La Tenda Rossa in Palermo: a small trattoria offering serious cuisine in the Sicilian tradition.


For someone like me, who was born in Palermo, going to eat in this trattoria is like turning back the hands of time. The flavours are those of the traditional recipes of the past. The only menu is a single small blackboard written in chalk and fought over amongst the tables.
The dishes you can choose from are few, but all so inviting that you will seriously question yourself about what to order.




Among the obligatory antipasti is the macco di fave con giri, a purée of dried broad beans and chard dressed with olive oil and pepper. The delicate consistency and flavours make it a perfect start to the meal.
Seafood should certainly not be neglected here, so as a second starter you might as well plunge into a very tasty mussel soup, which can also be served with babbaluci (snails in the local dialect) if you want.



The main dishes include: spaghetti in squid ink sauce, tagliatelle with prawns and spinach, or one of old-fashioned pasta recipes – bucatini with sparacelli, a delicious condiment prepared with broccoli, tomato essence, raisins, pine nuts and roasted breadcrumbs. A dish you must try.



Among the main meat courses, the involtini alla palermitana are rolls of meat filled with breadcrumbs and grated caciocavallo cheese, or you can try the very tender bollito (which literally means boiled meat). If you love fish, the possibilities vary according to the time of year and to the weather. Griddled prawns; the classic comforting flavour of sword fish rolls; and in October and November if you are lucky you will find capone, known as common dolphinfish in English, cooked in the most traditional way: with sweet and sour onion.



The selection of puddings is not on the same level, but if you have a little room left you can always top the meal off with a cannolo.
 


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