VILLA Food & Drink Special Feasts Spring Winter Saturnalia


Io Saturnalia!

Gvstvm | Mensa Prima | Mensa Secunda



Boletos Aliter
Seasoned Mushroom Stems
I lb (I kg) mushroom stems (or whole mushrooms
I handful fresh lovage or parsley
II tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. honey
I tbsp garum (or substitute Nuoc Mam, or fish sauce, available in most oriental food stores)

Finely chop lovage or parsley. Cut the stems into small pieces and sauté in a pan with olive oil, pepper, lovage or parsley, honey and garum.

Romans used this method to cook large wild meadow mushrooms; it is also good for both boletus and cultivated mushrooms

-- from A Taste of Ancient Rome, by Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa

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Mensa Prima

Porcvs Troianvs
Roast Stuffed Suckling Pig
Porcvs Troianvs was a key feature of the Saturnalia feast; it was so named because it was stuffed with "several other animals that were closed inside in the same manner that the Trojan horse was filled with warriors." (Macrobius, Saturnalia).

I suckling pig (VIII-X lb.)
V apples
II large onions
I quart bread crumbs
IV tbsp melted butter
IV tbsp chopped parsley
sage or ginger

Wash the pig inside and out with a weak solution of baking soda, paying special attention to the head openings and mouth. Pour water off and lay the pig in salt water for about XV minutes. Dry thoroughly.

Rub the inside of the pig well with salt. If desired, pepper and sifted sage or ginger may also be rubbed on the inside of the pig.

Mix bread crumbs with peeled and finely chopped apples, onions, chopped parsley and melted butter. Add salt and pepper to taste and enough milk to moisten the mixture. Stuff the pig with this mixture.

Sew openings of pig together. Cover the legs and ears with oiled paper and tie the legs back. Put a corn cob into the pig's mouth to keep the jaws open.

Place the pig into a roasting pan in very hot oven until brown; then reduce heat to moderate until done. Baste frequently with plenty of fat. Do not allow any water or steam to form, as it is likely to burst the skin and spoil the meat.

Put the peeled potatoes in the roasting pan around the pig about 3/4 of an hour before pig is done. The time required for cooking the pig is about X to XII minutes per pound.

When done, insert a red apple into the mouth of the pig and place the pig on a larger platter on a bed of parsley. Surround the pig with baked apples.

This recipe is from Food & Wine.

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Mensa Secvnda

Ova Sfongia ex Lacte
(Pancakes with Milk
(Apicus. 7, 13, 8)

IV eggs
I cup milk
II tbsp olive oil
III tbsp. honey
ground pepper or poppy seeds to taste

Mix eggs, milk and oil until you have a pancake dough. This is a sweet fritatta, but don't fry this one on both sides; as soon as it pulls away from the pan, turn it onto a plate, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with pepper or poppy seeds.

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-- from A Taste of Ancient Rome , by Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa