From PIZZA to PASTA and APPETIZERS to PASTRIES: Eating in Sicily

All the basic ingredients of a Sicilian meal can be found at the open-air market--tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, onions, and more--all fresh from the grower
One of the joys of traveling in Italy is the seemingly endless choice of delicious foods, and our recent trip to Sicily was no exception. From breakfasts of fresh bread and coffee and more, to lunches at street cafes or buying sandwich ingredients at a local shop, to dinners at trattorias and fancier restaurants, the hardest decision was limiting ourselves to just a few items on the menu. (Servings tend to be very generous and I often had trouble finishing my meal.)
Olives, artichokes and other appetizers at a market in Catania
We enjoyed browsing at the open-air markets in Palermo and Catania, where one could buy everything from olives and octopus to cherries (which were in season) and three-foot long zucchini squashes.
At this stand in the Ballaro market in Palermo one could buy whole cooked octopus (polpo) or plates of marinated chunks of octopus ready-to-eat.
Cookies and sweets made with almonds and almond paste are a typical dessert.
Here are just a few samples of typical Sicilian foods and a list of the restaurants where we ate. 
In both Palermo and Catania, we relied on our BandB hosts to recommend restaurants, and were not disappointed. Note: While many Italians do not eat dinner until 8 or 9 o’clock, we were often hungry earlier and tended to be the first customers when restaurants opened for dinner at 7:30. Our trip in late May was before the busiest tourist season so we almost never had trouble getting a table, even without a reservation. Here's a list of where we ate:
 Ferro di Cavallo restaurant in Palermo. (Ferro di Cavallo means "horseshoe".)
Palermo restaurants:
Quattro Mani: Quiet and upscale. A good choice to celebrate our first night in Palermo.
Ciccio Passami l'Olio: Pizza restaurant. Extremely popular on weekend nights and impossible to get a reservation for a table at the last minute. We ordered takeout and ate it as a picnic in a local park.
La Cambusa: A popular tourist restaurant with typical Sicilian food and an English menu.
Ferro di Cavallo: Classic Sicilian food. We had soup for lunch there, sitting on the patio.

Busiati pasta, a curlicue pasta made from hard durum wheat, is the typical pasta in Erice and Trapani.
Erice restaurants:
Monte San Giuliano: Typical Sicilian food, including interesting appetizers (a favorite of mine was the octopus). We ate there twice.
Venus: This restaurant is advertised all over town and was the site of the conference dinner at which we were served the typical courses of an Italian dinner: appetizers, Primi Piatti (pasta), Secundi Piatti (fish or meat), and dessert. All were excellent.
Pear and prosciutto salad and caponata appetizer at La Deliciosa in Catania
Catania restaurants:
La Deliciosa: a small trattoria that was conveniently close to our BandB on Via Crociferi. The food was delicious–just like the name–and we ate there three of our five nights in Catania.
Trattoria Casalinga: this small restaurant, about a five minute walk from our BandB, featured an appetizer bar with more than a dozen items, which could easily become a whole meal. We ate there twice–once ordering from the menu and one doing just appetizers.

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