMON GRANITA
 
 
SICILY Summer 2017
 
 
It was so Dam Hot on My SICILIAN VACATION in The Summer of 2017 that I'd have 2 or 3 Granita's everyday. I'd be walking around and it was so hot it'd make you tired, so I'd stop in at a Caffe for a Granita and to sit and cool down for a little while. Never had so many Granita's in my life. This was on The Isle of Ortigia, Siracus, Sicilia. August 2017 ...
 
 
 
 
 
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GRANDMA BELLINO'S COOKBOOK
 
"Recipes From My Sicilian Nonna"
 
 
DANIEL BELLINO "Z"
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Saturday, March 3, 2018

A Sicilian Focacceria in New York

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That's VINNY on The Left

with One of His Many FANS


La Foccaceria? Oh where have you gone? Well, I do know actually. After more than 90 years in business, it was time to close the doors. And a sad day it was for thousands, including me. I first moved into the East Village in November 1982 .. I was working in another famed old New York Italian institution in The East Village, in John's (Since 1908) on East 12th Street right around the block from La Foccaceria. La Foccaceria was a great little Sicilian Specialties restaurant on 1st Avenue between East 11th and East 12th Streets on the east side of First Avenue .. That was  the first spot where Vinny's father opened the doors in 1914 ... I'm sorry to say, I never went to that one but to it's (La Foccaceria) 2nd location a couple blocks south on 1st Avenue between East 7th Street and St.  Marks Place (E. 8th Street) on the east side of the avenue. The new La Foccaceria, run by one Vinny Bondi was just one block from my apartment at the corner of Avenue A and St. Marks Place. In 1982 the East Village was on an up-swing in popularity and improvement from a sort of sub-ghetto of The Lower East Side. the neighborhood which was strongly Eastern European; Ukranian and Polish, mixed with Hispanics, Italians, and people of Jewish persuasion. When Mr. Bondi opened the doors almost 100 years before when the neighborhood was largely made up of Sicilian immigrants which included one Charles "Luck" Luciano whose parents moved to East 10th Street when Luciano was just 9 years old. In the early 80s when i first moved into East Village it was a low-rent neighborhood with apartments that were relatively cheap for the city, thus attracting artists, so-called wannabe actors and musicians and young people who wanted to live in Manhattan. In the East Village they could find an apartment (though not the best physically) at reasonable rates for the time, I did. Through a friend I was able to procure a 2 bedroom apartment for a mere $400 a month. Quite a bargain. I shared the apartment with my good friend jay F. for the first year in that apartment. Once he moved out, I kept the apartment for myself.
   Hey, I'm getting off the beaten track. Yes back in 82 the East Village was an exciting and changing neighborhood, perfect for me and other young people just starting out in this great city of ours.
    I was only paying $400 rent and had money to spend eating out. I used to eat at a Ukrainian Diner Odessa on Avenue A and Lesko's as well, two doors down from Odessa. There I could get plates of home-made Perogis, fresh Keilbasi and other solid food for cheap. In the East Village there were a few old-school Italian holdovers like; John's were I was working as a waiter & bartender at the time, Lanza's (now over 100 Years old), De Roberta's Italian Pastry (over 100 years old) Brunetta a great little Italian restaurant I used to go to which was on the same block as the original La Foccaceria and there was the current La Foccaceria on 1st Ave near Saint Marks Place .. I went in to La Foccaceria one  day, I met Vinny and I loved it from the very start. Vinny's father and mother had started the place way back in 1914 ... Vinny, I never asked his age, but he must have been in his late 60's at the time (1983). La Foccaceria served an array of wonderful dishes; all the usual pastas like; Lasagna, Spaghetti & Meatballs, Spaghetti Vongole (Clam Sauce), and Sicilian Maccheroni, like Pasta con Sardi and Lasagna Coccati, broken pieces of lasagna pasta baked with sausage,peas, tomato, and