Saturday, April 14th, 2012

Pasquetta is a holiday here. It is the Monday after Pasqua (Easter). Generally people spend Pasqua with their families and Pasquetta feasting with their friends. My friend Vittorio and his lovely wife Barbara invited me to join them in the mountains with a bunch of their friends. They were already in the mountains since Barbara’s parents live there but they arranged a ride for me with their friends and I went in one of the three cars into the mountains. By the way on some of the higher mountains it had snowed the night before and they were beautiful.

We were 12 in all. We ate in a nice place and they brought the menu. I was looking at it and trying to decide which things that I would have when Barbara told me we would have ALL of them. Well, we missed some of them, perhaps they ran out since there were three or four other tables with at least 10 or 12 people in each group. I didn’t take any pictures but at the end of the meal a waiter took a picture of all of us. So here is the menu along with the translations.

Primi Piatti First Course

Tortelloni di Bianca Tortelloni                                                 (big tortelli) with a very light sauce – maybe just oil an herbs

Modenese Burro e Salvia                                                           some kind of soup from Modena (we didn’t have this one)

Talietelle ragu’ e funghi                                                               Taglietelle (fairly thin fresh pasta) with ragu’ and mushrooms

Torellini in brodo                                                                          Tiny  tortellini in chicken broth (fantastic)


Secondi Piatti Second Courses

Cotelette di Angnello                                                                     Lamb Cutlets

Pollo fritto                                                                                         Fried Chicken

Arrosto di Agnello                                                                         Lamb Roast

Arrosto di Farona                                                                          Roast Peasant (the best of the meats)

Verdure a Tema                                                                             A bunch of different veggies (not sure about “tema)


Dolci a Buffet A buffet with about 8 -10 different desert selections

(you could have one or all – and seconds)

Bevande Beverages

Caffe’ and Liquori Coffee and booze

My opinion of the food:

All of the primi were excellent – especially the tagliatelle and the tortellini in brodo. In general i secondi weren’t very good except the faraona (pheasant). The dolci (desserts) were great. The wine that we had at our end of the table was lambrusco which is a Emilia-Romagna specialty, specifically from Modena. It’s a slightly fizzy red wine that goes well the the somewhat heavy foods of the region. I don’t have much to compare it to since very little decent examples are imported into the U.S. but it does indeed go well with the food and I liked it. The grappa was of good quality and they gave me the remainder of the bottle to take home with me.

The price for everything, and I mean everything including the wine and grappa was 28 euros each – about 37 at current exchange rates. Certainly the food wasn’t optimum but the price was pretty good and the company was a lot of fun. Of course I struggled as always to understand what people said to me but managed reasonably well.

When they said beverages, this meant probably 8-10 bottles of wine for our table plus as many bottles of water as we could drink. At the end they also brought grappa and lemoncello and anything else that anyone wanted. After we finished that they bought another entire bottle of pretty decent grappa for the table. Fantastic!

A good time was had by all and I was home by 7:00. Certainly no need for dinner tonight.



2 Responses to “Pasquetta”

  1. Debby Says:

    What a lovely outing! The menu sounded delicious. So sorry to hear that the second course was disappointing but the group looks like a very fun group, very young too. What were some of their ages? How fun for you! And you’ve just begun your visit! Are you staying two months? You will really have tried a lot of Italian dishes by the time you return. Perhaps we can get Patrizia to throw a welcome home party and you can teach us to make one or two of the simpler dishes. Your adventure sounds so interesting. You didn’t look cold, was it? What was the temperature? I watched a musical game show on RAI tonight. It was a challenge to decipher what they were saying. They spoke so fast and I think were using a lot of idioms. Still it was very interesting.

  2. Joe Says:

    Hi Debby,

    Well Barbara and Vittorio are both in their early forties and I think that the others are late thirties to early forties. Of course they all look young to me ;^). Yes, I am staying two months and I’ve been eating Italian for years both at home and in Italy but still it is always interesting to try new stuff. It wasn’t terribly cold that day but the weather in general has been pretty dismal. Lots of rain. Apparently there is a little cyclone somewhere in the vicinity of Sicily that it causing it to rain all over Italy. I’m looking forward to some sunny days. I too find it difficult to watch Italian TV but hope to improve my language skills on this trip by quite a bit.


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