It’s only two days until Assumption Day, and already the streets are being dandified and the sidewalks cleared so that booths selling jelly doughnuts can be set up. Throughout western Europe, everything shuts down, while here on the East Coast of North America most celebrating occurs in the imagination.
Most, but not all.
For example, last night, in honor of the memory of my Nona Oriana from Palermo I cooked a true Sicilian meal: Grilled swordfish atop penne in a tomato and eggplant ragu. First you cut an eggplant into one inch cubes. Steam them for 15 minutes. Set aside. Heat up olive oil. Add 1/2 a sliced onion, two chopped garlic cloves, and an anchovy. Stir. Add the eggplant. Stir. Add water and cook until the eggplant is the texture of a sauce. Add about a cup of Pomi. Stir. Set aside. Boil water. Add a cup of penne to the water. When nearly done, add the penne to the sauce. Set aside. Roll about 1/2 pound of a swordfish in neutral oil like canola. Add breadcrumbs. Sear over hot coals about 4-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Remove. Heat up sauce and penne. Add chopped parsley. Plate. Slice fish into six or so pieces. Place atop sauce and penne. Add salt and lemon juice to fish. Feeds three.
Mary would have loved it.