Pasquetta is “Little Easter.” Also known as Easter Monday, this is the day in Italy when you gather your friends and head to the countryside for a day of eating.
The first day of spring may be marked on the calendar, but this is its unofficial start.
But do you really think you need to go all the way to Tuscany or Umbria to get a bit of countryside?
The area outside of Rome can be glorious.
And right smack dab in the middle of it all is La Polledrara.
La Polledrara is a beautiful agriturismo in the green plain under the hilltop town of Paliano.
Staying in an agriturismo in Italy is something that I cannot recommend highly enough. They offer rooms in working farms, like La Polledrara.
But even if you don’t stay there, you should certainly eat there.
Sitting down to breakfast every morning, I got a crash course in the local products.
Everything is either made from ingredients grown on the property, or I promise you they can tell you the first name of the person who made it.
But after breakfast, it was on to the cooking class.
One of the things that La Polledrara grows is a kind of heritage wheat that is recognized by Slow Food, so we had plenty of flours to play with.
And the best thing to make?
I love making pasta. I find the mixing and kneading to be incredibly zen.
I get lost in the movements, and I am always ready to learn new techniques.
Like hand cutting pasta…
I have to admit, I almost always use the attachment on my machine and still feel pretty virtuous for having made it from scratch!
But cutting it by hand is much more impressive.
(And I really need to practice a bit more).
And at the end of the two hour class, we had neat piles of two types of pasta – with eggs and without.
Luckily, La Polledrara also has an excellent restaurant.
Don’t believe me? Eleonora wrote about it here, ranking La Polledrara as one of the ten best places to eat within an hour of Rome.
So the pasta was swept back to the kitchen and we got to do what I really do best – head to the table to eat.
So even if you don’t have time to spend the night, or to learn to take a morning cooking class, you can still enjoy a day out in the Roman countryside.
The amazing Lazio foods started rolling in, and I learned that this is the only region in all of Italy that makes four types of cheese: goat, sheep, cow and bufala.
Yes. All the Roman cheese please.
With a little frittata, if you don’t mind.
And pass the citrus-fennel salad, please.
But I would never say no to a little more cheese before the main course.
Honestly, everything that was put down on the table had a story.
That is my dream meal.
It just so happened that I had one small part in the story of the pasta dish.
The property is beautiful and only about 35 miles from Rome – so here is your official warning that you shouldn’t only see the city. There is more of Lazio to be explored
In fact, I heard about it thanks for Italy Where Else, which organizes experiences and outings in the Rome countryside. They are fabulous and know all of the hidden corners so if you would like a 5% discount, you can use the code “Rome17” when booking.
03018 Paliano, Italy (Lazio)