Sunday, March 31, 2013

Eating in Italy at Easter Time

Fulvio enjoys lunch with French and Finnish  friends 

Today  is Easter Sunday  and while many of you are  preparing, eating or  digesting your  Easter  dinner, I hope you  enjoy  a  glimpse of  life  here in central Italy during  this  unseasonably  chilly Easter season.

orange salad with olives and onion

Fireplaces  were lighted  and the atmosphere was  warm  at  lunch with  friends  in  the medieval section of Vetralla and also  in the evening for the a celebratory  birthday dinner  near  the Etruscan site of Castel d’Asso, Viterbo.

The  variety of delicious dishes  prepared  by our two hostesses (one Japanese, the other English)  and the  congenial  international company   made for a wonderful, busy  day.

bresaola & radicchio salad
Lunch  started  with  spumante and grissini, then a series of antipasti including  local cheese with patè di cipolle rosse, sun dried tomatos, bresaola and radicchio 

pumpkin ginger soup

garnished with nuts,  pumpkin-ginger  soup,  orange and onion salad, cous cous with shrimp, green beans and rucola. 

cous cous with shrimp
 Delicious  pears baked in grappa and stuffed with raisins ended the lunch along with locally baked biscotti  and a selection of liquor  from Germany and  Sardegna. 

 I was too busy  enjoying the meal and good  company to worry about photos, so they do not  do justice  to the food.

celebratory birthday dinner 
The torrential rain stopped  long enough in the evening for  the drive to the country house where the birthday dinner was being held.  After a toast we enjoyed an antipasto of spring rolls,
 mussels au gratin and anchovies on buttered bread. 

  Next came  manicotti pasta stuffed with spinach and crab meat garnished  with steamed garden greens.

manicotti  stuffed with spinach and crab
 This was followed by discs of  polenta  with tender calamari in their black  ink. 
polenta and calamari 

The next course  was monkfish saltimbocca dressed with bean pure and colorful dabs of basil and peppers. 

The dessert of individual  molten chocolate cakes and panna ended  the meal but not before some hilarity brought on by  a chocolate Easter chicken.

Tomorrow  is Pasquetta or Lunedi del Angelo, usually the first day  Italian families get together, weather permitting, for  a picnic. The menu  includes   artichokes (carciofi alla nonna Agnesina), pizza di Pasqua and  traditional  lamb  which will be roasted over the  fire  for several hours.   
roasting the lamb 
Hopefully  it will be sunny and we can take  a long walk to burn off  some  of the calories gained  in the past few days.  

braciole  di agnello 



  1. Feel free to leave comments, especially if you were also there. I'd like the recipes for the chocolate cakes ...what about you ?

  2. A wonderful feast. The dishes looks lovely!