The first time I had these traditional Sicilian rolls was in a small Italian restaurant just off the main drag in Camps Bay. The moment I saw them on the menu I knew I had to have them. Not only did they sound utterly delicious, but just saying the dish’s name out-loud when ordering it made me feel thoroughly Italian!
Sadly, in spite of its gloriously evocative name, I was actually less than thrilled with the meal, albeit it has been suggested that I should never eat out given my propensity for disappointment. Nevertheless, in spite of my culinary chagrin, I was convinced that the dish still had merit and that it was worth trying to recreate at home. After some obsessing and research, I eventually attempted my own involtini and I’m pleased to say that they didn’t disappoint!
Whilst there are a myriad of versions of involtini out there, this particular recipe is very much typical of the involtini from the Sicilian capital Palermo. Loaded with ingredients such as toasted pine nuts, raisins, onion, bay leaf and pecorino, these rolls are wonderfully aromatic. Another filling option is to include some pepperoni, as they do in the region around Catania. Given the wide range of regional variations, feel free to play around with the filling – chances are it will still be delicious!
With regards to what to serve with your involtini, I would recommend pairing them with some Swiss chard sautéed with a few mushrooms, some garlic and a splash of white wine or vermouth. Add a few slow-roasted cherry tomatoes and you’ll have a veritable feast!
For more Italian Classics from The Muddled Pantry, please click here