The soundtrack for this post could be “I will survive” by Gloria Gaynor… because actually, I survived the Easter lunch!!!
Like Christmas, in Italy Easter means food, food and… food. The Italian tradition includes lamb or goat and it varies from region to region. I always try to “bring” and “reproduce” the typical Italian from my area (Northern Italy) whenever I have the chance, especially during the holidays. Holidays are usually the good occasion to spend some time with friends and taste some different kind of food.
We started with some homemade sun-dried tomatoes (pomodorini secchi) cooked by my friend and colleague Mario (take a look at his Italian website La cucina nel mondo). He left the dried tomatoes in a jar with oil, anchovies and capers for a month. It was simply delicious.
For this occasion I prepared a very easy super appetizer. I mixed mascarpone with tuna, lemon, salt and pepper and I put it on some lettuce leaves. Yummy!
We also had some cheese puffs (bignè al formaggio)…. it’s fried and it’s not very light but it’s soooo good. In Italy there’s a say: even a slipper is good if it’s fried….!!!
As “primo” we had orecchiette with tomato sauce and meatballs. Here you can find a brief story of this kind of pasta that is very popular in the Southern Italy.
And finally the lamb, cooked in the oven by a Somali friend who is the owner of a Somali restaurant in Toronto (Wiff Restaurant, 1804 Weston Rd). I was told their kid (capretto) is simply fantastic. The flavor is very strong but delicate at the same time. It was marinated with some spices on the top such as bay, juniper, rosemary, cumin, oregan.
The Easter lunch/dinner (we started eating at 3 pm and we finished at 9 pm!) wouldn’t be complete without Colomba (dove shaped), the Easter counterpart of Christmas panettone. It’s usually topped with sugar and almonds before being baked.
Finally, the chocolate egg… does it need an explanation? Naaaa….
We also had rivers of excellent wine – we are Italians! Plus, I tried the “grolla” for the very first time! It’s very popular in the Northern regions. It’s a wooden container where you put some hot coffee mixed with grappa (an Italian alcoholic beverage) and sugar. It has some protuberances through which you can directly drink from the container and then you pass it along. It’s also called “friendship cup“.
Because in Italy food is just an “excuse” to spend some time with friends and have a nice chat.