mozzarella. Vinny had great soups like Pasta Fagioli and the best Lentil & Escarole Soup around. He sold sandwiches like Chicken Parmigiano, Meatball Parm, Sausage & Peppers, and his most famous dish of all, the famed Vastedda Sandwich of Palermo. A Vastedda (Vastedde) Sandwich as we've said is a very famous sandwich that is a specialty in Palermo, is made with Beef Spleen (or Veal) with Ricotta and Cacciocavallo Cheese on a small Sesame Seeded Bun. It is quite wonderful and was a specialty of the house at Vinny's La Foccaceria. I just loved it, and at $1.60 per, even in 1982 it was one of New York's great prepared food bargains. The average price of most sandwiches  back then was about $5.00 around town, so  a Vasteddeat $1.60 per? Wow, what a Bargain?
I had tried most of the dishes at La Foccaceria in my first year eating there, but there was one that I loved by far most of all. Yes, the Vastedde. Most times I would have a Vastedde and a bowl of Vinny's wonderful Lentil & Escarole Soup, the best I have ever had. If it was Thursday or Saturday, the days that Vinny made Arancini (Sicilian Rice Balls) and Sfingione (True Sicilian Pizza), I might get a piece of Sfingione and Lentil & Escarole Soup, or Sfingione, a Vastedde, and Soup. Yeah! 
I often ate at Vinny's on Thursdays and Saturdays, as they were the two days in the week when Vinny made Sfingione, which is real Sicilian Pizza, that comes from Palermo. This type of pizza is made in a pan and is thick just like what is know as Sicilian Pizza all over America, and has tomato and Mozzarella Cheese baked on top. Sfingione on the other had doesn't have tomato or mozzarella, but minced Anchovies that are suteed with onions and breadcrumbs. This breadcrumb mixture covers the dough and then is backed in the oven, and "Voila," you've got the true Sicilian Pizza known to Sicilians and Sicilian-Americans alike as Sfingione. 
Very made a great version of Sfingione, and I'd get a piece of it every week for the 11 years before I moved over to the west side in Greenwich Village. Saturdays was a very special day at La Focacceria as that the day that all the old guys who grew up in this neighborhood, but later bought homes outside of Manhattan, Saturday was the day many of these guys would take a ride into the hood to get a Vastedde, see Vinny and habg out with old friends, one coming from Staten Island, one from Brooklyn, one from Jersey, etc., etc., and they'd all meat up at Vinny's for a nice lunch together and remember their old times in this old Sicilian Neighborhood.
Boy did I love Vinny's. There was nothing like those Vastedde and Vinny making them. Vinny had a special stattion at a counter up front of the place where he cut the cooked Beef Spleen, fry it in lard, cut the bun, cut some Cacciocavallo, he'd lay the spleen on the bun, add some Ricotta, and sprinkle the cut Cacciocavallo Cheese over the top. Yumm! And I'd have a little chat with Vinny as he made my Vastedde right before my eyes. When i ordered it, all I had to say to Vinny, was, "One with everything." That meant everything; the spleen, Ricotta and Cacciocavallo. Some people would order them minus the spleen. Why? Amateurs.
Sadly, Vinny closed his Foccaceria a few years ago. it was a sad day for me, no more Vinny, no more La Foccaceria, no more Vastedde.

Ode to La Foccaceria

  Ode to My Pal Vinny

  Ode to My Beloved Vasteddi

  I Will Miss You All So  

  Daniel Bellino-Zwicke  


NOTE : In Palermo where the Vastedde Sandwich comes from, it is mostly known as Pane Milza (Muesa), which translates to "Bread and Spleen." The spleen is first simmer to cook in gently boiling water until cooked through. The spleen is cooled down and refrigerated to cook later. When someone orders a sandwich, Vinny would take the large piece of Spleen, cut thin slices of it and fry them in lard that was in a pan at the counter of the focacceria. Vinny would then place the cooked spleen on a sesame seed bun that was split in half. He'd place a dollop of fresh Ricotta on top of the spleen, then grated Caciocavalo Cheese over the ricotta, and then top with the top piece of bread and place the Vastedde Sandwich on a plate and hand it to the lucky recipient, like me, just like they make it in Palermo.

