While I was looking up something or other in a copy of Saveur magazine, I encountered an Roman Easter feast within the pages. Baby and I had planned to have a few friends over for the upcoming holiday and it seemed like these recipes would make an extraordinary meal indeed.
We had a lot of fun decorating the table with grandly colorful
foil-wrapped chocolate eggs (we removed them before sitting down so we
could see one another), pastel napkins, and chocolate Lindt carrots dangling off of the glasses.
This little fellow doesn't seem like he's headed for a great fall, perched on tiered cake stands; rather it appears he's in for a great Spring!
We ventured on to our first pasta course: Fettuccine alla Romana, with beef, pork, chicken livers, and a sumptuous short rib in red wine sauce.
Artichoke hearts marinated with wine, lemon, olive oil and topped with fresh chopped mint and crispy bacon served as the pause. I riffed on this recipe, using canned artichokes and not cooking the artichokes as that would make them mushy. I simply poured the hot sauce over them, tossed with mint and lemon (to prevent them discoloring) and let cool before putting in the refrigerator to marinate for a few hours. The bacon was my idea.
The collective plunge continued with a second, simpler fettuccine with fava beans, that featured onions, pancetta and escarole tossed about in olive oil. As that was made on the spot, I didn't have the time to take a picture of it!
Handsome lamb served as the centerpiece of the meal, coated in olive oil, and stuffed with garlic and rosemary, shown here, about to go in the oven. I followed the basic recipe but used a leg of lamb instead of the whole thing, as the recipe suggests.
This pyramid-shaped, tiramisu flavored with orange was unlike anything I had ever seen or
made. It wasn't that hard in execution--it just needs several hours to
chill ahead of time--but boy, was it good! Savaoiardi ladyfingers are soaked in cream and Cointreau and spread out like spokes of a wheel, followed by a layer of mascarpone cheese, heavy cream and orange zest. This is repeated in smaller layers to form the pyramid shape, using about 40 ladyfingers.
After our grateful glut, we retired to the sofa and put our feet up on the coffee table, stuffed to the gills. Look at the light in that incredible sky!
And of course, a spray of yellow tulips. Happy Easter!
Soundtrack: Quincy Jones, Hip Hits; Blossom Dearie, Stephane Grappelli, Shades of Django, Horace Silver; Miles Davis, Birth of the Cool
After weathering a soul-shredding career as a theatrical agent that lasted entirely too long, Mr. Sherwood left his stable of actors from the stage and screen and went on to pursue his literary aspirations. He is currently the dining editor for Next magazine (nextmagazine.com) where he writes a weekly restaurant review column which also features Manhattan's best food and drink recipes from the finest chef's and bartenders on the island. In 2010 he was published in Foodista’s Best of Food Blogs Cookbook. He toiled as web editor for industry leader Interior Design magazine for several years and has also written for New York magazine, Travel & Leisure and Woman’s Day.
A proud graduate of the University of New Hampshire, one of the nation’s top drinking schools, Mr. Sherwood also studied voice and theater abroad at Regent’s College, in London’s historic Regent’s Park, and at the Royal Academy of Music. He spent a year at Hunter College in Manhattan.
Mr. Sherwood recently published his first novel, the pale of memory, available on Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com, and iUniverse.com. He is in the midst of writing a second.
Twitter/tweet/twat him @kaleidabox