Sunday, November 11, 2007

SAN MARTINO

















































I will tell you the most famous legend associated with St Martin again because I like it: In the 4th century, the saint met a starving, freezing beggar at the gates of the city of Amiens. He cut his cloak in two with his sword and gave half to the man. For that reason, Martin is a saint associated with the poor. It is also said that at the moment he tore his cloak, the sun came out and that is why an Indian summer here is known as an estate di san Martino.

The 11th November is the festa of this favourite saint of mine and traditionally the day when the novello [new] wine is opened, so it was off to Maria and Luca's home for the celebration: A gorgeous aroma greeted us, as Luca was already barbecuing sausages and pancetta in the garden, whilst inside the women were gathered around Maria, who was happily making fritelle [ akin to doughnuts but much lighter] of three different types: savoury ones containing anchovies, which we were offered as an antipasto, some containing ricotta and others containing walnuts, sultanas and fennel seeds [the last two were served as dessert]. Fritelle are made for this day as in times gone by they were a delicacy that could be made by rich and poor alike, for they contain few ingredients and can be fried using the new oil of the season.



The pictures show:
1. My own contribution: I again made the chick-pea flour patties, filled with a mixture of cooked pepper and aubergine, basil, pinenuts, lemon juice and oregano. I spent hours wondering how to garnish them without getting the lids soggy, then at around 3 am the inspiration of using basil and almonds came to me!
2 - 4: Fritelle preparation: I was glad to see that the batter is quite messy. I find that idea comforting as I create such chaos in the kitchen myself. Maria handles it determinedly and roughly, fearlessly throwing the shapes she has formed into the hot oil.
5 - 6: Finished fritelle.
7: Novello wine from 2 different batches.
8: Pappardelle pasta with a sauce of cream, zucchini and speck especially brought from the Alto Adige.
9 - 10: Barbecued sausage and pancetta.
The children present decided that it is already Christmas, for, having first dressed up as St Martin, they then appeared as La Befana and finally as Babbo Natale. Perhaps they are right.

21 comments:

jmb said...

They sure do love their food those Italians, and nothing is too much trouble to do for the traditional celebrations.
Those children, wishing our lives away. Christmas is already too soon for me.

Sir James Badger said...

You've surpassed yourself this time - I'm drooling over the food and that little tale was a gem.

Winchester whisperer said...

What a feast! I'd never heard of St Martin before: hurrah for him! I suppose his day's rather overshadowed in the UK by Remembrance.

mutleythedog said...

But do they have Spam? No I think not...

I like the Estate di san Martino thingy - I didn't know that story.

True Blue said...

Yum Yum Welshcakes the "spread" looks delicious. My next door neighbour`s father is from Sicily and sometimes gives me Sicillian Sausages when he has been visiting his family, he always brings lots of delicacies back, including the sausages and Balsamic Vinegar, "to die for" !
His way of cooking the sausages, which I`ve adopted, is to drop them into a pan of boiling, seasoned water and simmer
until cooked. I serve them with a good rich Tomato and Basil Passata which I coat some cooked Spaghetti, drizzled with Olive Oil (Sicillian of course) and a Hearty sprinkling of parmesan
Cheese. Simple but absolutely delicious.

P.S. Hope you and Simmi are well Welshcakes, I do so much enjoy your Blog, Di xx

Eurodog said...

WL,
I am sure that if I came to visit you, we would spend the whole time eating and drinking and talking about food. Forget the dogs. Lovely post as ever.

Sally said...

What a glorious spread - can almost taste those fritelle. Do Sicilian children go round the streets on San Martino banging their mothers' old saucepans? In Venice they're everywhere and everyone carries caramelle with them to dole out and thus cause the banging to cease - a sort of Venetian trick or treat. And there are special biscuit cakes in the shape of San Martino on his horse, complete with cloak and decorated with sweets and chocolate, that you eat after dinner. It's a lovely festival.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Ciao, jmb. I suppose the 3 festivals all roll into one in the kiddies' minds... Very kind of you to say so, Sir James. Hi, WW. Yes, I suppose that's it in the UK. No remembrance commemoration here on 11.11 but Liberation Day in April. Hi, Mutley. Only on email! Yes, St Martin is my kind of saint. Hi, True Blue. How are you? I am drooling over your sausage recipe. Thank you for sharing it. Oh, eurodog, what a natter we would have! Simi would tell us when it's walkies time, however! Hi, Sally. Interesting to learn of the Venice tradition. I've not heard of children doing that here. I'd love to see some of those biscuits.

Wolfie said...

Oh Maria's Fritelle sound fantastic, especially those savoury one's. I was salivating just reading your description.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Wolfie. I wish you could taste them!

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

Legnd has it, his cloak was blue and was used by Clovis as his banner, embroidered with lilies.
Hence why France's colour is blue.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks, Crushed. I didn't know about that.

True Blue said...

hi Welshcakes again, I`m keeping quite cheerful but still struggling with the "Back Problem", just waiting for MRI Scan results,I really must post a bulletin on my Blog, so many of our fellow Bloggers have been asking about my wellbeing.
Lol, Di xxx

leslie said...

I'm drooling as I look at all that food. Reminds me of the fabulous meals I had while there last year. You really MUST stop this, or else I'll just have to hop on the next plane & crash your party! lol

DeeJay said...

OMG, I am salivating.
I am going to have to take an early lunch now!

Sharon said...

Chickpea flour patties>

Do you have a recipe for these??

Share????

Ellee Seymour said...

What a lovely story. You really should open up a restaurant.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, true blue. I'm sure we are all concerned about you. Hope all goes well with the scan. thinking of you.
You'll be very welcome, Leslie!
Sorry, deejay!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Sharon. The recipe was in a supermarket magazine and here's what you do:
To make this amount you need a 500 gr pack of ceci flour. Pour the flour into a bowl and pour enough cold water to just cover it on. Mix in some salt and pepper and leave overnight. Oil some shallow oven dishes or trays well and pour the flour mixture in. Cook at 200 C for about 30 mins. Let it cool then cut into rounds with a cutter. [This does mean that there is some waste so I might cut it into squares next time.] Roast a halved aubergine in the oven then scoop out the pulp. Put it in a processor with a couple of peppers from a jar of peperoni grigliati, some pinenuts, a couple of stoned black olives, oregano, basil, juice of 1 lemon and some olive oil. Whizz it up. Spread on the bases, add the lids and garnish as you like. The first time I made these I thought they would go soggy if kept a day but they don't, so you can make them in advance and refrigerate them.

Thanks, Ellee. I make too much mess to open a restaurant!

Will B said...

All that stuff looks really really nice. Now I feeel hungry! haha.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks, Will.

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