After our trip to Monreale, we had a drink on the roof lounge of our Hotel in Palermo – Albergo Sole and then it was time to eat again.
The view from the roof, the cupola of Chiesa Santa Catarina, Palazzo di Città (city hall) or Palazzo delle Aquile (Palace of Eagles) and I think that’s Monte Grifone in the background.
Our hotel meals were good, but they didn’t compare to the restaurants we visited. The pasta dish here is a pasta with pumpkin, but I’m unsure the technical name of the pasta. It’s either Casarecci, which means hand made, from the hand rolling this ’s’ shape requires, or strozzapreti which has the much more romantic sounding name which means ‘Priest Stranglers’.
This weekend I was planning to make my normal chicken curry pasta salad for a party, when I saw this shape in Whole Foods and used it. I’m glad I found it, since I didn’t note the pasta type when in Palermo and I couldn’t find the name. Even the World Directory of Pasta Shapes and Names didn’t have a description of this type of pasta. This pasta shape chart has a picture of both.
We had a breaded swordfish and then a ‘lemon ricotta cake’ with some sort of wild strawberries.
I’m unsure if this was anything related to the traditional cassata. We were served several versions of ricotta cakes, mostly lemon, and a smattering of either strawberry, pistachio, or almond. I’m afraid these were all served in hotels, and while I ate them with gusto, I didn’t run into the kitchen, demanding the name, ingredients and cultural history, just to make sure, that at some point I’d be able to ask for the exact same thing. We retired on the roof deck, with a grappa (or two). I could blame the second one, but I neglected to note the name of the brand, which was very good, despite grappa’s terrible reputation as undrinkable moonshine. That said, this stuff was as potent an alcohol as I’ve ever had. Think Everclear with nuance. Later in the trip we did try some grappa that was truely horrific, in potentcy and taste.
The view of the cupola at night, under the influence of a few grappa.