If you’ve followed this blog, you know that I am a member of “Le Matte,” a group of women who meet weekly to chit-chat in Italian. A lot of the group disperses for the summer, heading to Italy or other wonderful places, and except for an impromptu gathering here and there, we suspend the meetings until the fall. To mark the end of our “riunioni,” we hold a picnic at someone’s home, extending an invitation to the husbands as well. Ours was held yesterday amid splendid weather at the home of Cristina, the “le matte” member who actually gave the group that name years ago (It means crazy ladies in case you’re wondering).
This year our festa nearly coincided with Italy’s “Festa della Repubblica,” celebrated on June 2. Today is a national holiday in Italy, when Italians celebrate the birth of the Italian Republic with parades, military bands and festivals in cities and towns up and down the peninsula. Until 1946, Italy was a monarchy, but it became a republic following a popular referendum.
Everyone brings a dish to share to our festa, and as you can tell from the photo above, it’s a veritable feast. The photo is a fraction of the actual offerings, because I snapped it before all the food had arrived. We always make room for dessert too and there were enough to satisfy the largest sweet tooth imaginable.
I’ve asked the ladies to send me their recipes and hopefully I’ll get some replies and post them on the blog in the next few weeks. I’ve already gotten a response from Gilda, who brought this dish of artichoke squares:
2 jars marinated artichoke hearts, sliced ; save the marinade
1 medium chopped onion
10 soda crackers, crumbled
¼ teaspoon tabasco sauce
½ lb. shredded cheddar cheese
Saute the onion in a little of the artichoke marinade. Beat the eggs with a wire whisk and add each of the remaining ingredients, beating after each addition, including the rest of the artichoke marinade.
Pour into a greased 8 x 8 pan and bake at 325 for about 35 minutes.
Serve chilled. Top with olives or thinly sliced lemon triangles, if desired.
To tempt you further, and hopefully induce some of the others to send me their recipes, here are some of the other offerings from yesterday. There was even more deliciousness, but I didn’t manage to capture everything with my camera (I was too busy eating) :
potato pizza, pizza with asparagus, shrimp spread:
rice salad with ham and veggies, bresaola “purses”, eggplant rollatini:
Spinach pie, goat cheese and onion pizza, pasta with broccoli:
And we can’t forget desserts now can we?
fig crostata, peach-filled cake, chocolate-mint brownies:
strawberry “tiramisu,” filled peaches, watermelon “ice cream” bombe:
Tune in again for more recipes from Le Matte!