Pasta con le Sarde

Pasta con le sarde – The national dish of Sicily. It is most associated with Sicily’s capital Palermo, but it can be found all over the island.
 
The flavors are a mix of sweet and sour with several key ingredients brought by the arabs around 900 AD. Notably raisins, saffron, and pine nuts.
 
Although the Sicilian cuisine has a lot in common with Italian cuisine, Sicilian food also has Greek, Spanish, French and Arab influences.
 
The Sicilian cook Mithaecus, born during 5th century BC, is credited with having brought knowledge of Sicilian gastronomy to Greece: his cookbook was the first in Greek, therefore he was the earliest cookbook author in any language whose name is known.

Pasta con Le Sarde

Ingredients:
 
The principal ingredients are olive oil, onions, pasta and a finely chopped mixture of sardines and anchovy. Various types of pasta are used for the dish, but bucatini is traditional. Wild fennel, saffron, pine nuts, raisins and salt are added to flavor the dish. To finish the dish it is topped with toasted breadcrumbs.
I thought I would take some photos of the individual ingredients as well.
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Fettuccine con Sarde

“Fettuccine con sarde” served up in about 15 minutes.
I have been reading and thinking about sardines…alot… How was I going to cook them in a dish? Especially with “stinky” fish haters so intertwined in my life. Surely I would have to wait until Meek Micaela was not here. My already wild beard, while impressive, will not be very tidy after consuming them…
Don’t think about it too much. It only becomes more reprehensible…

Especially since the mere mention of our sea dwelling friends cause Isaiah and Christian to go into near panic. It’s one thing to prepare fish that is somewhat neutral in regards to it’s bouquet, but we are talking about sardines here.

I made my way home tonight after Christian’s birthday party and it was the perfect opportunity to cook those sardines. I walked into the front door rubbing my hands together and laughed maniacally. Honest! The only other living creature here at the moment is Augustus and he doesn’t talk or protest.

Fettuccine con sarde

I heated a pan to medium high heat with extra virgin olive oil; Antico Frantoio Trampolini to be exact – since 1785! I placed a cup of cherry tomatoes in the pan for several minutes until they started to blister, pop, and release their liquid. At this point I added an entire sliced sweet onion and let it cook along with the tomatoes. I then added a generous amount of salt and some black pepper. Not wanting too much liquid I allowed a few minutes for some of the liquid to evaporate. Next I added 4 sliced gloves of garlic and sauteed them until fragrant. With the heat turned to low I added some sardines that were packed in EVOO. I reserved half of them so I could finish the dish with some whole sardines since they break apart easily when incorporating into the pan. My fettuccine had just finished cooking so I drained them and added them into the sauce pan. I finished the dish with some fresh lemon juice, capers, and in the very middle a dollop of calabrian chilies that were packed in oil. This added a nice spicy kick.

Next time I want to try a recipe from Sardinia that uses fennel, saffron, pine nuts, and raisins! Sounds amazing.

Storms Rolling In

I hadn’t taken pictures in a while. Meek Micaela​ went to her cousin’s so I thought it was a good time to bring the boys out to take pictures. I needed a much needed mini-minecraft mental break.

I had originally set out for Arthur R Marshall and had some reservations due to the amount of ground we would have to cover. Long distances do not pair well with 9 and 11 year old legs. As we drove west the sky became dark and it was evident a really terrible storm was converging at my intended destination.

Storms Rolling in - Not an HDR

I arrived at Lantana and 441 and headed towards Southern Blvd so I could head much further west and hopefully beat the horrible weather.

Isaiah and Christian were easy to bargain with. All it took was a couple bottles of water and some chips to convince them that going further west was a good idea. I even picked up some spicy chicharrones. In fact I am still suffering some discomfort, but it was worth it.

This was one of the shots taken tonight because the boys were weirded out from the isolation. I left a little earlier than I had planned. We were in the middle of this vast space and you could see walls of rain and lighting approaching. I think it was the lack of video games that was the real motivation…

The night ended dining at the boys favorite place, Downtown pizza, and I get to relax and go through my photos. Perfect day!

“And the Kingdom Fell” Photoshoot

I really enjoyed this photoshoot on 8-2-15. There was initial worry concerning the unpredictable weather, but it provided the perfect backdrop for the shoot.

