Pavia is a beautiful small city to the south of Milano. My guidebook told us that, as in much of Lombardy, the salami are a speciality, particularly a goose salami! The other specialites are breaded frogs soaked in a lcoal white wine and a particular type of goats cheese. Also listed is Torta paridiso, a type of sponge cake.
Sundays can be very difficult, and the word on the street is that all the best restaurants serving real Pavese food were closed, but we found a gem of a place called Osteria is Senatore, wh9ich if any of you go to Pavia I woulld really recommend!
As is the style, the menus are long. We opted for three courses, antipasto, a primo and a secondo and were too full for puddings. But the food was excellent.
I had a pumpkin tart with an extremely short and rich chestnut flour topped with crumbs of bacon. DH had 3 varieties of lard, one from Tuscany, one that is very common in Lombardia called colonata and the third was di Arnad. These were served with hot pastry crackers and DH smiled. I can't tell you too m8uch about them, as I don't eat lard!
Me: lasagnette di zucchine cone crescenza e pomodorini pachino. This was to die for. The corgettes came swimming in the sweet tomato and crescenza cheese sauce. It was my favourite course. DH had Fusilli al ferretto con ragu di coniglio. Good. The heavy pasta was lightly coated in the light rabbit ragu. It was yummy but I had an unfortunate encounter with a skinned rabbit in the supermarket yesterday so had to make a conscious effort not to think about that while tasting. The other thing was that the serving of pasta, as a primo, was huge. Far too big!
DH, full from his pasta had Bue con castagne e polenta. (Ox with chestnuts and polenta) it had mirto garnish and was beautiful. The ox was soft and succulent with a hint of the myrtle liquor..called Sapo, in the backgound. It was a wintery filling dish. But I did not have menu envy! I had coscotto maile con mirto e potate al forno. My pork was unbelievably succulent yet still dense and toothsome, the mirto jus light and rich at the same time and the simple roast potatos were the perfect foil to a jus and meat of such perfection.
Incidently we had earlier in the day, while exploring the working monastry half way between Milano and Pavia, had the best cappucino of my life. It was rich and floaty and we drank it in a wood cabin: even the LIGHT FITTINGS were made of wood, and the two old men carving wooden things to sell, were so delighted with my delight in their coffee they made us another one and gave us a piedina di nutella...another first. Typical of the north the piedina is like a heavy crepe or a light tortilla, and filled and toasted with the Italian staple Nutella! We cut it in half to share and spent the next hour finding bits of nutella that had dripped onto our chins and fingers and clothes
but it was good.
So we ate well to day, but it was inbetween a lot of sightseeing on foot....and while others were shivering in there huge fur coats we were warm with the good food and coffe in our bellies!