I just love it when by accident you happen across somewhere special. Wandering home from Cous Cous Fest, tired and no longer able to deal with the crowds, I saw a little doorway with people lingering outside. I spied the sign “a busiata” outside, and then, lo, above the door, “Fresh Pasta”.
I peered through the rope doorway and saw a gorgeous little space with a few shelves lined with choice products, a fridge full of glorious handmade pastas, and a counter with some more. Fresh cous cous with herbs and dried cous cous were available, this is the town of cous cous after all. Local almonds, biscotti and other Sicilian biscuits (there are a lot!) graced the counter top and behind it, the matriarch was making busiati. What luck!
I waited my turn and attempted to communicate (I really need to learn Italian properly!). I wanted everything, but mindful of RyanAir’s ridiculous restrictions I bought 2kg of fresh busiati – 1kg white & 1kg green for €10. A steal. It’s absolutely gorgeous, it may sound weird to say that about a pasta shape, however, I am well versed having spent the last few days eating it and looking for the perfect one to take home. I bought some thinking I had found it only an hour previously, but now I have this. RyanAir can eat my shorts. I may regret that in the morning.
Busiata is an extremely old pasta from the fusilli family found commonly in West Sicily, especially ion the Trapani area. Records indicate a birth date of about 1000 BC and it is considered the oldest handmade pasta. They were making it before Marco Polo returned from China. I have really enjoyed the mealy flavour and texture, it is really firm and toothsome and is great with the local Pesto Trapinese (I will post a recipe for this soon). I have also had it with Pesto a la Sarde (Sardine Pesto) and, just today with mixed seafood, pancetta and almond cream. I’ve also seen it on menus a la nonna, which is with aubergine and tomatoes with grated ricotta on top.
I am going to have lots of fun with this when I go home. 2kg is a hell of a lot of lunches and dinners. I can’t wait though. Come back and see if I am saying the same by Thursday.