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Swordflsh is one of the most common Sicilian fish. It is mainly caught in the channel that divides Sicily from Africa, and is sold fresh in the markets in autumn and winter. The fish is often grilled and served with oil, lemon juice and capers, which grow wild on the island and are preserved in salt.
6 swordfish steaks (tuna fish or snapper cutlets), about 7oz (220g) each
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) dry white wine
1 fresh rosemary sprig
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fine dry breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons drained capers, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
Place the swordfish steaks in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Pour in the wine. Finely chop the rosemary leaves and add to fish with the garlic. Coat steaks well and marinate for at least 1 hour.
Drain fish, reserving marinade. Brush a skillet with a little of the oil and heat it. Sprinkle fish with breadcrumbs and capers, add to skillet and cook on both sides until nearly cooked through, basting from time to time with marinade.
Whisk the rest of the oil with the lemon juice in a small bowl. Pour over the fish and cook for a few more minutes. Serve hot.
Tuscan Trifle (Tiramisu)
Tiramisu ("pick me up") is a modern version of a dessert first created in Siena, where it was called zuppa del Duca (the Duke's soup!). From there it migrated to Florence, where it became very popular in the nineteenth century among the many English people who came to live in the city at that time. And so it was called zuppa inglese--English soup. Only recently, the same dessert with some variation--chiefly the substitution of rich mascarpone cheese for the original custard--has come to be called tiramisu.
3 egg yolks
3 tablespoons superfine (caster) sugar
1 1/3 cups (11 fl oz/330 ml) vin santo, Marsala or brandy
1/4 cup (2floz/60ml) very strong espresso coffee
8 oz (250g) mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) cream
1 egg white
4 oz (125 g) savoiardi or ladyfingers (sponge fingers)
Make a zabaglione by beating the egg yolks and sugar in the top of a double boiler until ivory colored. Add 1/3 cup (3 fl oz/80 ml) liquor and whisk over gently simmering water until the mixture begins to thicken. Let cool.
Stir the coffee into the mascarpone. Whip the cream to soft peaks. Beat the egg white until stiff. Fold the egg white into the zabaglione. Dip the lady fingers into the remaining liquor and arrange in a single layer in the bottom of a 9-in (23-cm) bowl. Cover them with half the mascarpone, then half the zabaglione and half the cream. Repeat the layers, finishing with the cream. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.