Ferdinandea Island… from the first moment we founded the Ferdinandea Island Food and Wine Association in 1996, the idea and the impulse to transform the island into a gastronomic product was born in me.
I then thought of a dish that contained within itself the conformation of the island, then I reread the chronicles of the time when it emerged from the sea like a cap of sparkling wine in July 1831, with puffs, lapilli and related algae that were brought to the light.
Then the French who in turn demanded the island by putting their flag and called it Isola Giulia (from Juliette: July in French).
Finally the Bourbons, reigning in that period rightly made it theirs and called it Ferdinandea Island, after Ferdinand II of Bourbon!
The Island that does not exist was then defined, as after about six months (therefore in January) it descended under the surface of the water. Today with calm sea it can be glimpsed at less than 7/8 meters deep.
Over time, underwater observers have discovered a much larger volcanic bank than Etna and baptized it "Empedocle".
Returning to the idea of creating the dish, I was reminded of the various fish that gravitate around it: the sailors of Sciacca boast when they fish in that site, defined for them: "ù ... bummulu"! (the terracotta container where drinks were kept cool) for the particular taste of the fish thanks to the algae and their habitat.
Several claimed the dominion of the Island, the British attacked their flag and called it Banco di Graham as the admiral who placed the flag was called.
Then the dish takes up the particular fish that characterize the sea of Sciacca and combines them with the colour of the lava with the tomato.
While the algae are simulated with fresh raw rocket and green courgette cut into matchsticks and then fried in crispy extra virgin olive oil.
All sprinkled with toasted breadcrumbs that gives the image of lapilli and pumice and placed so that the sense of crunchiness appears on the palate.
Wherever I have prepared this dish, I have always received expressions of appreciation and good taste.
Therefore, using products from our territory, the island came out on the plate with simplicity and love. All types of pasta can be used, but to simulate "ù ... bummulu", it is necessary to use long pasta, to be able to wrap it and put it upright.
You can see the preparation in this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAJMx7xJ_zw&feature=youtu.be
Good tasting paired with a good Grillo di Sicilia wine!