Italian chef Giorgi Locatelli tells us about some of his favorite dishes to try while in sunny Sicily. The fertile Mediterranean island boasts its own cuisine, with a rich history. Due to the influence of the various nationalities living in Sicily, the food here is very diverse – here you can find a fusion of French, Arabic and North African cuisines. The city of Catania is located in a volcanic area where it is difficult to grow a lot of fresh food, so the taste traditions here were largely influenced by neighboring Greece. From the Palermo side, Arabic cuisine has left its mark, in many restaurants you will find couscous. Arancini The main use of rice on the island is the preparation of “arancini” – rice balls. In Catania, you will find arancini filled with stew, peas or mozzarella. While in the southeastern part of the island, saffron is not added to this dish, but it is prepared with tomatoes and, also, mozzarella. Thus, the recipe for arancini depends on the ingredients available fresh in a particular region. Pasta alla norma This is a traditional dish of the city of Catania. A mixture of eggplant, tomato sauce and ricotta cheese, served with pasta. The name of the dish comes from “norma” – an opera written by Puccini. Sicilian pesto “Pesto” most often refers to a Northern Italian variation of a dish made with basil. In Sicily, pesto is made with almonds and tomatoes. Usually served with pasta. The caponata Incredibly delicious dish. Made from eggplant, sweet and sour in tomato sauce – balance is important in this dish. There are 10 different types of Caponata and each recipe differs from the other in the vegetables available, but eggplant is a must. Basically, caponata is a warm salad.