I’ve got to admit, things get seriously out of hand during the holidays here in Italy. As if our Easter feast wasn’t enough, we went back for seconds on Pasquetta. (Pasquetta is also know as Dyngus Day or more commonly, the day after Easter.) Our meal wasn’t quite as big as it was for Easter, but it certainly was just as delicious.
We started off with a holiday favorite of the family: maccheroncini al gratin. Oh yeah, two baked pasta dishes in two days! This time, we smothered pasta in a sauce made from cream and two kinds of cheese. Added to that are peas and mortadella cooked in plenty of butter with a touch of Marsala wine. The whole thing is topped with more Parmesan cheese and butter then thrown into the oven ’till it’s crispy, crunchy and golden-y delicious! It’s hard to get enough of this, let me tell you!
For our second dish, we had grilled lamb. Since we really went a bit overboard on the pasta, this was a nice light way to finish off the meal. Well, finish off the savory part at least! By the way, all of this was accompanied by homemade wine from relatives out in the country. How they make this stuff probably hasn’t ever changed over the course of hundreds of years. It isn’t “good” wine, per se, but the grapes are organic and nothing is added as far as I know.
From there, we had a bit of colomba, which is a packaged sweet bread that only appears around Easter time. The brioche-y like bread is topped with a sugary coating and almonds. When you get a good one, like the Tre Marie brand, WOW! And we finished off the meal with a little more pastiera and a sweet cherry liquor called Stock Cherry. (Most of the time we drink homemade liquors, but this was store bought. Not complaining, because it tasted like a delicious cherry cough syrup!) If I say so myself, the pastiera was even better after it sat for a day.
Easter and Pasquetta were pretty intense, eating wise. Now it’s time to get back into the swing of things. Also, it’s time to eat a pizza. I haven’t eaten pizza in like 2 months, so that’s gotta get fixed!