The Sicilian Detective Inspector Salvo Montalbano is the main character in a series of detective novels written by the Italian author Andrea Camilleri. In the novel, Montalbano delights in delicious traditional Italian dishes, especially Sicilian, while thinking about the police cases he has to solve. Montalbano’s delight in Italian food, such as pasta with broccoli, fish dishes, or traditional Sicilian-influenced dishes like Arancini, has become famous and is reflected in the episodes of the TV series Inspector Montalbano and in the tourists who arrive in Sicily eager to try these dishes. In this article, we give you the Inspector Montalbano Recipes.
What is Inspector Montalbano’s Favourite food?
Inspector Salvo Montalbano is the main character in a series of detective novels written by Italian author Andrea Camilleri. In the novels, Inspector Montalbano is depicted as a food-loving character with a particular fondness for traditional Sicilian dishes.
Let’s see some of the Inspector Montalbano Recipes. Some of his favourite foods mentioned in the books include:
Pasta with broccoli. Sicily is famous for its extensive fruit and vegetable crops. Sicilian cuisine makes great use of vegetables in its dishes. So, unlike the Italian cuisine of other regions, it is common to find foods such as plates of pasta that instead of having the classic tomato sauce feature other types of sauces. In this way, Italian cuisine with Sicilian influence present pasta with vegetables (without tomato sauce), pasta with fish and seafood (often without tomato sauce), and even pasta with squid ink.
Pasta with sardines (Pasta con sardine): Pasta con sardine is a traditional Sicilian dish made with pasta, sardines, fennel, raisins, and pine nuts. It is a dish that Inspector Montalbano often enjoys, and he is known to have a particular weakness for it. Swordfish: Swordfish is a popular type of fish in Sicily, and Inspector Montalbano is known to enjoy it grilled or baked. Mussel soup and linguine with squid ink are other Montalbano’s recipes present in the novel.
Inspector Montalbano Recipes with fish and seafood, in general, are included in our article Montalbano Fish Recipes.
Arancini: Arancini are fried rice balls that are commonly found in Sicily. Inspector Montalbano is known to have a fondness for these tasty treats, and they are often mentioned in the novels as one of his favorite foods. Montalbano’s favorite Arancini is Ragu Arancini (a mix of meats in tomato sauce).
If you want to learn how to prepare Montalbano Arancini Recipe (Montalbano’s croquettes with rice) very easily, at home, just follow the link to our article.
Sicilian Caponata: a vegetarian dish made with aubergine, tomatoes, and other vegetables.
Vegetables have long been an important part of Sicilian cuisine and are commonly used in traditional dishes such as caponata, Pasta ‘Ncasciata, and couscous. These dishes are often passed down from generation to generation and are an integral part of Sicilian food culture.
Sfincione: a type of focaccia bread.
Inspector Montalbano Recipes: Pasta with Broccoli
How To Prepare Pasta with Broccoli? Pasta with broccoli is a simple and flavorful dish that is easy to prepare at home.
Let’s see how to prepare one of the favourite Inspector Montalbano Recipes. Here’s how to make Pasta with broccoli.
- 8 oz pasta (such as spaghetti, linguine, or fettuccine)
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper, to taste
First, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until it is al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, steam or boil the broccoli florets until they are tender but still bright green.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large frying-pan. Add the minced garlic, often stirring, and cook it for 1 or 2 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Do not burn it.
Then, add the cooked and drained pasta and broccoli to the skillet and toss to combine.
Finally, season the pasta and broccoli with salt and pepper, to taste, and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Serve hot and enjoy your Pasta with Broccoli, one of the most famous Montalbano recipes!
You can also add other ingredients to the dish, such as diced tomatoes, chopped olives, or crumbled sausage, to suit your taste.
Let’s move to our next Inspector Montalbano Recipes on the list.
Montalbano Recipes: Sicilian Caponata
Our next Inspector Montalbano Recipes in the list is a famous Sicilian contour for plates, La Caponata Siciliana.
How to Prepare Sicilian Caponata? Caponata is a traditional Sicilian dish made with a mixture of vegetables, such as aubergine, bell peppers, and tomatoes, that are slowly cooked in a sweet and sour sauce. It is typically served as an appetizer or side dish, but can also be served as a main course with the addition of protein, such as grilled chicken or tofu. Here’s a recipe for how to make Sicilian caponata at home:
Ingredients for Southeast Sicily Montalbano Caponata Recipe:
- 1 aubergine, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped olives
Optional Ingredients (as different regions within Sicily prepare caponata in different ways)
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
- 2 tablespoons capers
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
First, separate a large saucepan and heat the olive oil over low-medium heat. Add the diced aubergine, bell peppers, onion, and minced garlic, and cook for 5–7 minutes.
Once the vegetables are tender, stir in the diced tomatoes, red wine vinegar, and sugar. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are very soft and the sauce has thickened.
Finally, season the caponata with salt and pepper, to taste, and stir in the chopped olives and capers.
Serve the Sicilian caponata hot or at room temperature, garnished with chopped parsley and you will enjoy one of the most famous Inspector Montalbano recipes.
Caponata can be served as a side dish or as a topping for crostini or bruschetta. It can also be used as a filling for sandwiches or as a topping or contour for grilled meats or fish.
