Sunday, April 28, 2013

Easter Menu

Ok, it has passed almost one month, but this has been a very peculiar period. In a sense very hectic, although  the workload hasn't been that high. But spring is here, we try to fix some small things in the garden, when no brand-new-inschooled-kindergarten-virus join us, and even if we are sick most of the time lately, we try to keep ourselves busy in too many ways.

Anyway, Easter was very nice. We had friends over, visiting from Italy, and we enjoyed a lot of home cooking.
If Swedes celebrate Easter mostly on the Eve (like every other festivity - why choosing the right day?), we, Italians, instead, stick to the "right" tradition. Well, especially for Easter it does make sense!
We then had a more swedish style dinner on the Saturday evening, with a collection of fish and seafood products, nice bread and even "snaps", on Sunday lunch we tried to have a more italian traditional meal.

I have found out that in the Naples area the antipasto (pre-dish) is quite simple. A collection of cold cut (affettato) and cheese.
We chose a mixture of Italian and Swedish products, just to make things even stranger.
Salame "Finocchiona" and Prosciutto Toscano

Grilled ham with mustard and smoked reindeer

Two types of jams: cherry and star anise, gooseberry and ginger with three different cheeses: a sheep cheese from Spain, a spiced cheese named Kalmar and another one named Svetia
Primo Piatto
The pasta dish was a very traditional dish that I have been "eating" (not really, because I don't like it so much) at my home every Easter. It is typical from Sicily, although, in theory there should be another format of pasta used.
Pasta al Forno

  • 500gr of pasta
  • 2 aubergines
  • 4 hard boiled eggs
  • 400 gr mixed minced meat
  • 200 gr of grated parmesan cheese (100 gr for the meatballs)
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 gr of bread crumbs
  • a bunch of parsley
  • 1 bottle and half of tomato sauce
  • a bit of basil
  • Chopped 1 and half onion
  • salt, pepper, olive oil and flour in the right quantities
  • a mozzarella
First thing to do is to prepare the meatballs.
One should mix the minced meat, with the cheese, 2 eggs (depending if the eggs are big or not, maybe one is enough) with the bread crumbs, half an onion, chopped parsley, a bit of salt and pepper. The mixture should be homogeneous. The mix shall rest in the fridge for at least one hour.
Afterwards, we can prepare the meatballs.
In the meanwhile, we warm up a bit of olive oil in a pan and I roll the meatballs in flour. I light fry the meatballs in the pan and make sure that they are well cooked inside.
The second step is preparing the aubergine: we slice them up in thin slices and we let them rest with salt under some heavy weight for at least half an hour.
We rinse the slices properly and we start to fry them in an hot pan where we have put some olive oil (one could choose another kind of oil if olive oil is as precious as gold). 
When all of this is done (or in parallel), we can start to cook the pasta and prepare the tomato sauce.
We start by frying the onion in a bit of olive oil, then we add the bottle of tomato sauce, salt and the basil. I personally add also a bit of laurel. I let it slowly cook for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, I cook the pasta (a little bit less than it should) and when that is done, I put it in a big oven pan.
I add the tomato sauce, the meatballs, the aubergines and the eggs, which I slice. I also add a sliced mozzarella and I cover everything with a generous amount of grated parmesan.
Some, before putting the pasta, cover the pan with a bit of bread crumbles and olive oil.
I put it then in the oven for about 40 minutes at 180 - 200 degrees.

Secondo Piatto
For this dish I didn't want to choose lamb. There have been a lot of discussions on lamb, Easter and environment and I thought they were actually correct.
Since in Sweden there is abudance of wildboar, I decided to do a dish with that and I found out that in Toscany, sometimes, they use to it a slow-cook wildboard dish for Easter.
The wildboar is cooking

Maremmana wildboard with mashed potatoes
  • 600 gr of wildboar meat
  • 200 gr of black olives
  • 800 gr of tomato pulp
  • 0,5 l of red wine
  • a bunch of chopped rosemary, sage and thyme, 
  • 2 piece of celery, 1 carrot
  • a leaf of laurel
  • 2 onions
  • olive oil, salt and pepper
Wash the meat and slice it in small cubes. Let it marinated the whole night with the chopped celery, carrot, onion and the herbs. Cover it with the red wine.
The morning after finely chop the other celery, the onion and the remaining herbs and, after taking the meat away from the marination, let it light fry for about 15 minutes in a pan with olive oil and the mixture of chopped things above.
Save the wine from the marination and clean it from the herbs and vegetables. Add it to the wildboar, after slightly warming it up, and let it evaporate.
Lower the heat and add the tomato and the laurel, salt and pepper. Let it slow cook for about 60 minutes and add the olives at the end.
The dessert
For the dessert we decided to do something simple and something that Mattias masters. A Tiramisu'.
Mattias' Tiramisu'
But it is his "recipe" so I don't know the details on how he does it :)
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  1. Complimenti, che menù! Faccio la pasta al forno una volta l'anno, i procedmenti lunghi mi fanno impazzire..:D Bravissimi, anche il tiramisù sembra buonissimo.Ok, la prossima volta mi prenoto per una cena da voi!

  2. Devo dire che ho un po' appeso i mestoli al chiodo, visto che al momento la responsabilita' prima per i pasti e' del marito, ma magari tentero' di avvelenare anche voi se passate da queste parti ;)


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