After saying goodbye to Florence, we headed northwest, stopping in La Spezia to visit Luigi’s family for Pasqua (Easter) and Pasquetta (little Easter or Easter Monday). Like many families, much of their time together revolves around eating meals. Now add to that the fact that they are a semi-traditional Italian family and I was ready to settle in for what I knew would be one large meal after another!
So here is what we ate over the course of three Easter meals (many of the fresh vegetables and cheeses were repeated) – fish stew, pasta with tomato sauce, various cheeses, salad with fresh tomatoes and onions, sweet rice cake, zucchini and artichoke tort, roasted turkey, spinach and ricotta tortelli with sage cream, colomba and . . . chocolate, chocolate, chocolate!
All the dishes, which were prepared by Luigi’s wonderful mother, were great! (Although I can’t speak for the fish stew as I passed on that one) I especially love her vegetable tort that she whips up like it ain’t no thing, when really it is always an amazing combination of seasonal vegetables that are just the right amount of salty and cheesy to make me, a sometimes I hate vegetables girl, enjoy every bite!
And of course the many giant chocolate eggs were loved by all, and watching the little ones karate chop them or smash them over their heads in order to get the surprise inside really topped off the end of each meal!
Okay, I know, you have been reading and waiting for pictures of this amazing food but alas, there are none. I’m still on the border of communicating with Luigi’s family which means popping in to take a photo every time a new dish is put on the table doesn’t feel quite appropriate.
So instead I give you: Colomba!
This is the traditional Easter cake in Italy. Colomba is the word for dove in Italian (dove, peace, Easter, you get it) and they are made in the shape of said bird. It is similar to Italy’s Christmas sweet bread, panettone, but in my opinion it’s much better! It’s sweet with almonds and dried fruit and is just about perfect dipped in cold milk. So, come Tuesday, having returned to Treviglio and feeling a bit lacking in Easter sweets, Luigi agreed to buy our very own colomba! So we dove into it for dessert that night, and breakfast the next morning, and then dessert, and breakfast again. We’re still working our way through it and it’s nearly the weekend!
So there you have it, my second Easter in Italy!