|I love this photo of our kitchen during the food prep. How Italian does this look!|
Happy Easter, Y'all! As you might imagine, Easter is a big deal in Italy. Good Friday is a day where many towns, especially in the south, have processions carrying religious figures or floats (we attended one, which I'll post about in a few days). Today, of course, is Easter, but Italians take the holiday one step further with La Pasquetta - Little Easter - the Monday after Easter. A long weekend of festas. We had prepared for no celebrations at all - no chocolate, no special food for dinner, no plans to visit friends, no Easter baskets. Just church and home. But the beauty of Italy is that sometimes, all you have to do is drive down a short road to come up with a feast.
With our church folks asking us what we had planned for Easter, and our one word response of "sofa" as the reply, I think we both started feeling a bit inferior in our planning. Nothing says "Christ is Risen" like a whole bunch of food, after all. Nathan decided to stop on the way home and pick up some mussels from a roadside stand. A few more yards down the road, we passed a stand selling bread. That was my cue to call for a stop, and when I hopped out to make our purchase, we hit jackpot with some beans and roasted artichokes as well. Thankfully, we had friends riding home from church with us because it's near impossible to get our roadside food purchase amounts down to fit a two person family. In this case, we'd ended up with 2 kilos of mussels, a kilo of beans, five roasted artichokes, and two loaves of bread. All for under 15euros. We were able to share the spoils with our friends and eliminate half the food going into our trash bin. Back at home, Nathan worked his kitchen magic, cooking the mussels in a sauce of butter, thyme, white wine, shallots, and fresh lemon juice, throwing some pasta in a pot and cooking up a quick sauce of sage from our recently planted herb garden in some melted butter, and sauteing the beans. Our planned lunch of soup out of can instead became a feast fit for an elaborate dinner. A Buona Pasqua indeed.