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Sunday lunch of a nostalgic diehard
Sunday lunch of a nostalgic diehard

While I try to book brunch for Sunday and there is no way (full three out of three shifts, damn it), falling back for lack of alternatives on a lunch overlooking the canal towards Pavia, unexpectedly surprises me the nostalgia of Sunday lunch.

Nostalgia for home, for those somewhat rough and sometimes bulky grandparents who, despite everything, were always so present in our lives.

A lunch on sunny Sundays in summer, all seated around the stone table under the wisteria pergola, which I would never be able to replicate even by keeping faith with the recipes handed down. "The Chianti" from the table becomes an unsuccessful imitation if re-proposed outside the Chianti area.

Here is the grandmother's menu.


Mixed as usual, consisting of the inevitable crouton with liver pate, salted ham and "gnorante" made by the calloused hands of the grandfather and left to mature in the cellar for at least 8 months, red crouton with the tomato sauce of the women of the house. Final touch: 2 large sweet green olives which I believe served as a splash of color.

FIRST COURSE (or first courses)

Homemade tagliatelle with meat sauce. The ritual included the tagliatella spread in the morning: arriving early, let's say around 10, you had the opportunity to attend a wonderful pasta sheet lesson, the rolling pin and the fascinating final cleaning of the pastry board. With the meat sauce noodles, no more chatter!

Veal, sausages and pork ribs to make glu glu in the homemade sauce for at least 4 hours. Always arriving early, we witnessed the extravagant phenomenon of the queue in front of the pot: all those summoned to Sunday lunch with a little ass of bread in hand, preferably a little stale, lined up to dip it into the sauce.

On the most glorious Sundays the same patrons staged a little theater that had as its theme an alleged sapidity of the sauce. It wasn't true. The goal was to taste the sauce always with bland bread but 7/8 times, and then agree, toh, look, there was no salt to add.

Another mission: to leave a substantial leftover of tagliatella for Monday lunch, not as good as the sumptuous Sunday lunch, but which was respected. Tagliatelle with domestic meat sauce heated in a pan with a coveted crispy crust: if I were the cook of a restaurant I would build a nostalgia menu starting from this dish.

On festive Sundays followed the cappelletti in broth. Chicken broth goes without saying.

It was at that point that you saw the hard core of Sunday lunch: eaters who arrive without batting an eyelid to the end. They take one of all, drink a lot of water and talk little. The one who takes the tagliatelle al sugo twice is destined to explode before the end, whoever skips the appetizer is disinherited, whoever does not take the cappelletti heretic.


The roast: a thing for men in Chianti. It was, and in my eyes always will be, the grandfather who stood in front of the wood oven, hands of asbestos, red cheeks, a glass of wine next to him.

It could happen the chicken that a week before was scratching in the yard in front of your eyes, the rabbit that as a child the grandmother, a brisk type not inclined to lengthy, skinned in front of you, the pigeon whose origins fortunately you do not remember or the lamb. Side dish of baked potatoes and crunchy and sweet garden salad.


It depends. They ranged from custard to spoon with inside a Savoyard pucciato in alchermes, a kind of trifle, a crooked log of happiness for Christmas, damselfish with yellow cream during Carnival.

Here is my nostalgia (and I'm not talking about the scent of ripe tomatoes and wild mint that came from the garden). Here is the non-replicability of Sunday lunch outside the rustic Tuscan cuisine. This is why brunch does not warm me up and inexorably brings me back to my tuscanity.

For the next 5 minutes, let yourself be caught, and tell me what is your Sunday lunch, the one that makes you nostalgic?

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