Bigoli al Tastasale
You really haven’t experienced Vicenza, much less the Veneto — its regional matriarch — until you’ve sat down at the table and enjoyed a traditional pasta dish of
in some fashion. BIGOLI
These moist, thick, round and lengthy noodles — made with eggs and whole-wheat flour — are one of the culinary cornerstones that define Vicenza, its province and the Greater Veneto region. It’s not the only star of la cucina Veneta, but it’s one of the most popular.
Bigoli is topped with a variety of different sauces, like: l’anitra (duck meat), ragu’ alla bolognese (meat, pork or a mixture of both in tomato sauce), salsa (anchovies and onions) and this recipe’s co-star, (minced and seasoned pork meat). TASTASALE
In late fall across Italy, when all those little piggies go to the market, the freshly minced and seasoned pork that goes into sausage making is sometimes set aside and sold fresh or in packets, much like hamburger meat, for use in meat sauces — ragu‘ — to go into a risotto or over pasta, like our . That style of rice or pasta dish is called BIGOLI . al tastasale
Around the Veneto, a butcher who specializes in pork-only products is known as a . masciaro
When preparing the fresh pork for processing into sausage or
, the TASTASALE masciaro minces the pork and adds various herbs and spices to make each run slightly different from the previous lots and the ones to follow.
To guard against adding too much salt into the mixes, the masciari are constantly checking the contents. Someone along the “assembly line” will yell out to someone else, It’s from the Italian verb TASTA SALE! — to feel, examine, test — and TASTARE (salt). Put the two words together and, SALE Voila!, . TASTASALE
Let’s head into the kitchen and get to work.
Tom is a veteran print-broadcast journalist who resides in the Colli Euganei (Euganean Hills) in the province of Padova in the Veneto region of northestern Italy. He hosts the eclectic travel/foodie/photography blog
, is a regular contributor to Los Angeles-based The Palladian Traveler.com , and is a member of the TravelingBoy.com . Feel free to follow Tom as he “meanders along the cobblestone to somewhere.” International Travel Writers Alliance