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Recipes: More Sicilian home cooking

Here's more Sicilian home cooking recipes from Sal Bordonaro, the News June Cook of the Month. The Pasta Muddicata is a favorite of Sal's son Lou.

Pasta Muddicata (Pasta with Bread Crumbs)

2 cups of Italian flavored bread crumbs
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 tablespoons Romano cheese
½ cup olive oil
Salt

Mix bread crumbs, cheese and basil in a bowl. Saute chopped garlic with olive oil heated in a medium size frying pan. Pour contents into frying pan and stir ingredients until golden brown. Turn off frying pan.

Cook one pound of whole wheat spaghetti in pot of boiling water and add handful of salt. Cook pasta until al dente, about 8-12 minutes. Strain most of the water from pasta into colander with a pan underneath. Add crumb mixture to pasta and stir until desired consistency reached. If you like your pasta on the moist side add more water from overflow pan.

Top pasta with Romano cheese and serve.

Lenticchie e Bietola (Lentils and Swiss Chard)

12 oz bag lentils
12 oz bag split peas
1 bunch Swiss chard
3 carrots
1 large onion
Salt and black pepper
Olive oil

Place lentils and split peas in a large pot of water and boil. Strain water into a colander and remove foam.

Replace strained water with fresh water and continue cooking lentils and split peas. Add chopped chard, carrots, onion, salt and pepper to taste to contents and cook for two hours at medium heat, stirring often.

When lentils and Swiss Chard are cooked thoroughly then serve in large bowl and add a spoon of olive oil for flavor. This soup may be eaten with a loaf of hearty Italian bread. 

Pasta Piselli (Pasta with Peas)

2 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
1 12 oz. can tomato paste
4 cloves garlic
1 large onion
20 fresh basil leaves chopped (or ¼ cup of dried basil)
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and black pepper
1 pound frozen sweet green peas
1 pound whole wheat spaghetti
Romano cheese

Prepare spaghetti sauce by sautéing onion, garlic and peas in a 1/3 cup of olive oil in four quart pot.  Add crushed tomatoes and tomato paste in pot and simmer for ½ hour. Add salt and pepper to your liking.

Boil water in large pot and add handful of salt to flavor. Cook spaghetti for 8-12 minutes, or whatever package instructions indicate.

When pasta is cooked, strain in a colander. Mix sauce in with spaghetti and serve. Sprinkle Romano cheese on top of pasta.

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