Tag Archives: sagra

Sagra dei Pesci

Castiglione della Pescaia – And on the 4th day, there was a fish sagra.

Sagra dei Pesci

The evening before heading back home, we considered the idea of dinner service offered by the agriturismo’s hosts (the owner is a fisherman and cooks up these fabulous, multi-course meals), but then I had to spot this fish festival poster above. OH yes!

Regular readers know of my mad enthusiasm for traditional food events, and there was no question about where we’d dine that night. Held at a sports camp in the neighborhood of Casa Mora, we got there early before the crowds rolled in.

The menu was primarily fish with a couple of meat options thrown in for carnivores.

Sarde marinate con cipolla Tortelli al pesce
Baby sardines with onions — Spinach and ricotta-stuffed tortelli in octopus sauce

Tagliolini del pescatore Calamari ripieni in salsa
Tagliolini in a tomato-based seafood sauce — Stuffed calamari

It doesn’t look like we ate much but there was still some cheese, salumi and wine back at the cottage. Prices were a tad higher (altogether we spent 34€ which included service and a cup of beer), but that’s the norm for fish dishes in Italy anyway. The sagra was also open to dogs, so there wasn’t a problem with our two.

The following morning it was goodbye to our donkey companions (the westie saluted them with a woof!) and a promise to return soon. In October, not far from the agriturismo, there’s a festival serving mushroom dishes, chestnuts, wine, polenta, and wild boar. Che bontà!

La Dolce Vita - goodbye donkeys!


June in November

What gives? Since the start of this month it has been 70-76°F during the day and the air is so warm that a load of laundry is completely dried before the sun goes down. I’m stocked up on holiday baking supplies, a truckload of firewood is on the way, and yet…and yet it feels as if I should be putting the mosquito screens back into place and planning meals around leafy salads and iced tea. Make me a mojito, it feels like early summer in the chestnut forest.

San Marco

Only that it isn’t summer, it’s fall, and with fall comes all the really good stuff like…

Truffles – this photo was actually taken last year when we ordered black ones through our favorite supermarket. They’re nothing compared to the white truffles in Piemonte, but they’re easier on the wallet. No time to attend any tartufo fairs this season but there’s a lot of truffle products (butter, cream, oils, etc) on store shelves right now.

Mister B and the big black truffle

Figs – honestly, I thought fig season was over. I adore figs. Weekends are the only time when we do breakfast, and it’s always something speedy. Fruit, nuts, ricotta, whole-grain bread and cappuccino. Sometimes it’s pancakes or waffles, appetites willing.

Breakfast ultra-lite to start a Sunday

and the best part of fall… sagra events. The last weekend of October and the first weekend of November in Pizzighettone, Lombardy are the set dates for Fasulin de l’oc cun le cudeghe. Tender black-eyed peas with pork skin in a thick, hearty soup. We’ve gone a couple times since our first experience in 2006 but I never updated with a post. Things have changed (in a good way) especially for dog owners. A full report tomorrow.

Fasulin de l'oc 2015
Fasulin de l’oc, raspadura cheese, grilled polenta, cheese and mostarda, lardo and salame.

Sagra del Macagn

Macagn cheese stand at the sagra

Crocemosso (Piemonte) – Macagn is a cheese made from raw cow’s milk and has a pleasant flavor with a delicate smell. It’s perfect as a table cheese, turned into a sauce, or lovely when melted all over hot, steaming polenta. Owing its name to a mountain pasture at the foot of Monte Rosa, Macagn’s origins date back to over 150 years which earns it a solid spot in Slow Food’s cheese hall of fame. Slow cheese indeed; it came as a shock when I discovered that the sagra del Macagn was celebrating its 15th edition this year. Where have I been?

Ravioli, pasta, and 7 types of polenta combinations, but the best plate in our opinion – a juicy pork steak cooked in Bramaterra wine and slathered with Macagn sauce. Delicious food with a piemontese red to wash it down. Everything was well-organized and there’s also the option of making reservations by phone, guaranteeing a spot at the communal-style tables. Parking wasn’t too difficult and the dynamic duo were also welcomed in the covered dining tent.

For more information: Facebook https://www.facebook.com/prolococrocemosso

As with most small local affairs like this one, you’ll need to get in line to make your order. Take the printed receipt, nab a seat, and wait for someone to check the receipt and bring your selected dishes. If you make a reservation beforehand, see the person to the side of the order kiosk and he’ll direct you to your reserved spot.

Apple strudel with vanilla sauce
Apple strudel with vanilla sauce