Thursday, October 23, 2008

Once upon a time....

As I'm sure to have mentioned many times before, life in Italy seems to solely revolve around food, wine and friendship. The other weekend, Giancarlo and I got into the adventurous spirit and decided to take the bus 45 minutes outside of Bologna to a little hidden hilltop town where the locals were celebrating their "C'era una volta" sagra (food festival).

Giancarlo trying to figure out how we get there

Translated out "C'era una volta" means "There was a time," better known to us as "Once upon a time." At first thought, I had visions of Cinderella running around with Prince Charming and horses draped in rich fabrics with gold embellishments galloping about the festival. But when we arrived I found out it was completely comprised of the town's locals, and the sagra was celebrating their rustic dishes cooked before the era of supermarkets, credit cards, Ikea kitchens and refrigerators. Once upon a time, Italian cuisine came from peasant dishes. And we were about to find out how well those traditions held up.

Now, I don't define myself as a peasant, nor do I know anybody who does, so I really had no clue what I was in store for. But behind a big white tent, we were given a form to fill out by one of the locals.

 decisions, decisions, decisions....

It reminded me of when we would go out for sushi in New York. The waiter would give us a menu form that we filled out with whatever amount of sushi, sashimi and/or tempura your heart desired. Well, this definitely wasn't sushi, but we just as easily let our eyes feast on the many items on the list. From Pasta Bolognese and Pasta Fagioli (beans. yes, beans), to a variety of meats with polenta we were left in anticipation for our meal and our eyes were bigger than our stomachs (as I'm noticing seems to be the case here in Italy).

Pasta Fagioli

Papardelle alla Bolognese

Costoline e polenta

Tiramisu e torta di zucca e ricotta 

Nonni in the kitchen

As you can image, the food was out of this world. Nonna served us proudly, and nonno sat down with the couple next to us to give his homemade recipe for the traditional Bolognese ragu sauce that he made for the sagra. Honestly, who knew that "peasant food" could be so good.

Giancarlo sampling the local wine

still sampling....

This weekend is the Tortellini sagra. Who knows, we just might find ourselves there as well!


nicole viola said...

looks deliciously dreamy.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

really I have nothing to say but "sigh".


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