Incorporating fruit in dishes other than dessert is no longer a secret to most well-rounded palates, but I gotta admit to surprise when I saw the menu of savory pear offerings for this sagra in Vigarano Pieve (province of Ferrara). Lasagna with pears and truffle? Yes please! Held on the 2nd and 3rd weekend in September, the event highlights the voluptuous pear – mainly William and Abate Fetel – a fruit that grows very well in this area.
“In bocca chiusa non cade pera.”
A pear will never fall into a closed mouth.
That would most likely ring true if you’re bound to a fruit diet, but whether or not a deeper meaning hides behind the italian proverb is anybody’s guess. All I can say is that we had a great time trying pear this and pear that, beginning with a plate of Red Bartlett and assorted cheese, along with pinzin tond (a fried flatbread).
Tiny cubes of William pears were featured in this dish of tortelli with zola and speck.
Abate Fetel pears appeared in 2 dishes, adding a sweet note to oven-baked lasagna with black truffle slices on top, and putting a fruity spin on fork-tender strips of balsamic-glazed pork. And just to be sure we got our daily quota of greens, an order of grilled vegetables and a salad of pears with walnuts rounded out the main meal.
Dessert was the only weak spot because the pear gelato was hardly inspiring. A square of choco-pear cake was better but it could’ve used a bit more chocolate. And if you don’t like pears? No problem, because the extensive menu also included traditional dishes to satisfy all palates. Fill out the order form, pay at the cashier, and they take care of the rest. One thing I should note is that reservations were encouraged for this event, but families were still showing up later in the evening with no reservations at all. We left “peary happy” after a couple shots of espresso. Info: vigaranopieve.it