Think in taste, appreciate the ordinary

Picchi pacchio

picchi pacchi

What's in a name

Picchi pacchio, pronounced as ‘pee-ki pack-ioo. Some claim different yet similar names as correct. Picchiu pacchiu, pic pac, picchi pacchiu.

The unusual name may be onomatopoeic. Describing the sound the tomato makes when hitting the hot oil. Spatter, crackle, sputter and dabble sound far less exiting. 

picchi pacchio sounding in a hot pan


ingredients for picchi pacchio, tomato, olive oil, basil and garlic

The ingredients are few. And therefor it is of utter importance they are fresh. Picchi pacchio is a summer dish. Because only in summer there are nice and fresh tomatoes. Garlic is an essential part. Take it away and you have yourself an orphaned dish. Good olive oil is fundamental. It makes or breaks the dish.

Basil should not be cut up. Leave the leaves as they come. 

Prepare them snails

Preparing picchi pacchio

As it goes with popular dishes, there is more than one way of preparing. All versions, of course, claim to be the original.

The origins are the same. Onion and garlic are fried in olive oil. Peeled tomato is added. Some let it simmer away. Others turn the fire off as soon the tomato goes in. It is important not to reduce the tomato in a pulp. 

Very interesting is the raw version. It does not contain onion. The mixture must rest for at least on hour.

peeling a tomato
Sampolo 246 - Cultori del Gusto

Using picchi pacchio

babbaluci al picchi pacchio

Picchio pacchio is an excellent way to season pasta. It is fast and yet tasty. While the pasta boils away you prepare the sauce. Easy peasy.

This is also the base for two signature dishes of the Sicilian cuisine. Tenerumi, courgette sprigs. Yet another summer champion dish.

Babbaluci is the other recipe featuring picchiu pacchiu. These small snail are very popular in Palermo. Especially in summer time.

Variations on a theme

There are countless variations. And all have fervent opposers as well as fans. So it goes. Cheese or no cheese. Provolone or pecorino? Material to discuss while savoring a nice dish of pasta. Or while sucking away on delicious snails. At the end of the day, that is what summer is all about, right?

provolone cheese

More food articles

Sampolo 246 - Cultori del Gusto
cutting board with cold meat, a chili pepper and a knife: very Sicilian indeed More than a Marketplace

Further more

Vini Cassarà - Kilim
Frolla Divina cookies, three categories More than a Marketplace
Vini Cassarà - Sicilian Mastery

man sleeping on a bench with a typical Sicilian hat

From dusk till dawn

From dusk till dawn

An arbitrary selection of the finest place to stay overnight
Porta maqueda
silhouette of a man eating, wearing a typical Sicilian Coppola

Dig in

Dig in

Feeling peckish, hungry or ravenous?
waiter, please
banner il Sicilano, the best aperitif place in the old town