It is the Frittella of broad beans, artichokes and peas. For me, this ancient Sicilian recipe occupies a place of great importance for its simple goodness. And anyone who takes a trip to the island in April, should not give up this delicious vegan dish. I have decided to give you my version of this typical Sicilian dish, but as you imagine, I will also try to talk about it a little bit.
So, if you are in a hurry to cook, follow the index finger to go straight to the recipe. If instead you want to know more about one of those Sicilian recipes of my grandmother’s that I love the most, read the whole article.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
Time: 40 min.
Cooking time: 30 min.
- Broad beans – 300 gr. shelled
- Peas – 300 gr. shelled
- Artichokes – n. 3
- Wild fennel – 50 gr.
- Onion – nr. 1
- Olive oil – 50 mi.
- Sugar – 1 spoon
- Vinegar – 1 spoon
Get yourself some fresh beans, fresh from the day and small. Do the same with artichokes and peas. It will also be very useful to have a lemon to rub in your hands. Then proceed as follows:
- Clean the artichokes from the outer leaves until they reach the heart. Cut the tips, remove the inner beard and cut them into segments in a bowl with water and a few drops of lemon.
- Shell the beans and put them in a container (if they are not small, remove the outer peel).
- Shell the pea pods and put them in a container.
- Heat the oil in a saucepan with the chopped onion until it browns over low heat.
- Add the artichokes and cook them for 5 minutes.
- Add beans and peas and after a couple of minutes add half a glass of water.
- Add salt and pepper and cook for 20 minutes over low heat.
- Add sugar and vinegar and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add the chopped wild fennel and put out the fire
Those who read this blog have guessed that I love to collect stories related to traditional eating. It’s no coincidence that Sicilian food occupies an important place in TOURIDDU tours, to deserve a dedicated section that you can find here.
When I travel, I never miss a chance to try the local food and talk sitting at the table with people. In fact, in my opinion, knowing and tasting some typical Sicilian food is worth as much as visiting a monument or a museum. Because, after all, the food, through its ingredients, procedures and rituals that sometimes reveals, hides many stories of a people.
This obviously also applies in the island, where, not surprisingly, the traditional recipes are a concentration of stories of misery and wealth, novelties and ancient traditions. . In front of a laid table you meet a people, you get in touch with them and you can understand some fragments of their history.
In the case of the frittella, we have a simple traditional recipe of Sicily but at the same time refined in its ingredients. Personally, I think that the more simple a dish appears, made with a few ingredients, the more attention you have to pay in making it. Attention to many aspects.
Let’s start with the seasonality of the ingredients. These must be very fresh, just picked from the ground and never, but I mean never, out of season. Broad beans, in particular, tend to change their taste a day after harvesting. Some typical Sicilian recipes should only be made during the good season of the ingredients. In this case, the time available is really limited to a few weeks.
The Frittella (frittedda in Sicilian) should be prepared in that short interval of time between winter and early spring, when you meet for a few weeks the Sicilian thorny artichokes, the first peas and the still tiny and sweet broad beans. As you have seen in the proceedings, the name actually deceives. Fried, there is nothing in this dish, except that onion that was browned at the beginning of the process
You’ll often find fava beans in the Sicilian hinterland. Pay attention to them while you travel in spring, you will find them around you in huge expanses that alternate with wheat fields still green. This is because, for some time now, the two crops have been alternating. In fact, it is known that broad beans enrich the nitrogen fields.
The importance of broad beans is millennia old in southern Italy, so much so that there are stories that refer to Pythagoras. In Sicilian culture this legume has great importance all year round. This is curious because here the percentage of those who suffer from favism is very high.
Yet, you find them dry in winter toasted in wood-burning stoves, soups and many other dishes that can be found in many months of the year. The maccu, I will talk about it in a next post, is one of those typical dishes of Sicily in winter. It is a tasty soup of dried broad beans, cooked for a long time. So long that the legumes have to flourish before they can put out the fire.
In spring, of course, the broad beans are eaten fresh. In the Sicilian recipe I mentioned in this article, they must also be small, very small. And sweet. That’s the secret to making a perfect frittella. Another indispensable ingredient is the wild fennel that gives a fresh and Mediterranean tone to the whole dish.
Well, if you’ve come to this point in the reading, I hope you enjoyed this ancient recipe from Sicily and its short history. If you want to discover other fantastic traditional Sicilian recipes, follow me or have a look at Danita’s blog, very good at combining tradition and innovation in her creations in the kitchen.
If, instead, you also want to do a tour that has the typical Sicilian food as the protagonist, do not hesitate to contact me. I will be happy to accompany you.
Tour guide - Archaeologist