Lunch on Pasquetta


Lunch on Pasquetta

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

The Monday after Easter (Pasqua) is also a holiday here. I have no idea why that is also a holiday. It’s probably related to some ancient Roman holiday or something similar. Still, it’s a traditional day to go somewhere out of town for a lunch or picnic. So Karen and I were delighted to accept the invitation from Gaudio and Sandra to go to lunch at an agriturismo in the countryside outside of Bologna. For those unfamiliar with the term it means a farm that has usually is still a working farm but now includes a trattoria and usually some lodging for guests. This one was called Il Cucco  and offered a fixed price meal on Pasquetta. The place was jammed of course but we had the obligatory reservations thanks to Gaudio.

We went in Gaudio’s car and settled in for a great meal (well, with one minor exception). We kept a copy of the menu  to be able to remember exactly what was served.

The Menu

The Menu

A few definitions here:

  • Sformatino (little sformato) of parmigiano – parmigiano, eggs and cream baked in a mold with a field salad
  • Mousse di moradella – mortadella, parmigiano and usually one or another kind of soft cheese whipped together
  • Vellutata – a creamy vegetable soup
  • Lasagna – I don’t need to explain this one. Made with asparagus and artichokes
  • Bocconcini – little bites, in this case of young turkey roasted with orange sauce
  • Tagliata di manzo – slices of beef with (I think) a specific kind of salt – salfiore di cervia)
  • Patate al rosmarino – rosemary potatoes
  • Torta barozzi al cioccolato – a specific kind of chocolate cake – a lot like an american brownie
  • Pallina di gelato – little ball of gelato in this case with bitter cherry syrup
The mortadella mousse and the sformatino

The mortadella mousse and the sformatino (bottom)

I forgot to take a picture of the soup, which was very good and disappeared in a flash. I should have at least remembered to take a picture of the empty bowl. The only flaw in the meal was the lasagne. The top layer resembled cardboard. Maybe they didn’t cook the pasta first or left it too long in the oven. The other layers were fine and quite tasty.

The flawed lasagna

The flawed lasagna

The turkey, beef and potatoes

The turkey, beef and potatoes

Torta and gelato

Torta and gelato

Of course there was wine and water, and as always, coffee at the end of the meal. I wasn’t driving so I went for a grappa as well.

coffee and grappa

Coffee and grappa

There was also interesting conversation. Gaudio speaks English well but Sandra speaks almost none. She does, however, speak Italian in a clear manner and I was quite pleased that I understood almost everything. She is a dentist and recounted the obstacles that she had faced and overcome to become a dentist. In Italy there are few women dentists. I believe that she was the only woman in dental school and then had difficulty establishing herself as a dentist after she graduated. She specialized in children since many parents were more trusting in a woman dentist and built her practice from there. The parents often became her patients and now she seems to have a very successful practice. And of course, she’s the boss.  Brava Sandra!

Gaudio and Sandra

Gaudio and Sandra

And now some photos of the place.

The room where we ate - and the cows ate a long time ago

The room where we ate – and the cows ate a long time ago

Another view

Another view

Yes, I was there.

Yes, I was there.

And another room

And another room – Karen and Sandra

The group -unfortunately I blinked at just the wrong time.

The group outside – I blinked at just the wrong time.

 

Of course this was on Pasquetta – March 28th. So I finally got around to publishing this post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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