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In The Pyramid of Mud, the newest paperback Montalbano mystery to be released in English, it takes only to page 34 to find the intrepid Sicilian police detective regaling himself with one of his favorite things to eat: “a glorious pasta ‘ncasciata” that his housekeeper Adelina had made and left for his dinner. That dish […]

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Regular readers of this blog know what a fan I am of Andrea Camilleri’s series of mysteries featuring Sicilian detective inspector Salvo Montalbano – as much for his devotion to food as for his skill in solving crimes. In every volume our hero lustily consumes traditional Sicilian dishes made for him by his faithful housekeeper […]

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Rearranging some bookshelves recently, I had to move my 19 volumes of Andrea Camilleri’s Montalbano novels. Just looking at them made me hungry. The Sicilian dishes that the inspector consumes in every story make me want to sit down beside him and pick up a knife and fork. Failing that, I reached for my copy […]

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Making a meal of dishes featured in Andrea Camilleri’s novels about the Sicilian police inspector Salvo Montalbano seems to have become an annual event for me. When, in the middle of an investigation, our hero is struck by “his customary wolflike hunger,” the meals he eats are described with such gusto that I’d give anything […]

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Every time I read a new Inspector Montalbano mystery from Andrea Camilleri or look at a DVD in the excellent Italian television series, one of its pleasures is discovering, along with Montalbano, whatever his housekeeper, Adelina, has cooked and left in the kitchen for him. I’ve already written posts about 10 of the Sicilian dishes […]

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Devotees of Andrea Camilleri’s Inspector Montalbano detective novels enjoy them almost as much for the hero’s eating habits as for his ingenuity in solving crimes. In every story, the police commissario in southwest Sicily takes time to relish the dishes of his region – most of all, those involving seafood – and the descriptions positively […]

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I’m addicted to reading mysteries. That’s one of the reasons I enjoy adapting recipes from Italy: Trying to follow a recipe written in Italian by Italians for Italians is solving a mystery. Their habitual vagueness about quantities, procedures, and timing is like a set of clues that must be puzzled out to arrive at a […]

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One of my favorite detective novelists is Andrea Camilleri. His incorruptible police inspector, Salvo Montalbano, is a fully realized and totally satisfying hero, not the least of whose charms is a devotion to food. In every story we find him passionately consuming classic dishes of his Sicilian homeland. Reading the books makes your mouth water. […]

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Octopus, which used to be a culinary curiosity in this country, is increasingly coming into the mainstream of locally available seafood. Three different fish stores within half a mile of my home now carry it regularly, both raw and cooked. I’ve had very good results from a few Spanish and Italian octopus recipes and am […]

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Ah, summer! When farmstands are laden with eggplants and tomatoes and peppers, and a happy home cook can revel in the bright flavors, turning out lively, colorful vegetable dishes for hot-weather dining – ratatouille, panzanella, gazpacho, caponata. I made the season’s first caponata this week, using my own recipe from La Tavola Italiana. I didn’t […]

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