Sicily was a real port - invaded by Normans, Arabs, Spaniards, and then Piedmomenteses (yes we need to admit that nobody or very few in Sicily wanted to be unified to the rest of what was decided to be called "Italy"); and such mixture of people and cultures is clearly reflected in its food.
I have mentioned already its savoury dishes like stuffed squids, panella, and caponata. Today I want to share with you one of the most amazing cakes it has. It seems daunting at first but with a little bit of patience, and a few short cuts if you want to cheat..., you can impress all your guests very easily. The "Ohhhh...." will be assured when you present this baroque cake on your table.
There is no agreement on the origins of the name Cassata. Some say that it derives from the arabic word "qashatha", bowl, for the utensil where it was served and which gave the half dome shape; others claim that it simply means cheese concoction for its mixture of ricotta cheese. I am not so sure about the latter as it seems to be very little concoction in cassata - only one type of cheese is used and the ingredients, despite being relatively more than in the average Italian dishes, are not that odd. I would go with the Arabic story. Much more exotic.