Sharing fun, food & travel and restaurant chitchat. We're here to help…
call us! 04 20 310 202

Cooking Class & Some Recipes.

Cooking Class & Some Recipes.IMG_5833

There is always Panelle in the cooking classes. Because it’s fun, & easy, & typically Sicilian street food. But generally, when you buy it, it has been cooked for a while already, probably in old used oil, & is not so delicious, particularly when shoved between all that bread like they do…

But in Nicoletta’s kitchen, straight out of the pan, it is crisp & tasty, a bit of a treat not to be missed!IMG_5853


900 mls. water

250g. chick-pea flour

2 tspns. salt

1 tblspn, finely chopped parsley

Pour half the water in saucepan, slowly add chick-pea flour, whisking to prevent lumps. Add the remaining water & salt, stirring continuously. Cook over med. heat, still stirring until mixture thickens.

Add parsley. Do not let it stick & burn. Stir, stir, stir for about 10 mins. until right thick consistency. Pour into oiled cylinder, like a can, (in Italy they use an oil container with both ends cut off) & let cool.IMG_5849

Once cold, push through very slowly from one end, so only 2mm of dough is visible & cut off with very sharp knife. Place on tray for cooking. Continue until dough is empty. This takes a little gentle practise but is very easy once you get the knack :))

You can cut them into shapes in you wish, good for involving the kids…

Heat oil in pan (not too hot) & fry in batches, draining on paper towel. They will be golden & slightly puffed up. Best eaten straight away.IMG_5851

During these fun & informative cooking classes, called A Day With The Duchess, we go to the markets & buy the most seasonal produce, learning about historical monuments & local stories along the way. 

We also go into the palace private terrace gardens & pick our fresh, lush & lovingly tended herbs. There are turtles roaming around…watch your step! There are tortoises in the fish ponds & abundant flowering creepers, spring bulbs popping up everywhere & the wafting sweet scents of spring. It is delightful!

An unexpected baby turtle was found some time ago, to the delight of the Duchess, & consequently to us as well. “Oh piccolo….” she says. Affectionately named Barney. Very tiny & cute.IMG_5848

Beef Rolls, Palermitan Style.

1kg. very thin sliced beef (round steak)

100g, ham, 100g. Gruyere cheese & 100g. bread crumbs, all cut into tiny cubes.

1/2 cup chopped parsley & 1 large chopped onion plus 2 beaten egg yolks.IMG_5888

For stuffing… saute onion, take off heat & add rest of ingredients. Season.

Cut beef into 3″ squares, place small tblspn, stuffing on each slice, near one corner. Roll corner over, tucking edges in Repeat til all done. Heat oven 375*.

Oil a baking dish & sprinkle with salt. Thread 4 meat rolls on bamboo skewer adding a bay leaf & onion wedge between each piece.IMG_5891

Pour some oil into one large flat dish, & breadcrumbs into another. Dip skewers into oil then breadcrumbs, coating completely. Arrange in layer & bake 30 mins. turning after 15 mins.

Serve with the gorgeous orange & fennel salad, & there you go!IMG_5897

Orange, Fennel & Black Olive Salad, Sicilian Style.

Cut 2 fennel bulbs in half length-wise, & slice thinly. Also cut 2 oranges very thinly & combine (the citrus is so sweet & juicy here they eat the skin too)

Add a few pitted black olives & dress with simple vinaigrette (extra virgin olive oil, orange juice, oregano, s&p) Fresh thyme sprinkled on top makes this traditional Sicilian salad very special.IMG_4536

If you added a pasta dish in there for first course, & some fruit, or maybe a special fruit jelly to end, you would have a scrumptious Sicilian feast, pretty & tasty for a long table of love & sharing.IMG_5837



  1. It all looks so tempting, I think I could really enjoy their oranges, There is so much extra health benefits in the skins of fruits that it’s a shame that we can’t always eat them. I want to make the beef rolls as soon as the weather turns warm and we can eat outdoors. I have a few people waiting for my next get together and I always like to present them with new items. It’s so much fun watching them discover flavors. Thanks for sharing these recipes

    • Oh aren’t you gorgeous Chef William! I hope you & your guests enjoy these new flavours :))
      I can’t believe the citrus here in Sicily…& for me it’s a whole new concept eating the skins, but they really are surprisingly soft & almost sweet.
      It’s pretty cool that we can all share our cooking journey’s together don’t you think?
      Thanks for your knowledgable input as always chef :))
      cheers, love Roni xx

  2. Oh Roni, how delicious! I love your recipes and am nearly tempted to try these myself! Miss you Bella xxx

    • Lol, Miss Jeanne…I understand what you mean when you say “nearly ” :)) I try to avoid fried stuff too…but sometimes you just must hey!
      Miss you chicks too…thanks for spending the time Jeanne, big love xxx

  3. Citrus in Sicily is just amazingly different. I could get used to the fresh ojs there.
    tbie beef rolls sound yum!!!
    will give them a go soon

    • Thanks Mel…sounds like you are having an awesome trip too!
      Yeah, you just can’t quite explain the oranges until you’ve sampled them yourself can you….love xxx

  4. You lucky woman to enjoy all this gorgeous food. I agree with the frying – sometimes you just have to and it’s so worth it. I prefer fresh oil too. 🙂

    • lol…yes Maureen I am a lucky woman (& growing:)) And you are a lovely woman who can appreciate what I’m talking about….:)) thanks for stopping by & sharing xx

  5. Hello sweets, it all sounds amazing! But can I say that your photography is getting more interesting. I’m now seeing your food passion though your photos and I love it. Huge love and hugs xo

  6. God love ya little cotton sox… :)) just what I needed to hear today, & that’s so kind of you to say, coming from the gorgeous photographer that you are. Big, big love xxxxx

  7. Oh my golly Dutchess!! Those little panelle shapes look sooo yummy & fun! X

    • They are fun Kali, especially with any kids of any age :)) & mighty tasty too!! Big love…xx

  8. YUM!! just, YUM, that’s all!!

  9. I have not ‘fried’ anything for quite a few years, BUT I could be tempted to change that I think. xx N

    • :)) yes, I think a few of us may just agree with that thought Nikki :)) thanks for stopping by & joining in…xxx

  10. Mmmmmm…I’m liking those chic pea thingy’s! Yum!!!

    • lol…yes I thought you would young lady :)) was thinking of you & Jeanne when we made them….got another class on tomorrow, so will make some more & have one for you, okay? xxxxx

Leave a Reply

connect with us

We'd love to chat with you about your upcoming event or celebration!

mobile: 04 20 310 202

share our site