Escape to Sicily by way of chef Ben Tish’s new sun-drenched cookbook, states Ella Walker.

Chef Ben Tish, who runs Norma, a Sicilian-Moorish influenced restaurant (among others) in London, is back again with a further assortment of Italian-type recipes.

The cookbook, Sicilia, should help transport you to the Mediterranean island, and is what Skegness-born Tish calls a ‘love letter’ to the region’s food stuff, so what do you need to know about it?

The ebook: Sicilia by Ben Tish.

Who will adore it? Any person dreaming of eating seafood on a beach, their toes dipping into the warmth of the Med. As very well as those on the lookout to broaden their awareness of Italian food, acquire their pasta sauce repertoire, and any one who adores fennel (it crops up a great deal).

What is it striving to get us cooking? The foods of Sicily, by the eyes of an English chef. Tish has extensively investigated and cooked the culinary traditions and heritage of Sicily and its surroundings, especially the foodstuff of the Moors (which he explored at size in his cookbook, Moorish).

You can find pasta galore, irrespective of whether baked (conchiglioni with pumpkin), coated in squid ink, or laced with fresh new crab intriguing fish dishes, such as stuffed sardines, sea bream with an almond crust, and clams cooked with lemon leaves and chilli. On the meat front, issues are hearty (grilled bavette, chargrilled venison haunch) but there is a serious treatment taken with vegetables through (in particular the guanciale wrapped backyard garden onions). Tish also goes significant on dessert, notably granita (flavours like watermelon, buttermilk, Sicilian lemon) and ice cream (almond milk, pumpkin seed, fig leaf), as properly as creamy puddings, like the lemon cream under, and cannoli.

How straightforward is it to use? Incredibly, although some ingredients will involve a trip to a fishmonger (octopus) or the butcher (tripe), and if you might be to endeavor the ‘fritti’ dishes, becoming au fait with deep frying is a need to (really worth it for the spiced lamb arancini).

The most effective recipe is… The espresso granita with whipped cream, served stuffed inside brioche buns. A breakfast of dreams.

The recipe we’re most possible to publish on Instagram is… The purple prawns with orange and thyme – dazzling pink and gorgeous. Hold the heads on.

The dish we are least probably to attempt is… The focaccia. We know it will be absolutely mouth watering, but who has the time to faff with generating focaccia from scratch?

All round score: 7/10 – comforting recipes and fascinating flavour combinations, that you’d very likely preserve to cook dinner on the weekend.

How to make Ben Tish’s Sicilian lemon product with stewed mulberries or blackberries

“In contrast to equivalent puddings that use flours for thickening, this extremely very simple posset-design and style pudding genuinely showcases the zingy, aromatic flavour of the lemons. The combine of product and mascarpone is not only prosperous and indulgent, but contemporary too. Unwaxed lemons will give the greatest flavour,” states Tish.

“Mulberries aren’t as widespread in the British isles as they are in Europe, but if you can find them, possibly in a Middle Japanese grocery store or a specialist fruiterer, they are utterly delicious. They resemble an elongated blackberry with denser flesh and a singular sweet-sour fragrant flavour. Blackberries will make a incredibly great substitute.”


(Serves 4)

For the lemon product:

2 big unwaxed lemons with unsprayed leaves

150g caster sugar

150ml double cream

300g mascarpone

For the berries:

250g mulberries or blackberries

150ml fantastic crimson wine

60g golden caster sugar

1tbsp honey


1. Zest the lemons and squeeze the juice you need 80ml juice. Place the lemon zest and 80ml juice in a saucepan with the sugar. Warmth about a medium-reduced warmth, stirring until eventually the sugar has dissolved entirely. Clear away from the heat and hold heat.

2. In a separate pan, heat the cream and mascarpone about a medium-minimal heat, bringing just to a simmer – do not permit it boil (or else it may well independent). Take out from the warmth, add the lemon combination and whisk. Amazing somewhat, then strain via a fine sieve into bowls. Amazing fully, then depart in the fridge for at least eight several hours or right until firm and chilled.

3. When the lemon cream is chilling, put together the stewed berries. Location the fruit in a saucepan, just protect with water and include the wine, sugar and honey. Deliver to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes or until finally the fruits are very tender but continue to keeping their shape. Use a slotted spoon to get rid of the fruits from the liquid to cool. Boil the remaining liquid right until syrupy. Let this great, then pour over the berries. Chill.

4. To provide, spoon some of the berries on to just about every cream. Mouth watering with biscotti.

Sicilia by Ben Tish is published by Bloomsbury Publishing, priced £26. Photography by Kris Kirkham.