Operation Mincemeat

What does James Bond, the fictional British secret agent, who has the codename 007 have in common with Sicily?  On the 9th and 10th July 1943 Allied Forces under Generals Montgomery and Patton landed at Licata, Gela, Pachino and Siracusa conquering Sicily in just 38 days. Across the island you will find memorials and Commonwealth Cemeteries dedicated to those who fell during the the Allied invasion of Sicily which was codenamed Operation Husky.  Husky was a major campaign of World War II involving a large amphibious (sea) and airborne operation, followed by a six week land campaign. It remains the largest sea invasion ever mounted in war history landing 160,000 men in a single day, including my maternal grandfather. The following 38 day battle for Sicily was one of the most dramatic of the entire Second World War and the island acted as a strategic stepping stone to Hitler's fortress Europe.  On Operation Husky D-Day along with the 160,000 men came 14,000 land vehicles and at sea t

20 Sicilian Pasta Dishes You Must Try

"Adelina had made him a Pasta 'Ncasciata and, as a second course, Rabbit Cacciatore. She did not often make these, but whenever she did, it brought tears of happiness to his eyes" excerpt from an Inspector Montalbano novel by Andrea Camilleri Even today, it is not clear who invented pasta. It is likely that any culture that had mastered the art of baking bread would have also made noodle-like foods from flour and water. But in no other country does pasta (meaning "dough") have such significance as in Italy. Statistically every Italian enjoys an average of 27kg (60lb) of pasta each year. Italians devote more time and attention to it than to any other foodstuff and no other food product in the world better represents a countries cuisine. Pasta combines all the virtues of an Italian kitchen. It is made from simple, but very good ingredients and is cooked with dedication, creativity and love. A major contribution to the development of pasta was made in ancient times

... a UK Staycation in Poole, Dorset

It is now nineteen months since we shut the doors to our Sicilian house and little did we know then that as we turned the locks and set off to Palermo to board our ferry to Genova that we would not know when we would be able to return and that the world would be hit by a pandemic that would prevent us from travelling back to our Sicilian house for the unforeseeable future.  So far we have had to cancel three road trips and I have had four flights cancelled. I hope that I will be able to fly next month to check on our house but who knows what could happen in the next few weeks. Last June my husband and I should have been celebrating our 25th silver wedding anniversary in Sicily but as Italy went into one of the strictest lockdowns in the world we started to look for an alternative UK destination. We both love the English celebrity chef, restauranteur and television presenter Rick Stein.  Rick Stein has filmed in Sicily a few times and is a big fan of Sicily and Sicilian food. We have wa