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Food + Drink

Signature Recipe: San Domenico Palace's Pasta E Seppia

Pasta e Seppia – a traditional Sicilian plate re-examined – features squid ink spaghetti, marinated calamari tagliatelle, and a fondue of courgette blossoms. A scrumptious dish curated by Massimo Mantarro, Executive Chef at Principe Cerami, at San Domenico Palace, Taormina, a Four Seasons Hotel, it’s just the ticket if a trip to Sicily isn’t on the cards this year.

“The dish incorporates both of Sicily’s iconic landscapes, a taste of the ocean from the calamari, and earthy notes reminiscent of Sicily’s rocky cliffs from the pasta and courgette flowers.”


1kg medium-sized calamari
100g spring onion
100g round, smooth tomatoes
1 garlic clove unpeeled
500ml sparkling water
Parsley stems to taste
Basil to taste
A pinch of salt, pepper, and sugar to taste
A dash of extra-virgin olive oil


400g courgette
1 unpeeled, garlic clove
Fresh red pepper to taste
Salt and pepper to taste


280g squid ink spaghetti
50g spring onion
1 unpeeled, garlic clove
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
Fresh red pepper to taste
200g calamari stew (as per the above)
Fennel to taste
1 lemon


Cook the stew. Add all ingredients into a saucepan or pressure cooker. Allow the stew to cook, siphon out the broth, and put it to one side.

Cook the marinated calamari. Wrap the cleaned calamari in clingfilm and place it in the freezer. Once frozen, remove and slice the calamari in the shape of tagliatelle and place in a bowl. In a pot, warm up a little water with salt; bring it to 60 degrees Celsius and start adding to the calamari slices little by little until they start to change colour. Be careful not to overcook. Remove the excess water and dress the calamari with olive oil, salt, pepper, and chopped wild fennel.

Make a cream of courgette. Chop the courgettes and sauté in a saucepan with garlic and olive oil. Blend the courgette (removing the garlic and peppers) and add in some of the cooking water. Blend until smooth and liquid. Keep on the heat with a drizzle of olive oil.

Plate up with spaghetti. Brown the spring onion with olive oil, garlic, and red pepper. Once brown, add the calamari stew to the pan. Cook the pasta in a separate pan, and once it is half cooked, add it to the stew to finish. Add salt and pepper to taste, grated lemon peel, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Serve up in a soup plate with the cream of courgette and marinated calamari.

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