How I found the authentic flavours of Sicily

The Times

Giles Coren, restaurant critic for The Times, heads to Sicily to discover the local food and spends his week in Casa Agave 

"Next morning, the fun began, Our rental house was clean and airy with a little infinity pool and bang on a deserted sandy beach. We were bordered on three sides by the silence of vineyards and our eyeline was filled with sea, framed by the house's exotic garden, full of lizards and crickets and crested, bright orange hoopoes, all of it overlooked by the big kitchen, which meant I could see my family at all times while cooking lunch in my swimming trunks. That first morning I found Illy coffee in a jar and a pile of vegetables in a bowl: overripe, purple tomatoes, onions, two huge white aubergines, a red and a yellow pepper and a bag of cherries. So I chopped all the veg small and put it in a cast-iron pot on a low heat with some herbs from the garden for a pasta sauce, then brewed up the coffee in a stove-top percolator and drank it in the shade, interspersing moutfuls of strong coffee with fat black cherries and spitting the stones into a ceramic pot, while watching my kids in the pool and catching the occasional whiff of lunch. 'Let's come live here!' I shouted to my wife, which is always a good sign in the first 12 hours of a holiday."

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