Joyous Bologna Sunday

November 19th, 2011 § 0 comments

Ah, Sundays in Bologna. A day made for laughter-filled family dining. And, here is family HG/BSK/Riva happily seated on the sunny terrace of Trattoria Monte Donato perched on a verdant hillside overlooking the greenery and towers of Bologna’s medieval center. Abundant bottles of the house Sangiovese arrived. Then an appetite-provoking salad of radicchio and sauteed pancetta. The rendered pancetta fat was reduced in the pan with a very good balsamic vinegar which was employed as the dressing. Add a poached egg and you’d have an approximation of the frisee salad served at Chez Georges in Paris. An antipasto (another appetite provoker) of grilled polenta slices topped with lardo and pecorino cheese. There were primi of tagliatelle al ragu (the Bolognese signature dish — HG found the noodles silken and the sauce robust without an excess of fat or oil); faro soup; feather light herbaceous gnocchi; pastal al torchio with guanciale and tomatoes. Main dish was a huge platter (decorated with branches of rosemary) of crisp-roasted chicken, potatoes, zucchini, tomatoes and garlic. HG had a dessert of crema catalan (the Italian version of creme brulee). There were other desserts — a plum crostata; a semifreddo al mascarpone — but HG could not focus. Too much wine, perhaps. The meal was followed by a stroll on the steep, sun-dappled slopes overlooking Bologna. Good to have an appetite. Good to be alive. Good to be in Italy. Good to have a loving family.

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