Sunday, November 27, 2011

We thought we had waddled away from the table in Milan for the first and last time last night (our Thanksgiving feast). We gathered together again for lunch before the in-laws drove back to Ravenna. Dining at Gnoccho Fritto in Milan is a real experience.

We should not have ordered our first course which was a pasta dish even though the pasta and sauces are so light. Some had spinach and goat cheese ravioli, Tom had tagliatelle with wild boar, and I had tagliatelle with fresh tomatoes and olives.

Then came the next course. We had ordered 'family style' servings of their famous gnocchi frittos. A deep-fried gnocchi-dough dumpling, served with platters of cold cuts, cheeses, and other goodies (i.e., applesauce, chili sauce, etc.). Those dumplings are so yummy. I was told this particular dish is from the Modena region where Pavarotti lived . . . and look at photos of the late Pavarotti!

"Welcome to the “Osteria del Gnocco Fritto” and I am the master of the house.

I am prepared following the traditional recipe from Emilia.
You do not have to order me, I get to your table, hot and served in wicker baskets on straw paper.

Just choose what to accompany me with, either cold meats or cheeses, you can choose from an extensive list that ranges from traditional Italian products such as Parma ham, Piacenza coppa, Colonnata lardo and more sophisticated products such as “Finocchiona”, “cooked Bacon” with rosemary or ‘Mortadella’ with truffle…
…to follow can enjoy the daily fresh handmade pasta, including Tortelli di magro, Tagliatelle with duck sauce, typical Piacenza Pisarei or patato dumplings with Tuscan meat sauce…
…and if you still have room to eat, I recommend the homemade desserts."

the Gnocco Fritto is a specialty of Emilia from the Longobards tradition and that the name varies depending on the area.
In fact, “Gnocco Fritto” is the traditional name used in the provinces of Modena and Reggio Emilia, but in the province of Bologna it becomes “Crescentina” while in that of Parma, “Fried Cake”.

The blend of simple ingredients like water, flour, yeast, and lard, make this a delicacy, which since the 60’s was one of the main foods of country cooking. It is fried in lard according to ancient tradition, or in oil according to a more modern cuisine. It’s best appreciated if served hot accompanied by fine cold meats and cheeses."

This is the Colonnata lardo they referenced in the
description. It's an all-fat piece that you spread on the
biscuit, top with parmagianna cheese and enjoy.
I only put a small amount of the lard spread on, and
I should have put more . . . it was so tasty. Again,
something from the Modena region.

I would have taken more photos of the food trays but I was too busy eating! The desserts were skipped but some splurged on a limoncello before moving away from the table. When in Milan, Gnoccho Fritto is a must culinary stop! I'm looking forward to our next visit when I know how and what to order . . . yums.

After we ate the feast following yesterday's "we're not eating for another week!" statement, we walked along the canal again because it was Street Market Day. They close the small street along both sides of the canal for an outdoor antique market on Sundays.

I decided to focus on the manual typewriters . . .

But then the telephones yelled at me to take their photo!

It didn't take long for the mannequins to catch my eye . . .

This mannequin especially caught my eye;
when you see 2 men walking together and one
is carrying this newly-acquired possession,
they very politely said yes to my request for a photo.
Unfortunately, the photo does not do justice to the
colorful artwork.

That's it for tonight. Tomorrow, we embark on our 4-day adventure along the Italian and southern French coast of the Mediterranean Sea. We expect to stay in Saint-Raphael and in Saint-Tropez the next 3 nights, and drive back to Milan on Thursday.


P.S.  Don't forget to sign up for Lisa Lee's Holiday Inchie class at Art 'n Soul on Saturday, December 10. Call the store for more details at 360.357.6820 or email the store at When you see the sample cards at the store, you'll know you don't want to miss out, especially if you're part of the Art 'n Soul Inchie Club!

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