Frascatula (Sicilian Polenta with Wild Vegetables)
A dish with old and humble origins, whose name seems to come from the French word "flasque" or soft, to describe its consistency. It appears to have been introduced during the French occupation of Sicily of the 13th century, when soldiers prepared this dish for sustenance.
It goes by other names - Paniccia, Piciocia, Picciotta - depending on the place of origin and the kind of pulse or cereal flour used as base.
Chickpea, fava beans or cereal flours are used on different parts of Sicily, and combined with wild vegetables growing on our island - like borrage, wild asparagus, mustard greens, chicory, beets, wild fennel and many others - depending on what's in season.
For mine, I used chickpea flour, wild fennel and a kind of wild vegetable from my area called "lassini", which in other parts of Italy is known as "amarelli" or "friarielli" and it's similar to sprouting broccoli.
Have you heard of this dish before or do you have something similar in your cuisine? Let me know in the comments!
Ingredients (for 4)
200g "lassini" or sprouting broccoli (or other green vegetable of your choice)
25g fresh wild fennel or dill
1.5 cups (approx 400g) chickpea flour
2 tbsp evo oil
Chilli flakes, to taste
Salt to taste
Remove the toughest part of your veggies and chop coarsely.
Bring 3 litres of water to a boil, add salt and parboil the veggies. To the same pot, add the sieved chickpea flour, little bit at a time, whisking constantly to make sure it doesn't form lumps.
Cook on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes or until it reaches the desired consistency.
Drizzle some oil and chilli flakes on top and serve immediately.
Word of the Day
(to cook, pronounced cu·ci·nà·re)