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Lemons In Sicily

Lemons In Sicily

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In the first episode of SOURCED, we take a journey to Sicily, where the best lemons in the world are rumored to grow. Guy Turland from Bondi Harvest explores the centuries-old groves along the Mediterranean coast, at the foot of a smoking Mount Etna.

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Fusilli Lunghi alle Vongole

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fusilli lunghi

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 garlic clove, minced

  • 1 chili, minced

  • 1 cup vongole

  • 1/2 cup white wine

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped

  • 2 tomatoes, diced

  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. In a pot of salted boiling water cook fusilli lunghi as per instructions on packaging.

  2. In a separate pan on medium to medium-high heat, add olive oil, then garlic and chili, and cook until tender.

  3. Add diced tomatoes, then vongole, and coat in oil and garlic. Add white wine and cook till vongle open (3 - 4 minutes).

  4. Add fusilli lunghi and 1 tablespoon of pasta water to the pan and toss. Add lemon juice and parsley, then season with salt and pepper.

  5. Serve in a large bowl with wedges of lemon and sprinkle with parsley.

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Transcript

- How good, Sicily? G'day guys, I'm Guy from Bondi Harvest. We're on a journey to discover the best source of ingredients that we use in our everyday cooking. We're here to discover the people, the heart, the places, the vibrant flavors, in everything we eat. Gelato was invented in Sicily. They would only be genius enough to put it in brioche. So I've come to Sicily where citrus and lemons have been grown since Roman times and it's so important to the local cuisine. So come with us and let's go discover the source. Catania's central markets being serenaded by this beautiful man. - Thank you very much. - [Guy] Grazi. Let's go explore. Sicily's had a long history and there's not better place to bear witness to that history than right here at the Catania central fish markets. You'll find ingredients and recipes that you'll find in Spain, North Africa, Greece. It's unbelievable. Sicily's surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea. It's gorgeous, clean blue water produces some of the best seafood in the world. And this seafood comes straight of the boat from the fishermen into the market. Mahi-mahi? - [Vendor] That's right. - So heavy, huh? Some amazing oysters, look at the size of them. So these are our vongole. This is sort of an ingredient I'm completely obsessed with. We're gonna cook with these later one. Look how fresh they are, still moving, sucking the water. These things are so unbelievably tasty. Sweet, salty, tender, just all around amazing. We're getting some vongole for dinner. I mean this produce is just unbelievable. It's so diverse, fresh snails. And we're here to source one ingredient in particular, my favorite, we're after lemons. Lemons are not native. Citrus is brought into Sicily by the Romans when they ruled the known world. Hold on. That's how good they are. There's so much juice in these little puppies, they're unbelievable. They've got so many different kinds. There's sweet, there's acidic, may we have some? Alright, we've got plenty of fresh seafood here and we've seen plenty of citrus around the market but we're going to one in particular farm to find the source of a certain special lemon indeed, let's go. So we've just arrived at the most amazing little lemon farm. It's north of Catania and it's quite special. Mount Etna is just over there, and that's one of the main reasons why these lemon trees grow so unbelievably well. It's the mineral in the soil from Mount Etna that makes these trees just bear so much fruit. The lemon they grow here is actually named after the family. It's called the Il Donato and it's sold all around the world. So let's go meet the man who owns this farm. - [Guy] Beautiful farm, huh? - Beautiful. - Look at how gorgeous these are. There you go, there's a yellow one up there. Wow, so as you can see they're massive. And the aroma and the oils, you can feel the oils on there, amazing. It doesn't get much more tasty and organic than this, does it? Mmm, it's beautiful. - - Yeah very mellow, mellow acid, yeah, yeah. Perfect for our pasta. Yellow, okay, so there's only a few months that they're actually yellow. So we've got our lemons, it's time to start cooking. You look hungry. I'm gonna make ourselves spaghettini and vongole. It's a really basic pasta, it's aglio e olio style which means it's just olive oil, garlic, chili, salt, pepper. It's gotta be balanced, it's gotta be done right. Feeding a family, little bit nervous to tell you the truth. There's nothing more scary than cooking Italian food for Italians in their own backyard. First step will be get the pasta on. Boiling water, lots of salt in there. Two things: one, it seasons the pasta, and two, the actual water will boil at a higher temperature. We've actually swapped out the spaghettini for fuscilli bucatini which is like a long spiral pasta and the quality of pasta does matter. Next step is to prep our garlic and our chili which will be the base for our sauce with some good quality olive oil. I actually don't like to mince my garlic up too fine. I think it makes more sense just to slice it, you know, super thin, so you still get the consistency, you know the garlic's in there. The actual sauce itself will be a mix of the pasta water, olive oil, and then the beautiful seawater from the vongole. It's just unbelievable. The trick is, keep it just enough water back to the pasta. It's time to start the sauce now. Here you've got the olive oil's going in. Alright, garlic, chili, into the hot oil, salt and pepper. Tell you what, hot pan, hot oil, as soon as this vongole goes in it's gonna cool down. We're gonna hit it with some white wine. Lid straight on again. - [Voiceover] So that's steaming. - It's steaming, so it's gonna help em pop open so it's gonna steam, it's gonna come with the sauce, it's gonna reduce back down again. And the trick is with these guys you don't want them open too long. You cook them for too long they go from being beautiful delicate and sweet to rubbery and horrible. See they're starting to pop open. Pasta in. We'll slice up some parsley as well, nice and rough. That's gonna finish it through. Gonna give it a little bit more salt and pepper. It's so important to toss your pasta. If you don't toss it, you know, you just don't get that starch releasing and you just don't get that sauce binding, so really work it. So the lemons are gonna finish the whole dish. It's the last step but the most important. These green lemons are actually better for cooking. There's just a little bit better balance and they handle the harsh heat of the pasta a lot better. Plus the starch from the pasta binding the olive oil, binding the lemon juice, binding the salt from the vongole, all together. It's looking pretty good I think it's time to feed the masses. Bon apetit! There we go. - [Voiceover] Good, good. - [Guy] Good? Very good. - [Guy] Grazi. Some happy customers over there, I'm gonna make ourselves a little trick that I learnt in a restaurant and that's just some candied citrus. It's gonna go on top of some lemon gelato. So simmering water, we're just gonna dissolve that sugar in the water. Vanilla bean, back of your knife scrape it out, and the pod, all into the water. So with the zest we want just the colored bit, too much pith and it'll be too bitter. You know often we forget how much flavor is in lemon, orange, and lime zest. The amount of flavor is just phenomenal, so remember that, you shouldn't throw it away. So it's time to scoop out some of this epic gelato. A mix of Sicilian lemon and cream. It's so creamy and smooth. Look how light that is, that's unbelievable. Get some of this out there. Little bit on top, not that it needs it, just cause I wanna be fancy. How awesome does that look? Beautiful Sicilian lemons, gelato, I think these guys deserve to have a go at it too, let's go. It's been a true pleasure exploring Sicily, discovering these epic Sicilian lemons. These things are unbelievable. Make sure you join us for our next episode of Sourced and I'll catch you later. Arrivederci.

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