THE LAST DINNER OF 2019

Our last meal of 2019. was nothing extravagant but we will sure remember it. 🙂

When we planned our trip to Italy, we’ve organized everything except the New Years celebration. We knew we will be in Modena at that time and that was more than enough for us. When the time arrived we realized that being all spontaneous left us with no dinner plans and that was not enough. 🙂

Since we had to eat something, we called few restaurants but they were either full or not working for the Capodanno. As we were losing all hope on that, just to be sure we don’t starve to death we bought whole lot of dried meat, salamis, cheese, beer and lambrusco that we ate for breakfast the next morning as the fat gods of Italian food granted us three empty seats in a restaurant near by our airbnb.

Trattoria Pomposa is one of the traditional restaurants in Modena whose sister Michelin starred restaurant L’Erba del Re was on our list, but somehow we missed it. L’Erba del Re`s Chef Luca Marchini plays in a creative way with traditional cuisine in his first restaurant but Trattoria Pomposa is pure tradition, so we were all happy and excited to get a table for dinner.

Many of the restaurant in the city, if not all of them, had a set menu with a set price and Trattoria Pomposa was no different. Fifty euros for a four course menu, 10 euros more if you go with wine as well. It was a perfect deal.

We arrived among the first around 8 pm and were seated in the corner with a view over the whole restaurant that had little over 50 seats. We had a perfect view over the tables and guests. People slowly started to arrive. Two couples in the early thirties were seated next to us. A family of four on the other side. Older couple a bit further away. Dressed casually or fancy everybody was welcomed and the two waitresses quickly got the hold of the rhythm. Not for very long, but hey, they tried. As long as we had food and wine on the table, we were fine. And we started with so much loved lambrusco, but this time the white one.

Fresh and bubbly it was a perfect pair with the platter of appetizers that consistent of culatello, prosciutto, mortadella, greppole with cottage cheese and calzagatti that we have tried for the first time.

Greppole are mantuan dialect for the ciccioli or pressed pork fat parts while calzagatti are prepared from a mixture of pan fried cooked cornmeal, beans, tomatoes and onions.

To help the digestion we were served quadrucci con ‘’tendura’’soup as our first meal.

Looking at the plate we assumed that there was a shortage of the small square pasta for the soup as there was something else floating around. I think it was the stracciatella mix made of fresh eggs and grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese broiled in a broth.

Next followed the classic green lasagne, my favorite that evening.

The main dishes were chicken baked in a wood oven with potatoes and finally to try, cotechino with lentils.

We have searched and searched for this dish that was on every list to try while in Emilia-Romagna.

Cotechino is a large pork sausage made of rind, pork meat (usually of secondary choice), and fat mixed with salt and spices that requires long and slow cooking on a low heat. The name comes from cotica (rind), but depending on the area, it can have a different name.

Red wine from Malbo Gentile type of grapes with black cherries and dried fruit flavor and spicy note

According to the tradition, it is served with lentils on New Year’s Eve, because lentils, due to their shape, are ‘credited’ to bring money for the coming year. So far, that has proven wrong because 2020 is going to be money-less like our wine glasses by the end of the dinner 🙂

But if even one month of the year is sweet and creamy as the panettone with mascarpone dessert I would be happy to do it all over again. The dinner, I mean 🙂

Walnut liquor; sweet and strong, just as we were hoping next year would be

Happy rest of the 2020!

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POSLJEDNJA VEČERA 2019.

Naš posljednji obrok u 2019. definitivno nije bio ništa ekstravagantno ni posebno, ali sigurna sam da ćemo ga se dugo dugo sjećati. Mislim, prijatelji, Italija i talijanska klopa…što vam više treba?

Prilikom planiranja putovanja u Italiju, organizirali smo sve osim novogodišnje proslave. Znali smo da ćemo biti u Modeni u to vrijeme i to nam je bilo dovoljno. Kad se vrijeme proslave približilo shvatili smo da prilikom naše spontanosti nismo imali nikakve planove za večeru. I to nam nije bilo ni malo dovoljno.

