Sicilian recipes for pizza and pasta come from Palermo

Last week, I offered an overview of the gastronomic paradise that is Sicily. It touched on everything from the Sicilian habit of dessert-parading-as-breakfast to the long tradition of street food, their penchant for prickly pears and a vibrant repertoire of dolci. In case the article made you hungry, and I hope it did, I have two recipes to share.

To delve a little deeper into Sicilian cuisine, I must first start with my home state.

Growing up in Rhode Island, pizza strips — also known as party or bakery pizza — were a staple at cookouts, birthday parties, and anywhere there was a crowd to feed.

Pizza strips come from Sicily?

Pizza strips consist of a tall, fluffy crust generously slathered with tomato sauce. They are topped with little to no cheese (it depends on the bakery) and are eaten at room temperature.

Maybe it was the bready dough or the generous amount of tomato on top, but my first slice of sfincione (pronounced sfeen-cho-nay) in Palermo was déjà vu at first bite.

I did a little research and discovered that pizza strips are indeed a descendant of Sicilian sfincione. They were brought from Sicily to New England where, like a game of culinary telephone, it transformed into what we know as pizza strips.

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