I am always looking to integrate my subject(s) with the environment and I was pleased with this result.

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Photo shoot with "And the Kingdom Fell"

Out of Memory

Sadly I have a dozen memory cards in my camera bag and too many other adapters… well me and every other photographer on the planet… It occurred to me. If you think your desktop is clean just take a shot at a very narrow aperture and you’ll see everything.

It’s hard to believe how inexpensive memory is compared to 1984 when my parents purchased a Commodore 64 for me. I just pulled the cost of memory that year and worked with looking at how much our current common memory sizes would have cost back in 1984…

Out of Memory?

“The Neighborhood Floozy”

Meet Persia! Micaela and I have officially adopted her as our outdoor cat. Who could blame us? She greets us daily. She acts like she loves us. More on that later. She patiently waits on top of the recyling bin or just outside the neighbors stairs directly across from the front door.

Recently my neighbor Steve remarked that she is exhausting his tuna supply. Tuna?! I thought we were the only ones generous enough to feed her Tuna?! I thought Persia’s love and affection was only aimed at us? Albacore at that! Not the grayish typical smelly tuna that the likes of Subway serves. The expensive white, flakey, meaty tuna!

A couple weeks ago she was “allowing” us to pet her. She had just been fed and was strolling back and forth rubbing her head on as she passed. It looked like cat nirvana had been reached. It was evident the fondness towards her was being reciprocated.

"The Neighborhood Floozy"

Here is where it gets interesting… Minutes later when the neighbor who lives across the street parked on the curb Persia abruptly left without the slightest hint of a goodbye. It was so painfully obvious like bringing your child to school that has reached that age where it’s no longer cool to acknowledge your parents. “PSSSST, can you drop me off at the street before school”. THAT bad!

Picture this… Persia is walking by, tail up, life is gravy, car parks, and she just keeps on walking! Right up to this neighbor! What the heck does the neighbor have that we lack? Is our love not well endowed enough? YOU WERE JUST FED! Micaela and I felt so understandably inadequate at that moment.

Does Persia really like us? It’s painfully obvious if she treats the 2 neighbors closest to me with such reverence there are bound to be others! Have we been duped? Using her looks to take advantage of giving individuals?

Oh poor pretty kitty!!! Quick go grab the Tuna! Little do we realize she has conned countless others of their hard earned tuna fish and miscellaneous sundries.

Persia…we love you… even though you toy with our hearts.
Signed, Your Loving Parents – Roberto & Micaela

Don’t play Chicken with a Semi

‎Taken on November ‎17, ‎2012 at ‏‎6:31:18PM on Connors Highway approximately 1 mile from the 20 mile bend bridge in Western Palm Beach county. Anyone familiar knows the road curves for the first mile and then it’s a straight line which is shown in the photo.

The road is in horrible condition. A combination of heavy use by semis and dump trucks and a total lack of maintenance.

It was an effort that reminded me of musical chairs. The biggest difference is instead of children getting up and moving about I was grabbing my camera equipment and quickly moving to the side of the road!

Nothing good can occur from playing chicken with a semi.

20 Mile Bend

Valentines day at Riverbend Park

Jim and I met at Riverbend park at 6:30am just as the sun was making an appearance. We took the usual walk to Cow Pen Lake. Fog was slowly rolling off the lake and provided additional interest.

This perspective is from the South section of the lake facing West. Just to our right were more than a dozen whistling ducks wading in the water in tight formation. I have never seen so many in one place. We didn’t spot any deer or turkey this visit. Despite the painfully cold weather Riverbend was ripe with photo opportunities and the chance to converse with my old friend.

Riverbend Landscape 2/14/15

Everglades Black and White

I spent the day before thanksgiving at the Arthur R Marshall wildlife refuge which happens to be one of my favorite places to shoot landscape photography. Not that there is a huge variety here in Palm Beach county; unless shooting landscapes of homes and other man made objects excite you.

The temperature was starting to drop and it was quite windy. It wasn’t nearly as cold as some of our neighboring states, but when you are accustomed to sub-tropical south Florida weather the majority of the year even modest drops make us nervous.

Everglades Black and White