Look how long this took.
A few weeks ago, on the Sicily post, I promised you Part Two. Between that promise and this post, life edged in sideways, the sneaky thing. But here it is. Part Two, slow-roasted like little Sicilian tomatoes. Tell me if you can taste it.
Sicily - a photo journal
I'll let the photographs do most of the talking this time, and I hope they'll tell you little secrets, show you little nooks, take you away for a while. Happy weekend, my friends!
A cottage out of a fairytale, hidden in the wild Madonie mountains, in Northern Sicily. We spent weeks searching for the perfect place - away from everything, without a frill, rustic and simple. We wanted birdsong and walks in the woods, and not much else. That was what Casa Bianca was in a nutshell.
We loved the contrasts Northern Sicily threw up at every turn. I'm going to show you three places we loved. The old, cobbled alleys of Cefalu, a town tumbling into the Mediterranean. The fishing village of Scopello, with its glittering hamlet. Castelbuono, a beautiful commune hugging a medieval cathedral. And Palermo, a city I thought I wouldn't like, but which I loved. We went to Palermo on a Monday morning when many of its shops are shut; it gave us a chance to see a different side of the city. Unhurried; with daily lives being led, crumbling balconies holding the sun, couples sitting under giant banyan trees.
Nothing I say about Sicilian food can do it justice, but there are a few things that you can't leave the island without tasting.
Cannolo - a crisp tube of fried dough filled with sweet ricotta.
A no-fuss, grilled swordfish.
Spaghetti alle vongole - spaghetti with a simple tumble of clams.
Pasta alla norma - pasta with fried eggplant, ricotta salata, pine nuts, basil and garlic.
Pasta con le sarde - pasta with sardines, wild fennel, pine nuts, raisins and saffron.
The fish couscous, which made its way to Sicily from Northern Africa, and is a specialty in the Trapani area.
When in season, a pizza with artichokes, which I love.
And in between your meals: a cool, crunchy granita and glasses of fresh orange juice.
Cooking in Sicily