Some years ago, after spending three and a half years without setting foot in Sicily, Vicio and Simone finally manage to return to the magical Agrigento, Simone’s hometown, for a well-deserved holiday of art, culture and… fine food.

Origin and Inspiration

Eagerly exploring the restaurants in the area, they discover that almost all of them offer pasta dishes with Valley of the Temples pesto, made with almonds and pistachios.

Overwhelmed by curiosity but convinced that this is just a dish created to grab tourists, they taste it. And they are astounded: the pesto is simply amazing, boasting a rich and complex flavour without containing a single atom of cheese. Perfect, therefore, for vegans… and all other food lovers! All of a sudden, an idea is born: why not introduce it in the menu of their restaurant in Amsterdam?

But there’s more: why not blend it with the sauce known as Picchio Pacchio, very popular in the Palermo area, where Vicio comes from? An absolute novelty that would best express two Sicilian provinces united… by gluttony!

Picchio Pacchio: A Culinary Serenade

Someone will surely ask: but what is this Picchio Pacchio sauce? The answer is simple but incredibly tasty: a sauté of garlic and onion browned in extra virgin olive oil, a few basil leaves and chopped tomatoes, briefly cooked and then mashed with a fork. Infact, the name Picchio Pacchio (also written as Pic Pac) derives precisely from the delicious noise of the tomatoes sizzling in the hot oil.

The Picchio Pacchio: An Ancient Condiment

Originally, Picchio Pacchio was added to grandmothers’ soups to give them more flavour, but then the ever-thrifty women of the time got into the habit of using the last spoonfuls to season their pastas as well, creating a delicacy that has now become part of Sicilian gastronomic tradition.

Back in their restaurant in Amsterdam, Vicio and Simone set to work, with infinite respect for tradition but determined to put their own innovative stamp on the dish. The result is a sauce that is as authentic as it is new, overwhelming them with the rich, sensual flavour of the pistachios and almonds of the Valley of the Temples pesto elegantly smoothing the rustic oomph of the Picchio Pacchio.

Pasta Margherita & Picchio Pacchio: A marriage made in hea… oops, Sicily

At this point, our two heroes must decide which pasta to pair their new creation with. The choice falls on margherite, or mafalde or lasagne ricce, depending on the Italian region where they are produced.

Sicilian margherite are the perfect solution: handmade with durum wheat semolina, bronze-drawn and slowly dried, their delicate texture harmonises perfectly with the rich and complex flavour of Picchio Pacchio, evoking endless sunny fields of wheat and distant voices from the past. Is there a more delicious way to experience eternal Sicily?

A Labour of Love… Rewarded

And so, mission accomplished? Judging by the enthusiastic reactions and praise online and off-line from Vicio and Simone’s customers, absolutely yes. Vicio and Simone’s margherite with Valle dei Templi and Picchio Pacchio sauce are now one of the highlights of their restaurant. And no description could ever truly convey their exquisite taste, which evokes the stunning beauty of Sicily.

The only solution? Making a reservation at Vicio il Mastro Pastaio or an order through the Sicilian PickUp service and trying them!

Come and savor it at our Sicilian Restaurant or purchase it from our Vicio Pick Up service