Modica is a photographer & food lovers dream.
Full of breathtaking views and ancient stone pathways zigzagging up the hillsides, Modica is unlike any other town I have visited in Italy. I first learned of Modica from it’s famed chocolate, and honestly once again, I planned our entire Sicily trip around the food we would taste during the 5 days we spent here. There were many many lovely bits, but when I think back to our time there, I immediately think of this dish.
Cavatelli con ricotta e piselli.
Cavatelli with ricotta and peas. So simple and comforting, it feels like a hug in a bowl, as cheesy as that sounds. It is major comfort food, and we have been enjoying it on occasion this winter. It’s perfect for a cold winter day.
Osteria dei Sapori Perduti is a charming osteria in the heart of Modica. The “Osteria of Lost Flavors”, they pride themselves in home cooking traditional recipes full of forgotten taste. Our host recommended it and made reservations for our first night and we loved it so much we returned again during our stay. Part of the charm is the ancient building, once a palace- the homey atmosphere & delicious comfort food, and definitely the Muriani family that owns and runs this restaurant.
The owner, Carmelo takes care of the front of the house, while his wife tends to the kitchen, and their darling little boy helps ring up the customers as they leave. Carmelo was so kind to drive us up the hill to our apartment after dinner, zipping up the dark streets (which by the way are the size of sidewalks) which he knew like the back of his hand.
Modica. I highly recommend it if you find yourself in Sicily. Many more things to recommend to you, but I’m starting here. – Buon Appetito!
- 1 lb dried cavatelli pasta (difficult to find, but Whole foods does carry it)
- 16 oz. fresh ricotta- (so important to use fresh if you can find it but if you need to buy it from the grocery store- make sure and buy the freshest whole milk ricotta you can find)
- ½ c. chopped onion
- 3 cups green peas, fresh or frozen (if using fresh peas, blanch before cooking)
- Olive oil
- ½ lemon, zested
- Heat a large pot with water, and bring to a boil. Add a generous amount of kosher salt.
- Cook pasta until just under al dente.
- Meanwhile, heat a small amount of olive oil in a skillet, add onion and cook for about 5 minutes on medium low heat.
- Add peas and cook another 5 minutes.
- Remove about 1 c. of the onion/pea mixture and set aside.
- With a large slotted spoon, scoop the cavatelli directly out of the water, and into the pan with the peas. (Save the pasta water)
- Turn pan to low and add the ricotta and gently mix with the peas and pasta. Add a little pasta water to thin the mixture if you'd like. Turn heat off.
- Place pasta in a serving bowl and top with the reserved peas & onions, top with cracked pepper and a little lemon zest.
Osteria dei Sapori Perduti:
Corso Umberto I, 228, Modica RG, Italy
For reservations: 0932 944247
Open for lunch & dinner, closed Tuesdays.