The Olivette di St. Agata (Agatha in English) are an almond flour-olive shaped-treats from Catania, Sicily. They are usually made around the first week of February which coincides with the anniversary of the death of the Saint on Feb 5th.
St. Agata was 20 years old when she died during the Christian prosecutions during the Roman Empire. Her death was gruesome and quite a lengthy process since numerous miracles happened to almost prevented that . Her passing, however, left us with culinary treasures still baked all over Italy.
The Olivette are no exception.
The story goes that while St. Agata was running away from the Romans who wanted to arrest her, she briefly stopped to catch her breath and tie a shoe. Miraculously, an olive tree sprung at her feet, sheltering her with its foliage. The men who chased here could not see her, and she was able to escape.
Unfortunately that is not how the story ended, but I will save that for another dessert inspired by the one and only St. Agata.
So, are you ready to make some sweet Olives?
Note: for the coloring I used a Pandan Extract. Pandan is a tropical plant that grows abundantly here in Hawaii, and its leaves have been used over the centuries to make a bright green extract that tastes like a fruity green vanilla.
If you cannot find Pandan extract or powder, you can use food coloring or Matcha green tea powder but the flavor will be slightly more bitter.
- Preparation time30 Minutes
- Cooking time15 Minutes
For the Almond paste
1 large casserole
1 silicone spatula
1 large board or countertop for shaping the Olivette di St. Agata
Make the almond dough
Keep the Olivette di St. Agata covered in a tight sealed container in the refrigerator.