easter in Italy.
My brother, sister and two nephews are coming to Italy for an extended visit. We love that they are here for Easter---Florence boasts fireworks and a 'dove' delivering big bangs and smoke from a chariot near the Duomo. Does it get any better than that? And since we cannot seem to find the colored plastic eggs to fill with prizes and candy, we are buying straight chocolate eggs---wrapped in foil---to hide around the flat.
For breakfast, we will break out Pasqua bread (pane)---similar to Christmas panetone---in the shape of a dove. Piles of fruit and stove-top espresso will ignite our morning.
And if that isn't enough... we are having an Italian Easter dinner. Not so much what is 'traditional to Easter fare in Italy,' but I am applying a typical Italian long-Sunday-dinner-menu structure to our celebrations. Lest it confuse you: Italians regularly sit down and eat an impressive amount (I mean this in the kindest way possible). When we---as tourists and foreigners---sit in Italian restaurants, we might order pasta or meat for a meal. Perhaps an appetizer, maybe dessert. But Italians regularly enjoy a full-blown meal together---over the course of a few hours---on a long Sunday or holiday afternoon.
In fact, when eating a dinner at a nice restaurant, a 'prix fixe' meal, or an 'all-inclusive' meal at an agriturismo or hotel, quite typically it will include all of the following courses:
Antipasti (one or more: bruschetta, plate of meats and cheeses) Pane (Basket of bread) Optional: soup, salad Primi (pasta, risotto, gnocchi) Secondi (rabbit, veal, lamb, fish) Contorni (side of vegetables, usually served with secondi: spinach, beans, mixed grilled vegetables) Optional: cheese plate Dolci (tiramisu, gelato, biscotti, chocolate or ricotta cake) Plus: apertif, wine with meal, dessert apertif (Vin Santo, Limoncella, Grappa) and espresso
So for guests this Easter I figured: great opportunity to apply all the courses. Here is my plan:
bruschetta with Tuscan White Bean Spread bruschetta with fresh diced tomatoes Slices of Prosciutto, Braseola, Salami Tagliatelle with Pork Ragu Mixed Grilled Vegetables Stuffed Meat Loaf Cheese plate: Pecorino young and aged, (with cipollini confettura, honey, balsamic glaze) Tiramisu e Biscotti
Prosecco Vino Rosso (likely a Rosso di Montalcino and Chianti Classico) Vin Santo
Happy Easter! What food-on-the-table are you most looking forward to?