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I Malavoglia – the Sicilian tradition in Milan
Originating from Ribera (province of Agrigento), the expansive and enterprising Cataldo Anzalone settled in Milan in 1968. He married Maria Giunta and swept her along into a culinary adventure.
Maria learned the basics at home but she seeks, compares, studies... It all came together with the opening of a trattoria in the district of Porta Romana, which soon became a benchmark for the people of Milan. Successive moves did nothing to damage this reputation and their cuisine gained in confidence: Cataldo and Maria’s restaurant remains the city’s gourmet Sicilian landmark.
In the premises of via Lecco (in Porta Venezia since 1995), Milanese enthusiasts enjoy an excellent meal side by side with the most discerning Japanese tourists, but also with nostalgic Sicilians. “This is a point of pride for me,” admits the boss. “Many of them confess they can no longer find such authentic recipes in Palermo.”
Paradoxically, the distance from Sicily has preserved the truth of the flavours of yesteryear. The Anzalones have made no concessions to the trends that are so overwhelming in the capital of fashion. Admittedly, the cuisine has assimilated a hint of Japan along the way (horseradish and soy sauce) and the recipes have been reduced in fat, but everything remains in line with a veritable regional spirit. Moreover, certain products still come directly from the island, thanks to Maria’s mother.
I Malavoglia is the title of a short story by Giovanni Verga that tells the story of a family of fishermen. The cuisine of the Anzalones celebrates fish all out. First and foremost, Mediterranean tuna, which is served as a carpaccio, in a stew or as grilled fillet. Delicious! The girandola di antipasti (an appetiser of six mouthfuls of phenomenally fresh raw fish) and the pasta with fresh sardines (a great classic of Palermo) are a must.
Sicilian gastronomy is also a vast confectioner’s heritage based on almonds, pistachios, currants, honey and ricotta (fresh ewe’s-milk cheese). You simply must try the cassata, sorbets and cannoli.
Via Lecco, 4
Tel: 00 39 02 29531387
Fax: 00 39 02 20402722
Open evenings only. Closed on Sunday.
No set menu. Reckon on around €50 à la carte.