Pasta co’ Meli (Sicilian Pasta with Honey Sauce)

This is a typical specialty of Sicilian cuisine, originating from Butera, in the province of Caltanissetta. Despite what the name might suggest, it is not a dessert, but an unusual and very tasty first course prepared with a few simple ingredients: pasta, in its long format, breadcrumbs, knife-chopped almonds and honey. This dish was once cooked, according to ancient tradition, for Saint Joseph, on Father’s Day, and during Good Friday: a Lenten fasting day and abstinence from meat.

  • DifficultyEasy
  • CostCheap
  • Preparation time5 Minutes
  • Cooking time10 Minutes
  • Servingserves 4 people
  • Cooking methodStove
  • CuisineItalian
  • SeasonalityEvergreen


360 g spaghetti
150 g honey
150 g almond
150 g breadcrumbs
1 orange (with edible zest)
q.s. table salt
q.s. ground cinnamon
q.s. ricotta salata (or grated Pecorino cheese)



– Take the orange zest, remove the internal white part, and cut it into julienne strips. Then transfer the zests to a baking tray and leave them to dry in the oven at 180°C for a few minutes.

– Coarsely chop the almonds with a knife and let them toast in a non-stick pan; then remove them and keep aside.

– Pour the breadcrumbs into the same pan and let them brown for a few moments, stirring constantly with a wooden ladle. Once done, transfer it to a plate and set aside.

– Boil the pasta in lightly salted boiling water and, while it is cooking, let the honey melt into a large saucepan over a low heat.

– Add a ladle of the pasta cooking water to the melted honey and bring gently to the boil.

– Once the cooking time has elapsed, drain the pasta al dente, transfer it to the pan with the honey and stir carefully over medium heat.

– Turn off the heat and add the toasted almonds and breadcrumbs.

– Scent with a pinch of cinnamon and mix well.

– Distribute the spaghetti with honey onto individual plates, sprinkle with the orange zest.

– Bring to the table and serve topped with flakes of salted ricotta or grated pecorino.

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