NOTE II : You may have noticed different spellings for the same sandwich, Vastedde and Vastedda are both singular, while Vasteddi is the plural for more than 1 Vastedde.


 


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The FAMED VASTEDDA


"I ate these at Vinny's twice a week. La Focacceria was just 1 block from my apartment in the East Village. Sadly Vinny closed about 8 years ago. Now I have to go all the way to Ferdinando's in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn to get one. Either there are all the way to Palermo to Antica Focacceria S. Francesco, which I don't mind at all, but I sure do miss going to La Focacceria on 1st Avenue, seeing my old buddy Vinny, eating a Vasteddi, an Arancini or some Sfincione which Vinny made on Thursdays and Saturday. The BEst Vasteddi in New York.


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SFINCIONE
This is real SICILIAN PIZZA. Vinny made it on Thursdays and Saturdays and all the guys that used to live in the neighborhood but bought homes in Brooklyn, Staten Island or where ever, they'd come in to La Focacceria every Saturday for a VASTEDDA and some SFINCIONE and ARANCINI. It was quite a place.
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ARANCINI

Like any good Focacceria, Vinny made great ARANCINI too. You can find incredible tasty ARANCIN (Rice Balls) where ever you go in SICILY, stuffed with meat or cheese, they're as tasty as can be, and at just about $1.50 a piece, a nice inexpensive treat and the perfect thing to eat between meals, or even a meal in themselves, two will do the trick.

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GRANDMA BELLINO'S COOKBOOK
RECIPES FROM MY SICILIAN NONNA


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Ferdninado's In Brooklyn.
You Can Still get a good Vastedda There ...
Sadly, the only place left in New York


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Read About VINNY'S La FOCCACERIA

in Daniel Bellino's "La TAVOLA" 

ITALIAN-AMERICAN    NEW YORK .....

 
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Antica Focacceria San Francesco

PALERMO


The Antica Focacceria San Francesco is without question the most famous focacceria as well as the single most famous and popular place to eat in all of Palermo, and all of Sicily for that matter. This may very well be the place where Mr. Bondi (Vinny's Father) modeled his place La Focacceria 1st Avenue after. We can't really be sure, but it's our guest bet. And for certain there must have been many different focaccerias all over Palermo when Mr. Bondi was a young man, that no longer exist, so he may have modeled his establishment in New York after one of those that no longer iexist, and yes, then-again, it may have been Focacceria San Francesco.

Anyway, the Focacceria San Francesco is without question my absolute favorite place to eat in Palermo, nothing comes close to this place, it's absolutely and positively awesome. The ambiance is spectacular with its balcony, marble and granite counters, floor, and tabletops. And the food? The Food is Wonderful! The worlds best place to get Pane Milza (Beef Spleen Sandwich), Caponata and Arancini (Sicilian Rice Balls).

La Focacceria were made famous by Andrew Zimmer on Bizarre Foods, and even more famous by Anthony Bourdain on "No Reservations, but I started going there way before those two guys.  Yes the food is wonderful, and just as wonderful are the prices, which are cheap to say the least. And the fact that they make a wonderful plate of their Greatest Hits, which includes Caponata, Aracini (Rice Balls) Panelle (Chickpea Fritters), and of course the famous sandwich Pane Milza (Muesa).  





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Making a VASTEDDE
aka Pane Muesa
 


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My VASTEDDE
 
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Inside S. Francesco

FOCACCERIA

PALERMO


 
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Read This !
Focacceria San Franceso and the Street Food of Palermo, Sicily #StreetFood
#PalermoStreetFood
   
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My CANNOLO
Focacceria S. Franceso
2017
   
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Antica Focacceria San Francesco
PALERMO