Inspector Montalbano Recipes: Focaccia Bread
Our next Montalbano Recipes on the list is the flatbread called Focaccia, which we saw in many TV series episodes of Inspector Montalbano, especially when Salvo is eating in a restaurant.
How To Prepare Focaccia Bread? Focaccia is a type of Italian flatbread that is often flavoured with herbs and spices and can be served as an appetizer, side dish, or sandwich bread. Here’s a simple recipe for how to make focaccia at home:
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, and a little more for brushing the surface of the focaccia bread.
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Herb and spice toppings of your choice (such as rosemary, oregano, garlic, or black olives)
First, in a small bowl, combine the warm water and yeast. Let the mixture sit for 5–10 minutes until the yeast is activated, and the mixture is frothy.
Then, in a large bowl, combine the flour, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and the salt. Add the yeast mixture while stirring the mix to combine them.
Proceed to knead the dough for 5–10 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic. Lightly oiled bowl and place the dough. Cover it with a damp cloth, and it rests in a warm place for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size (no more than 2 hours).
Preheat your oven to 220 °C (425 °F).
Continue with punching down the dough. Then, transfer it to a lightly oiled baking sheet. Use your fingers to press the dough into a large rectangle or circle, depending on the shape you prefer. Brush the top of the focaccia with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with your desired herb and spice toppings.
Then, bake the focaccia bread in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, until it is golden brown and crispy.
Finally, serve the focaccia flatbread hot, either on its own or as part of a larger meal.
Montalbano Wine Nero d’Avola
Montalbano Wine: Although Salvo Montalbano accompanies his meals with different types of wine, it is worth noting that Inspector Montalbano’s favourite wine is Nero d’Avola.
According to what we see in Camilleri’s novels, Montalbano’s wine is Nero d’Avola, a real typical Sicilian wine.
Montalbano Wine, Nero d’Avola is known for its intense and fruity flavour, with notes of red fruits and spices. It is a wine with a good body and tannin, which makes it ideal to accompany meat or pasta dishes with intense sauces.
Nero d’Avola usually has a deep, dark red colour, with ruby tones. Its aroma is intense and fruity, with notes of ripe red fruits such as cherries and blueberries, as well as spices such as cinnamon and cloves. On the palate, it is robust and flavoursome, with soft tannin and a long finish.
When we were recently in the town of Marzamemi, Sicily (near Noto and on the way to Syracuse) we tasted the Note Nere Nero d’Avola wine. This wine is produced in Noto. Therefore, Nero d’Avola Noto with Controlled Designation of Origin as reflected by the label “DOC” in Italian Denominazione di Origine Controllata. We conclude Note Nere Nero d’Avola wine is one of the best Sicilian wines.
If you would like to take good quality Sicilian wines, we recommend the Feudo Ramaddini Wine Tasting Tour (creators of the Note Nere label). It is a pleasant tasting of local Sicilian wines and foods.
Let’s see one of our last Inspector Montalbano Recipes in this article.
Montalbano’s Dessert Recipes
Let’s see some of Montalbano’s Desserts Recipes.
Cassata: Cassata is a traditional Sicilian dessert made with layers of ricotta cheese, candied fruit, and sponge cake. Inspector Montalbano is known to have a sweet tooth and is frequently depicted enjoying this dessert in the novels.
In addition to these dishes, Inspector Montalbano is also depicted as enjoying a variety of other traditional Sicilian foods, such as granita (a frozen dessert made with shaved ice and flavored syrup), creamy Cannoli (the famous dessert mentioned in The Godfather film as “leave the guns, take the cannoli” as a reference of leave the violence and embrace the sweetness).
How Do You Make the Dough to Prepare Italian Cream Cannoli?
Let’s move to our next Inspector Montalbano Recipes on the list. In the old days, the cut dough was placed around reeds that grew in the fields to shape the dough for baking. The name “cannolo” comes from this, from the use of the reeds (in Italian, canna in the singular, canne in the plural). Nowadays, circular pieces of stainless steel are used to give shape.
Italian cream cannoli are a classic Italian pastry that is made with a crispy, deep-fried dough shell filled with a sweet, creamy filling. Here is a basic recipe for the dough to prepare Italian cream cannoli:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup Marsala wine
- Vegetable oil, for frying
First, in a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Add the melted butter, egg, and Marsala wine to the dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms. The dough should be smooth and elastic after 5 to 10 minutes of kneading on a floured surface. Then, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
On a floured surface, roll the dough out to a thickness of about 1/8 inch. Proceed to cut the dough into circles using a biscuit cutter or a glass.
Wrap the circles of dough around the cannoli tubes, pressing the edges together to seal.
In a large, deep pot, heat the vegetable oil to 177 °C (350 °F). Carefully place the cannoli tubes in the hot oil and fry for 2–3 minutes on each side until they are golden brown. Remove the cannoli from the oil and place them on a paper towel to drain.
Finally, once the cannoli are cool enough to handle, carefully slide them off the tubes. Fill the cannoli with the sweet cream filling of your choice and serve.
We encourage you to cook some of these traditional Sicilian Inspector Montalbano recipes that have become so popular among Camilleri’s followers and tourists visiting Sicily.