Bologna, 31 March 2021 – Was the egg or the dove born first? A joke that we have already heard, but that gives the sense of the excessive power, on the Easter table, of the final moment of lunch. Before getting to the sweeter courses of the Easter, however, Emilia and Romagna will have to face many other gastronomic trials, finally reunited with family members, given the exceptions to the ‘red zone‘planned for the weekend by the Government, at the same canteen.
The Easter 2021 rules in the red zone: travel to relatives and friends, what changes
And then, while waiting for one of the fattest and most satisfying weekends of the year, it is better to prepare yourself in order not to disappoint the expectations of the few long-awaited guests, lining up, province by province, some traditional recipes that make grandma proud and satisfy young and old.
In a culinary journey from Trebbia to the beaches of the Riviera, dominated by the pasta, dall’lamb and from vegetables in season and inaugurated, as tradition dictates everywhere, with hard-boiled eggs and salami. The first strictly ‘blessed’ and the second, more profane, sliced from the meat of the ‘ninino “https://www.ilrestodelcarlino.it/” nimeel “https://www.ilrestodelcarlino.it/” baghino’ butchered at Christmas.
NB The idea is to produce a list that, for each province, includes a first, a second it’s a dolce and, therefore, we will try to avoid repetition and to tell the highest possible number of recipes, perhaps forcing some savory pie instead of the first or some cured meat or side dish instead of the second. It is better to clarify why, as we know, food is religion in our land.
Easter menu, the recipes province by province
Let’s start the tour, if only for the title of capital that belongs to it, from the fat one Bologna, where the summer brings with it a hint of green, to be exploited, perhaps, by adding a few peas to the ‘strichetti’ al ragù homemade. Or, as for the outline of an excellent veal belly roast, placing a few on the serving dish asparagus just picked, obviously in the Igp version of Altedo. For the dessert, ça va sans dire, no Bolognese will be able to give up rice cake (or, better, of the decorations), rigorously cut in the shape of almonds.
A Modena, on the other hand, an Easter lunch that everyone can agree on should aim, first of all, on a steaming pan of lasagne, whether they are yellow or green but still soaked in greedy béchamel, while the second dish, to take advantage of one of the meats that in the peasant world smelled of celebration, could be the rabbit hunter, good in itself and even better in the shoe phase. To close the circle, the Pavullo’s dove, which, despite its similar shape to that of its more famous cousin, is actually a mixture of pastry filled with savòr.
If there is an Emilian province where seasonal herbs give their best in this period, that is Reggio Emilia, where the first two dishes of the Easter banquet could both be based on chard and spinach. We speak, of course, of the famous green tortelli, the bundles of thin pasta stuffed with vegetables to be dressed with ricotta or parmesan, and a ‘must’ of the area such aserbazzone, the savory pie good at any time of day. Finally, a nice bowl of English soup, widespread throughout the Center-North but particularly popular in the Reggio area.
A similar argument to that of the Reggiano Erbazzone can be valid, a Parma, for the pasqualina cake, imported from Liguria in the Taro valley area and not so dissimilar to its relative from Reggio, in terms of ingredients and seasonality. For the second, however, the advice is a noble and precious dish like the Rosa Di Parma, the fillet roll which, using the local Lambrusco, Parmesan and ham, represents a real concentrate of the ducal tradition. As the Maria Luigia cake, entitled, among hazelnuts, chocolate, candied fruit and marsala, to the duchess most loved by the Parmesan.
Another contamination of the Ligurian Levant, to be tasted in the mountainous areas of the province of Piacenza, are the pansoti with walnuts, which in the area are renamed ‘anvèn’ for the wine used to massage the pastry and which, in fact, are small ravioli filled with fresh spontaneous herbs. In the westernmost part of the region, then, a second renowned dish is horse meat, such as small horse, where the ground is slowly cooked together with the peppers. The eggs, milk and sugar will join, however, in the standing milk, the local pudding reminiscent of creme caramel.
Home of the Renaissance Este cuisine, Ferrara, in this case, strangely deploys a poor first course, that Easter soup which, considering the mix of eggs, bread and cheese, closely resembles a deconstructed version of passatelli from Romagna. If, then, the salama da sugo rhymes with Christmas, Easter on the banks of the Po rhymes with salami aunt, a gluttonous pork sausage rich in garlic and spices and flavored with white wine. The Easter sprinkles in the Ferrara version, then, they will complete the lunch, in the form of sweet donuts without flour, but rich in sugar and eggs.
Crossroads between the Latin world and the Greek East, Ravenna presents a cuisine that is very rich, represented, in Easter time, by the king of Romagna first courses, the passatello, adapted to the season in its dry version, to be seasoned as desired, perhaps even with seafood. However, ham, adapted from the Romagna-style tagliatella, would be preferable, also because, as a second course, it is not possible to give up breaded lamb chops, followed by those yellow corn flour biscuits remembered and also described by Pellegrino Artusi.
The Artusi, however, was from Forlimpopoli and is the cuisine of Forlì and Cesena to have inspired him most, starting with strozzapreti, based on water and flour and to be seasoned with ragù, which in the anticlerical name conceal the ecclesiastical use of collecting tithes from peasants in the form of eggs (just the ones missing from the dish). L’lamb so typical of internal Romagna, this time cooked in the oven, it will finally precede the loaf of Romagna, a soft raisin brioche not so dissimilar in appearance from a panettone. But much, much more ‘patàca’.
Maybe they won’t be exactly typical of Easter (or maybe yes), but it was not possible to end a culinary journey in Emilia-Romagna without a tagliatella, which, a Rimini, it can be seasoned with both Romagna ragout and diced raw ham. For the second, with spring already begun, one could instead think of fried artichokes or at the most substantial castrated, while before removing your legs from under the table you will necessarily have to find a moment for a slice of donut, different in detail from house to house, but always sweet and fragrant.
Then, we have not forgotten, wide everywhere at Easter eggs even if the fried cream, in our neighborhood, is a candidate as a valid alternative.
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