Taking a look at some of the best traditional Italian/Sicilian food

Photo: Whole Foods Market is bringing "A Little Italy" pop-up dinners to select cities across the country.. Image courtesy Whole Foods Market
Photo: Whole Foods Market is bringing "A Little Italy" pop-up dinners to select cities across the country.. Image courtesy Whole Foods Market /

Italian cuisine is one of the most loved cuisines out there. Italian food is so much more than just pasta and pizza. Being Italian/Sicilian myself, I eat Italian dishes that people have never even heard of.

Let’s dive in to three of my personal favorites!


Starting with dessert first, Sfinge is a delicious and light pastry that’s typically served on/around St. Joseph’s Day (March 19 this year), but you can still get them any time at Italian bakeries. This pastry is typically served and eaten in southern Italy. It is basically a good-sized cream puff made with choux paste/dough, and filled with some sort of vanilla or chocolate custard or cannoli cream.

At some Italian bakeries here in the states, you can even get some fruity flavors, such as strawberries and cream, apricot, prune, lemon, and so on. There’s no other way to eat this except with a nice little shot of espresso or a cup of coffee (perfect for breakfast or dessert).


This is one of those Italian dishes that’ll make you say “where has this been my whole life”? It is something that has this undeniable flavor and gives you that comfort feeling. How my family makes it, is we start by seasoning our own breadcrumbs, but making your own isn’t a necessity to this dish. For this dish, you want to go to your local butcher and have him cut it almost paper-thin and a little wide.

The meat is packed with those homemade breadcrumbs and rolled up and tied. The essential part to this dish is that crust on the meat before throwing them in the sauce to finish cooking. The meat comes out more tender than you’ll ever have. This is great as a standalone dish, but also makes a great sandwich or addition to any pasta dish.

MORE: Starbucks: The 6 best secret menu drinks


Long story short, these are fried (or oven-baked) rice balls. While they can be filled with just about anything, the traditional Sicilian way to fill them is with a little bit of sauce, peas, and ground beef mixture. When you open up a rice ball, you see this bright yellow color to the rice, and that comes from saffron; however, if you’re in a pinch and don’t have any, just adding a little sauce to the rice mixture works just fine.

You get this amazing crust on the outside; then, diving in, you get the warmth and softness of the rice and the filling. This is the ultimate comfort meal if you ask me. My favorite place to order these from is from a little place called Pasta Fresh in Chicago, IL.

Next. Wauconda IL's: Is Bulldogs the best? Click to find out!. dark

All of these dishes can be store-bought at most Italian grocery stores or bakeries; however, homemade always tastes much better!

Comment below if you’ve tried any of these dishes and what you think. Also, leave some more suggestions on some Italian/Sicilian things that we need to try!