Obzirom da smo, ipak, trebali nešto jesti nazvali smo nekoliko restorana koji su nam bili na popisu za posjet. Dio je bio ili zatvoren za praznike/ proslavu ili su već bili debelo popunjeni. Da ne bi ostali kratkih rukava, čitaj: gladni sirotani, kupili smo nešto suhomesnatih proizvoda, sira, pive i lambrusca koje smo pojeli sutradan jer su nam se debeli bogovi talijanske hrane nasmiješili i ustupili tri slobodna mjesta u restoranu tik do našeg smještaja.

Prvi doručak u 2020.

Trattoria Pomposa je jedan od tradicionalnih restorana u Modeni, čiji je sestrinski restoran ovjenčan Michelinovim zvjezdicama, L’Erba del Re, koji je bio na našem popisu ali nam je nekako promaknuo. Glavni chef iz restorana koji se na kreativan način igra tradicionalnom kuhinjom smišlja jelovnik i za Pomposu tako da smo to shvatili kao dostatnu zamjenu.

Velik broj restorana, ako ne i svi, imaju poseban već predodređeni jelovnik za novogodišnju večer i Pomposa nije bila ništa drugačija po tom pitanju. Pedeset eura za četiri slijeda ali šest tanjura, šezdeset ako uzimate i popratna vina. Kava i voda uključeni u neograničenim količinama. Prodano.

Naš trojac stigao je među prvim gostima već oko osam navečer i ljubazne konobarice posjele su nas za mali stol u kutu gdje smo imali odličan pogled na cijeli restoran koji broji sve skupa možda pedesetak sjedećih mjesta.

Ljudi su polako pristizali kako nam je stigla voda na stol. Dva para sjela su preko puta nas, dok je pored nas stigao par s dvoje male djece. Malo dalje sjeo je stariji par. Ljudi su bili obučeni u svečanu večernju odjeću ili su se odlučili za ležerniju opciju. Sve su nas ugostile dvije konobarice koje su se trudile imati sve pod kontrolom. Brzo im je to izmaknulo iz ruku. Ali nitko se nije bunio. Ekipa se dobro zabavljala i to se vidjelo na njima. Jelo se polako, pilo se puno.

A večer se otvorila s bijelim lambruskom.

Lagano, pjenušavo, ugodno na nepcu, sjajno se išlo uz prvi slijed; predjelo sastavljeno od suhomesnatih proizvoda.

Culatello, pršut, mortadella, greppole sa svježim kravljim sirom i calzagattijima koje smo probali po prvi puta.

Greppole su čvarci na mantovanskom dijalektu, a radi se o stiješnjenim komadićima svinjskog sala upakiranim kao kebab te se tako i režu, kao svaki suhomesnati proizvod; tanko.

Calzagatti se rade od kuhane smjese kukuruznog brašna, graha, rajčica i luka, te se potom peku na tavi.

Nakon čvrstog predjela, prvo jelo bila je okrepljujuća juhica s malim kvadratićima tjestenine te stracciatella dodatkom spravljenim od svježih jaja i ribanog parmigiana. Vjerojatno im je ponestalo tjestenine pa su ubacili i to 🙂

Nakon juhe stigle su zelene lazanje, moj favorit večeri i pečeno pile  s krumpirom. Klasika.

Pilo se crveno vino i guštalo u svakom zalogaju.

Od svih jela na jelovniku jedino što do sada još nismo probali bila je cotechino kobasica s lećom i baš smo joj se obradovali. Debeli pogotovo. Malo je previše za moj istančani ukus.

Radi se naime o velikoj kuhanoj kobasici spravljenoj od svinjskog mesa, kože i masti pomiješano sa solju i začinima. Radi se o ništa posebnom proizvodu, ali bitno je da se dugo i polako kuha da dobije na mekoći i gotovo ljepljivoj teksturi. Prema tradiciji cotechino s lećom poslužuje se za novogodišnju večeru jer oblik leće podsjeća na oblik novca, što simbolizira bogatsvo i prosperitet u narednoj godini.

Sad znamo da ništa od toga, jer nas je corona pokorila već u prvim mjesecima 2020., ali ako ostatak godine bude sladak kao panettone s mascarponeom kojeg smo dobili za desert, mi ćemo biti i više nego zadovoljni.

Panettone con mascarpone

Sve najbolje u ostatku 2020.! Dok je prijatelja i dobre hrane sve će biti ok 🙂

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