Lemon trees, the salt sea, and wooden tables groaning beneath the weight of wonderful rustic food. Who doesn’t want to fall in love with Sicily?
The Italians are well versed when it comes to family and food, and nowhere seems to capture this spirit better than sleepy Sicily. This is a land of layers; Italian heart and Moorish spices, a hint of ancient Greece and Spanish flair, glugs of olive oil, swimmingly fresh seafood, and balmy summer nights.
When summer rolls around there can be no better way to bring the breath of the Mediterranean to your very own doorstep with these ideas for a Sicilian themed supper party.
Set the Scene
Creating a glorious scene to greet your guests is the only way to make a first impression. Think white linen tablecloths with blue scatter cushions to bring the ocean to mind. Fill bright mosaic bowls with sunshine colored lemons and blood oranges cut in two for both color and scent. If you can find any diffusers you can send hints of blackberry and pomegranate wafting out, instantly transporting your guests to softer brighter shores. You can even fill vases with half cut lemons and bright blue and yellow flowers and be sure to choose clean white tableware and a flash of silver cutlery to bring class and charisma back to the table.
Finally, if you are considering sitting out on deck long into the evening think of stringing fairy lights between the trees and lighting candles beneath glass jars. The whole scene should be beautifully balanced in terms of color, fresh in scent, and tempting in making your guests want to stay all night.
Pour the Perfect Cocktail
Welcome your guests into your world with a glass of something tall, chill and fizzing. Those who want a hint of alcohol to pass their lips can partake in the famous Negroni. Vermouth Rosso blends with bitter Campari and dry gin and is topped with lemon peel or sliced oranges to bring that citrusy bloom. You can also opt for the Sicilian Lemonade, splashed with vodka, fresh ice, a swirl of blackcurrant liquor and a wedge of lemon. Pair with perfect Sicilian appetizers such as tiny bruschetta with fresh tomatoes and basil, fritters with fresh anchovies, rolled eggplant filled with creamy ricotta, and fried rice balls crammed with pancetta.
Plan an Amazing Menu
Sicily is all about seafood laced with fragrant herbs, bright lemon zest, and fresh vegetables. For an informal feast you can choose a simple fish stew with meaty white fish and scattered scallops. Throw in plenty of garlic, olive oil, pitted green olives, parsley and chili flakes for a heartwarming dish served with a rustic loaf and leafy salad.
For something more traditional you can create the signature dish of Pasta con le Sarde. Sardines are cooked up with white wine, crushed garlic, peppery fragrant fennel, pine nuts and parsley before being served over handmade pasta for a buttery beautiful dish that melts on the tongue. Serve with rosemary and sea salt studded flatbread drizzled in the finest golden olive oil for mopping up the plate.
Sicilian baked cod is another firm favorite laced with sweet red onion, cooling fresh mint, a sour shot of vinegar, rich olives and coated in basil fresh breadcrumbs for that delectable crunch. Choose a Sicilian pale and blossomy white wine to pour with the main course. Sicilian chardonnays are bright and beautiful and delicate when placed next to fragrant white fish.
Finish with a Citrus Twist
No Sicilian feast would be complete without a hint of sweetness. Sicilian sweets are certainly worth savoring, whether it’s a bowl of sharp and tangy lemon sorbet with torn basil leaves, or cannoli pastry stuffed with ricotta and studded with lemon zest, these are the citrus treats that will leave you feeling fully satisfied.
Almonds are also mixed with candied fruits before being rolled in white chocolate to make paste di mandrole, or you can choose a little brick of chocolate studded with sweetened figs and crumbled with fresh pistachio.
Finally, it wouldn’t be right to send your guests away without at least one small glass of sun bright limoncello. Limoncello is the go to spirit that captures Sicily in a pretty bottle. You can drink it straight in a shot glass, or you can create a cocktail for something extra special. We love limoncello served with cream and a shot of chilled espresso for a delicious dose of something good that goes down thick and rich and finishes your dinner perfectly.