Spring is an exciting time for Sicilian chefs. It’s the season for fresh seafood and crisp vegetables like fennel and asparagus. This means delicious soups, tasty risottos, and a few springtime twists to some Italian pasta classics. So here are five spring-inspired dishes brought to you by Tasting Sicily’s celebrity chef Enzo Oliveri, especially available during Easter.

  1. Zuppa di asparagi (Asparagus soup) – This classic starter is a simple yet elegant little dish. Combining crisp in-season asparagus with butter and tablespoons of cream creates a smooth, velvety texture with a springtime kick. Asparagus soup is an excellent first course for dinner. Alternatively, it’s a perfect choice for a light lunch.
  2. Polpette di melanzane (Aubergine croquettes in tomato sauce) – Chunks of baked aubergine are rolled in egg and bread crumbs before being fried into golden, crispy bitesize treats. The garlic infused tomato sauce is served in a bowl for dipping or drizzled over the croquettes just before serving. This tasty starter can also be presented as a vegetable side dish.
  3. Lasagna vegetariana (Vegetarian lasagne) – Vegetarian lasagna isn’t the quickest mid-week meal option, but the end result is a hearty, nutritious main course that can satisfy the most committed carnivores. This is healthy comfort food packed with bell peppers, spinach, carrots, and zucchini.
  4. Brasato di agnello con patate al forno (Braised lamb with roasted potatoes) – A one-pot rustic dish made from seasoned lamb and crispy roast potatoes. Add a sprig of fresh rosemary, a glug of wine, and season well. A fool-proof, deeply satisfying dish perfect for a Sunday dinner with the family or a relaxed dinner party.
  5. Cassata Cassaforno (Sicilian baked cassata with ricotta cheese and chocolate) – A tasty and tempting dessert filled with sweet ricotta cheese and chocolate chips. The Cassata al Forno is especially popular in Palermo and is typically eaten around Easter time. This Italian classic has Arabic roots. The word cassata comes from the Arabic qas’at, which is the rounded bowl in which the dessert is prepared.

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