The story of the Modica 'Mpanatigghie
Legend has it that it was the nuns of a Modica convent, in the 16th century, who thought of preparing biscuits with meat inside in order to provide the priests, in time of Lent, with enough energy to respect the little sacrifices and continue to pray.
More likely, the ' mpanatigghie ( “impanatiglie”, in Italian) have Spanish origins, as already suggested by the crescent shape and the similarities with the Iberian empanadillas , bundles stuffed with meat. To the Spaniards, whose presence in Sicily lasted for more than a few centuries, it was already known that cocoa and sugar were natural preservatives , excellent for keeping meat, and above all game, which abounded in Sicily in the 1500s.
Sugar, cinnamon, chocolate , almonds and of course meat: the ingredients of the typical Modica biscuit and yet this extraordinary Modica sweet is a true excellence for our small baroque nativity scene, our Modica.
Leonardo Sciascia, immense and sublime writer, who wrote a lot about his Sicily, particularly appreciated them, considering them the " perfect travel dessert, very nutritious and delicious" .
There are numerous bars and Modica pastry shops that offer this typical Modica dessert and if you are nearby you cannot fail to go directly to the places of interest and taste it in person, but ... if you want to taste the ' Mpnatigghie comfortably on the sofa of your home together to a hot chocolate , to an almond milk , to an artisanal Sicilian liqueur , to a grappa from Sicily, to a 100% organic moscato passito , buy online on our all-Sicilian shop Bottega27.com and discover our greedy world yes but also super dynamic and convenient.
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"What is essential is invisible to the eye"
said Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, “…and also on the palate!” the nuns of Modica answer.
Modica 'mpanatigghi recipe
For the shortcrust pastry:
250 g. of 00 flour
70 g. of lard
70 g. of sugar
30 g. of marsala
3 egg yolks + 1 whole egg
For the stuffing:
100 g. of sugar
100 g. of minced beef pulp
100 g. of toasted almonds
50 g. of walnut kernels
50 g. of dark chocolate
5 gr. of cinnamon
Powdered sugar to taste
1 pinch of baking soda
extra virgin olive oil to taste
Let's start by preparing the shortcrust pastry. Let's make a loaf out of it and leave it to rest for at least 40 minutes in a cool, dark place. We divide the shortcrust pastry into small parts, roll it out to a thickness of 2 mm and obtain with the help of a mold some discs of about 10 cm in diameter.
Then put the chopped beef sirloin in a pan with a drizzle of oil, just the amount needed to dry it over low heat. Let it cool.
Meanwhile in a mixer we chop the almonds together with the walnut kernels and the dark chocolate.
We prepare the filling by mixing all the ingredients: the minced meat, the dried fruit, the chocolate and finally sugar, cinnamon and ground cloves to enhance their aroma.
Finally, as is normally done with ravioli, place a small pile of filling on half of each disk and close them by squeezing the edges to seal them together.
Turn on the oven, heat it to 180 degrees and put the pan previously greased with oil into the oven, remembering to arrange the 'mpanatigghi so that they do not touch each other during cooking. Also remember to make a small incision on the dome so that the filling does not burst during cooking.
Cooking time: about 20-30 minutes