Ciao for now & my wedding menu

by - July 16, 2010

Right so I'm off now for a bit to pop over to Italy marry the man I love more than Sicilian cannoli.

The whole wedding process has been a slightly odd one for me. Not being a glitter and princess sort of girl I have tried not to be sucked into the hype, yet being a designer I've insisted on doing everything myself (40 meters of bunting, carved wooden toppers for my "cheese" cake, 200 hanging lanterns, shipping out 150 British made teapots for favours... the list goes on!)

The whole thing has been made worse by the calamity of errors including but not exclusive to lost paperwork so that after a year and a half we just got clearance from the Italian bishop, bum-squeakingly today (long story, involves the pope), 150 fragile teapots in the hands of the it-may-arrive-it-may-not-and-if-it-does-it-will-be-in-5000-pieces Italian postal system, the church bell tower falling down due earthquake damage and a Manuel-style hotelier at the proposed venue that literally runs away when he sees me walking towards him.

So the only thing I can honesty say I have enjoyed is creating the menu. I wanted to celebrate the region of Italy my family are from so I've put together a totally traditional Abruzzo feast. I'm really looking forward to seeing what my British guests will think of this "real" Italian food, most of which will be alien to them.

All of the produce (with exception of the pineapples) is sourced locally within a few miles. The wine is also local and DOC controlled. After all of this lot we will have a bit of a boogie (to a band someone has booked for me insisting they are brilliant but I'm envisioning a Eurotrash disaster). Then we'll wheel out a whole porchetta spiced pig that I've ordered from the farm in the next village which should give us enough energy to dance into the early hours fulled by 3 barrels of vino!

The menu

Antipasto All'Italiana di Prodotti Tipici della Majella 
con Funghi Gratinati e Curatella di Agnello
Locally Sourced Antipasto from the Majella Region With Mushroom Gratin and Sautéed Lamb Offal

Brodo Degli Sposi All'Abruzzese
Traditional Abruzzo Wedding Soup

Timballino Primavera
Spring Vegetable Lasagne

Chitarrina al Ragù Rosso
Handmade Spaghetti “a la Chitarra”

Vitellino alla Duchessa con Verdurine Grigliate
Veal with Duchess Sauce and Grilled Vegetables

Agnello della Majella Scottadito con Insalata Mista e Patate al Forno
Grilled Local Lamb with Mixed Salad 
and Roasted Potatoes

Torta di Formaggi Tipici della Majella in Bella Vista
A Selection of Cheese from the Majella Region

Ananas “Lui e Lei” con Fragole
“His and Her” Pineapple with Strawberries

Torta Nuziale Glassata
Wedding Cake


Tenuta Dei Tigli Primo Trebbiano D’Abruzzo 2008
Tenuta Dei Tigli Primo Montepulciano D’Abruzzo 2008

I stripped the menu of an additional five courses they wanted to add in! My mum loves this traditional wedding soup so this one was for her, she is worth suffering the heat for. Wedding soup is a clear chicken broth with little veal and pork meatballs and croutons in. Flipping tasty. The spaghetti a la chitarra is so, so relevant to our region and is made using a contraption that looks like a stringed guitar, hence chitarra. Veal had to be on the menu, especially with this artichoke sauce. Lamb Scottadito literally translates as "lamb burn your fingers", so-called as it is so darn tasty that most people try and nab the meat off the hot grill with their fingers.

I totally expect the wedding cake to feature on the Cake Wrecks blog as Italians are not big on their cake decorating skills, certainly not where we come from. One of my cousins had a picture of Snow White on hers for Pete's sake. I've handed an image of what I was after to them but I have more chance of winning the lottery than getting anything that resembles the image. Therefore the "showstopper" cake will be a tiered creation made up with whole local cheeses, decorated with berries and fruit, the fattest tier probably being my favourite, Pecorino.

I'll have to see what the hell "His and Her" pineapple is - I had to give the hotel owner some input and there is always a fruit course at a wedding.

I shall try and get someone to snap the food. Not sure I will get away with it myself and have been strongly told that blogging and Twitter are out of bounds for the week!

Ciao for now,

Fran x

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