Heartily Sicilian Style Pasta
(“Pasta Gustosa alla
At Joe’s, the focacceria Palermitana on Avenue U in Brooklyn, we cooked only one type of pasta, every day with a
One time we were in the mood of experimenting and we came up with the following delicious recipe; it was well liked
by our customers and we started to make it every so often.
Not being a traditional fare we had to come up with a name and among the many options we favored to call
it Pasta Gustosa alla
Siciliana, Heartily Sicilian Style Pasta.
This pasta is easily made and what will surprise you will be the complexity of the aroma and the taste that derive
from so few and simple ingredients.
This dish is enhanced by the aroma of sautéed fennel and the sweetness of the scallions or onions; it is enriched
by the delicious and delicate taste of a basil-tomato sauce and garnished with grated caciocavallo or Parmesan
cheese. You can use any type of pasta you like: long or short cuts; my preferred cut is penne.
28 oz. peeled tomatoes
onion finely chopped
tablespoons of olive oil
tablespoon of butter
scallions chopped or ¼ small onion chopped
fennel (the white base)
grated caciocavallo or Parmesan cheese
and pepper to taste
In a 2 quart saucepan, place 3 tablespoons of oil and the ½ onion finely chopped. Sauté over a medium heat until
the onion is golden. Squash the peeled tomato with you hands, add to saucepan with the basil, a dash of oregano,
salt and pepper to taste.
Bring to a boil, lower the flame and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
If you want to remove the seeds and skin from the peeled tomatoes use a vegetable mill. When using vine-ripened
fresh tomatoes rinse a few times, squash with your hands, follow above directions and simmer fore 45 minutes.
Wash the fennel, dice it finely and keep on the side.
Over high heat, in a sauté pan, combine 2 tablespoons olive oil and the scallions or the onions. Cook scallions for
3 minutes add the diced fennel, some salt to allow the fennel to release its water and continue cooking at a low
heat covered, stirring occasionally. If necessary add a tablespoon of water.
It is ready in 15 to 20 minutes or when tender, soft and pale light golden in color.
Cook the pasta al dente in an abundant amount of salted water following manufacturer’s
When pasta is cooked, drain and return to the pot. Reserve a cup of cooking water.
On a low flame, toss in the scallions-fennels condiment and the butter. If it is too dry add some of the reserved
pasta water. Remove the pot from the heat and mix in half of the cheese.
Pour pasta in a warm large serving bowl, or make individual portions, top with a generous amount of tomato-basil
sauce and serve immediately.
Serve pasta with cheese on the side; place a pepper mill on the table.