Busiate Siciliane

Homemade Sicilian Busiate

 Recipe n. 35

While I stopped eating refined flour a long time ago (simply because the grain has been stripped of any nutrients turning it into empty calories) I will always make an exception when it comes to fresh homemade pasta. It’s more than that. It’s a way of gathering with family and friends to share an experience of making homemade food.

Busiate fresh pasta (or busiati ) is a Sicilian specialty from the area of Trapani. Traditionaly it is homemade and dressed with local fresh tomato sauce.

Ironic as it is, I learned how to make Sicilian busiate fresh pasta here in New York, from my dear friend Simona who is originally  from a town in the very North of  Italy: Torino. She loves spending her Summer vacations in Sicily and  like me she is passionate about food and cooking.


© 2016 Iose’ Cocuzza All Rights Reserved


© 2016 Iose’ Cocuzza All Rights Reserved


  • 1 cup of durum wheat semolina flour

  • 1/2 cup of room temperature water


In a bowl mix by hand the flour with water until you obtain a ball of dough. Transfer the dough to a floured board and knead it for 8 to 10 minutes.  Let it rest on a tray  previously sprinkled with flour and  cover it with a damp cloth.
Begin making busiate by rolling a small piece of dough with the palm of your hands until you obtain a 1/4 inch long roll, cut  the roll in several long pieces and start  twisting the little strands of dough around a  wooden skewer. Pull the pasta shape out gently and lay all the fresh homemade busiate on a floured baking sheet, while sprinkling some more flour on top. Be careful that the busiate do not touch each other.

Allow them to dry for a while, even hours, then cook them in salted water , for at least 3 minutes. Pull them out with a slotted spoon and place them directly in the sauce of your choice. If you are making your own fresh tomato sauce I suggest to finish up with some  fresh grated pecorino cheese or ricotta salata.


© 2016 Iose’ Cocuzza All Rights Reserved

Il pongo fatto in casa


Recipe n. 19

I have been trying to be an ‘eco-friendly’ parent since Sasha was born. It’s not an easy goal to reach. It takes quite some time and you need to commit yourself to it. It happens gradually. I have found that there is no need to rush. We changed lots of ‘bad habits’ in our everyday life and in our diet and I think now we are just happier and healthier… A dear friend of mine a while ago asked me to publish this recipe for making a natural, safe, non-toxic and ‘almost edible’ playdough for kids. I found this recipe a while ago, tested it myself and changed only the way the color is achieved.  We, (me and my friend Amy) have used this recipe many times in the past few years for our kids playtime and besides being absolutely safe and non toxic, it’s also a great idea to use it if you want make kids party favors.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 Tablespoon cream of tartar (optional for improved elasticity)
  • Natural food coloring (liquid, powder, or unflavored drink mix)

Here are some tips about coloring:

To obtain green you can use chlorophyll drops (you can find them in any health food store).

For red you can use the juice of a beet.

For yellow you can use turmeric powder mixed with a tiny amount of water to make a paste.

Mix all the ingredients in a medium sized pot, adding food coloring last and stir over low heat. The dough will begin to thicken. When the dough pulls away from the sides, remove the pot from the heat and allow the dough to cool enough to handle. (If your play dough is still sticky, you simply need to cook it longer. Keep stirring and cooking until the dough is dry and feels like playdough). Turn the dough out onto a clean counter and knead vigorously until it becomes silky-smooth. Divide the dough into balls for coloring. Make a divot in the center of the ball, and drop some food coloring in. Fold the dough over, working the food color through the body of the play dough, trying to keep the raw dye away from your hands and the counter. You could use gloves or plastic wrap to keep your hands clean (only the concentrated dye will color your skin, so as soon as it’s worked in bare hands are fine). Work the dye through, adding more as necessary to achieve your chosen color.

Store it in an airtight container and if it begins to dry out, you can knead a bit of water in to soften the dough back to usability. You can even freeze the extra playdough up to a year!

Play with your playdough. It’s entirely edible, maybe a bit salty and most important it’s kid-safe! This playdough will last for a long time…