Sunday is a very big day for families to get together and have lunch. It generally is held at your Grandma’s house or at your Mother’s house, she will more often than not make a 5 course meal where homemade pasta will made, with a delicious Ragù that has cooked for hours accompanied by a nice bottle of red wine; then followed by a vast array of meats and vegetables, cooked and served in various forms, from steamed to fried, boiled to sautéed, with all the in-betweens of bread, prosciutto, salami, cheeses, olives, etc… In other words it’s a day of sitting down around 1pm and getting up around 5pm.
My family is Traditional and we do (most Sundays) meet at my parents house in this cute town about an hour away from where I live with my Husband. The house is a typical old rustic house built somewhere about 80 – 100 years ago on a huge property with an old barn in the back, surrounded by vineyards. It’s perfect for family get-together’s although during the winter due to how old this house is it tends to be fairly cold. We are on the Adriatic coast north of Florence and South of Venice in the region of Emilia-Romagna, you may know the Region as this is where Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto di Parma, Balsamic Vinegar, Lasagna, Tagliatelle, Ragù a la Bolognese, etc…are from; not to forget also where Ferrari and Lamborghini are manufactured.
We are a large family and we love to eat. Although we do make some large meals, most of the time we try to not make too much food (as most Italians do) on Sundays, we generally pick one dish and then accompany that with veggies, wine (of course), tea, coffee and some sort of dessert. Now that I am pregnant I am lucky enough to be the one that gets the phone call of what my cravings are for Sunday, what would I like to eat and so forth; this will of course lead to the occasional sibling phone call telling me to tell my Mom that I am craving…..whatever they are craving. I can occasionally cave in to that but I also opt out at times, because it is generally something a little more fattening than I would appreciate to eat. I know that I am pregnant but I am still not in that mentality that just because I am pregnant I need to eat constantly and without watching what I eat. Don’t get me wrong I do occasionally indulge (why should I not) but those are on rare occasions, after all I am only going to be pregnant for another 4 months, after that I will have work to go back to my weight and all the eating I do now will be a huge factor of how and if I can do it in a timely manner. Fortunately, I haven’t had crazy, gross cravings so far, but I’ll talk about that another time.
As I mentioned earlier, Tagliatelle is very typical of this area and one of my favorite dishes for a Sunday, not to forget accompanied with Ragù a la Bolognese and the world-famous Parmigiano Reggiano. So, this Sunday that is what my Mom prepared, she made the Ragù the previous day cooked it for hours and it was delicious.
Don’t let yourself get distracted by the plastic plates….it doesn’t take anything away from the amazing flavor of the food. I prefer my Mom to use plastic plates, we are about at least 10-12 and that’s on a regular day when not all my siblings, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, nieces, nephews can show up; if we had to use the regular plates and cups I think that it would suck to have to clean up after that, let me remind you that here in Italy there are seldom dishwashers so to wash by hand is more time-consuming than spending time together. BTW….yes that’s my gorgeous Mother at 50 after 10 kids…still looks smoking even with leggings and a big sweater.
We followed the meal with lots and lots of vegetables, we are a family that loves vegetables, so we had that along with whole grain bread and Gorgonzola. Here in Italy, it’s very common to serve raw vegetables, like carrots, celery, fennel, endive, radishes, etc…and then pour some olive oil and salt and dip your vegetables in and eat it like that, if your like me then you add vinegar…balsamic of apple cider; here in Italy this array of raw vegetables accompanied by olive oil is called Pinzimonio, one of my all time favorites. It’s perfect for get togethers, dinner parties, cook outs and it also helps you eat slower because you dip it take a bite and repeat.
After that we ladies sat around made teas and chatted about most possibly every subject you can think of. It was an amazing lunch and many more of course; to follow. I wanted to share this with you (the reader) because I think that this is an important part of life, we eat but how do we enjoy it?
I enjoy it this way! I find that one day a week you should be allowed to pick one dish that you truly enjoy and eat it, but what makes it all the worthwhile is when you are surrounded by the people you love and enjoy because then you truly enjoyed that meal, from start to finish. You are talking, eating and don’t even realize that you are full and satisfied without over eating, because in great company you tend to eat slower, talk a little more and get full faster. So all in all it’s a win win situation. This is a day to Eat!
P.s. Recipes for this day to follow………Have a wonderful WEEK!