Pasta con Pecorino.

The great island of Sicily is on the shortest sea route between North Africa and Europe, and the half-way mark between Iberia and the Levant. Not surprisingly, has been occupied by pretty much everyone who ever sailed the Mediterranean: Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Normans, Arabs, the Spanish, and it has had influences from other places as well. As a result, although Sicilian cuisine is broadly Italian in technique and in its ingredients, it has its own unique flavours. This Sicilian pasta is made with sheep’s milk cheese. 


2 cups small pasta[1].

¼ cup olive oil.

4 cloves garlic, chopped.

1 fresh chilli, seeded and chopped[2].

1 large onion, chopped.

Salt and pepper to taste.

1 glass dry white wine.

200g salami, diced[3].

½ cup cream

½ cup chicken stock.

½ cup grated Pecorino Romano[4]


Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and add the pasta. Cook according to instructions. Heat the oil in a pan over a hot flame. Sauté the garlic until it is golden but not burnt [1-2 minutes], then add the onions, chilli, salt and pepper. Sauté for another 3-4 minutes until the onion is soft, then stir the salami through.

Add the wine, deglaze the pan and continue to cook until almost gone. Add the cream and the stock, bring to the boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Remove from the heat, stir the cheese through the mixture then add the cooked pasta. Serve with a green side salad and crusty fresh bread. 

Serves: 2.

[1] There is a formidable range of such things: fusilli, cannelloni, penne, rigatoni and many more.

[2] Or to taste.

[3] There are hundreds of varieties of Salami; pick your favourite.

[4] Pecorino is a hard, salty cheese made from sheep’s milk. Pecorino Romano is one of the best and is available in Christchurch from If you are unable to obtain some, Parmesan is a workable substitute.

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