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The ancient grains of Sicily

A heritage worth preserving, a delight worth tasting

The fresh pasta, pizza and bread served at ADLER Spa RESORT SICILIA, as well as some of the desserts, all have one thing in common. They are all hand-made using local ancient grains.
Up until the end of the 19th century, at least fifty different types of wheat were cultivated across Sicily. This thousand-year-old heritage was nearly lost in the second half of the 20th century, when modern grains elbowed their way into the scene, pushed by the rise of intensive industrial-type cultivation methods. Today, however, ancient grains are making a triumphant comeback. The reason for their resurgence is rather simple: with their genuine, full-bodied flavour, they are as good to the palate as they are to the body and to the planet.

Quality and short routes
Our chefs take great care in selecting premium-quality grains from short supply chains.
One such grain is Senatore Cappelli, a durum wheat variety that is grown in the Torre Salsa Nature Reserve and stone-ground according to tradition. Rich in proteins, this grain has a robust flavour and can be best appreciated as an ingredient in fresh pasta. Bread, focaccia, pizza and other baked goods are generally made using a blend of indigenous grains sourced in the Siculiana area and in the Sicilian hilly hinterland. The grains that go into the mixture are personally selected by Paolo Santalucia, owner of the Santalucia mill in Siculiana.

Good for your health and for the environment
Ancient grains have not been genetically modified, and require neither pesticides nor chemical fertilisers. This makes them ideal varieties for organic cultivation. They are also excellent from a nutritional standpoint: high in fibre, vitamins and minerals, they are low in gluten and therefore lighter and easier to digest. Additionally, they have a low glycemic index, which helps to prevent diabetes, high cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases as well as satiating hunger for longer, with positive effects on weight management.
A recipe from our chef’s book

If you love fresh, home-made pasta and you can’t wait until your next Sicilian holiday to taste our ancient grains-based specialities, here is a little gold nugget for you from our chef de cuisine, Giuseppe Schimmenti. His maltagliati are a simple but tasty dish that you can enhance with any seasoning of your choice.

Maltagliati made with Senatore Cappelli flours

Ingredients for 4 servings:
200 grams of stone-milled Senatore Cappelli flour
120 grams of cylinder-milled Senatore Cappelli flour
2 eggs

Pour all the ingredients into a dough mixer and mix them for five minutes (or follow your usual procedure for kneading fresh pasta, blending all the ingredients carefully).
Let the dough rest for about one hour, then roll it out into a 2 millimetre-thick layer. Cut it into squares of irregular shape, and cook the maltagliati in plenty of salted water. Drain them when they are al dente, then toss them in a pan with the sauce or seasoning of your choice. Et voilà, your maltagliati are ready to delight. Buon appetito!