One of the most sacred parts of Easter is the communion meal. I’m not talking about the red wine and wafer at mass (although that certainly can be sacred as well) but the cooking, talking, eating, and sharing with loved ones. For young expats here in Rome, it is no different. Like most foreign communities, we wanted to celebrate the holiday in a way that both reminded us of home and incorporated our new home’s traditions. Despite being in the center of the Roman Catholic world, some of us chose to forgo the crowds and Easter craziness at St. Peter’s Basilica for a more relaxed celebration of good food and good company with a mix of American and Roman dishes.
Arugula salads with pear and goat cheese
Ricotta gnocchi, pan-fried, with a fava bean-pancetta sauce
Roasted potatoes with rosemary
Carciofi alla romana (Artichokes, roman style)
Home-made strawberry pie (It’s strawberry season!)
Chocolate Easter eggs
Dreams of an Easter lamb (the edible kind, with rosemary) were squashed at Mercato Testaccio on Saturday by two sad words: “é finito.”
Macelleria (butcher’s) #1: “é finito.”
Macelleria #2: “é finito.”
Maddie and Becky: “Tutti sono finiti?”
So. Apparently there is no lamb inRomethe day before Easter.
Regroup. We changed our secondi (meat course) to some spring chickens. Although we briefly considered roosters, which were also available with their heads with bright red wattles. We made sure our chickens were headless before bringing them home. Visits to various produce stands and a panificio (bakery) and we were all set.
Next stop: Chocolate Easter eggs. My personal favorite stop of the day.
What size to get???
Bigger than your head? Medium sized? Individually wrapped?
(We ended up with all–just make sure they all have a sopresa (surprise toy!) inside. Yes, some of us still get excited about this.)
Wine: Est! Est! Est!’s dry white. 4 euros a bottle and delicious.
A lazy Saturday walk through a blooming Parco della Resistenza dell’otto settembre back home and we set to preparing for our feast the next day. Shelling the fava beans, making the pie crust, brining the chickens.
(Raw pie crust with sugar = tasty.)
Despite a late start, a smoking oven, and some mishaps, we danced, relaxed, and enjoyed the following:
Arugula salad with pear and goat cheese
Pan-fried ricotta gnocchi, with fava beans, pancetta, and pecorino
Roast chicken with olive oil and rosemary
Chicken-fat roasted potatoes
Carciofi alla romana
A beautiful home-made strawberry pie
Chocolate Easter eggs
La vita é bella, non?
1) Using lemons to prop up the artichokes to steam them makes them taste VERY lemony. Either cut the stems or use potatoes.
2) Mayonnaise is made by some combination of egg yolks, acid, and oil. To be honest, we didn’t quite master this one, but the deviled eggs were still sinfully delicious.
3) The afternoon before Easter is way too late to buy lamb in Rome.