Redentore Feast and a traditional recipe

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Redentore Feast and a traditional recipe

In july there is an important celebration in Venice: the Redentore feast and if you want to be there you should start to book now, well in advance, otherwise soon, in Venice it will be difficult to find free places.

The Feast of the Redentore falls every year on the third Sunday of July in honour of the construction of the Church of the Redentore on the island of Giudecca, whose first stone was placed on the third Sunday of 1577, by the behest of the Doge Alvise Mocenigo, to thank the Madonna and the Saints of the end of the plague that had decimated the Venetian population.

Even today a bridge of boats is set up that crosses the Giudecca Canal on which the entire city of Venice goes in procession, to the Church of the Redentore.

Initially the votive bridge was built alongside 80 galleys, but it soon passed to more economical and practical rafts. Starting from the years ‘ 50 of the twentieth century, the votive bridge was assembled by the Italian military genius as an exercise exploiting a Bailey Bridge of English origin (made with modular elements of iron and wood) abandoned by the Allies at the end of the second World War, until in 2002 it was replaced by a more modern modular floating bridge.

The votive Bridge of the Redeemer is the oldest and in 400 years things have changed and the bridge was built with more and more modern systems. Today it is built with a modular system that constitutes a “bridge of boats” configuration. The base modules and the access walkways, thanks to their modularity, ensure a flexibility of use that makes them usable for other events.

The crossing has a total development of 333.6 M. The usable width is 3.6 m. The Central gate (high 4.2 m) allows the transit of the boats, the illumination of the bridge is ensured by lamps housed under the handrail, while the signalling lights are arranged in correspondence with the gates.

 

Here are the traditional recipe of  typical food of Redentore Feast:

Le sarde in saor

Ingredients:

  • 700 g fresh sardines
  • 1,4 Kg white onions
  • soft wheat flour, as much as needed
  • peanut oil, as much as needed
  • extra-virgin olive oil, as much as needed
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 spoonful of sugar
  • half a glass of vinegar
  • 2 spoonfuls of raisins (optional)
  • 1 spoonful of pine nuts (optional)

 

Sardines are a meagre fish and must be deep-fried, whereas the onions must be first stewed, then lightly fried and, finally, be added some vinegar and be reduced. This mixture doesn’t simply flavour the sardines, but preserves them, as well, given that they need to stand at least a couple of days, in order to be flavoured enough.

There are, besides, some small and refined variations on the theme: soaked raisins and/or pine nuts can be added to the mixture of onions and vinegar, alternatively white wine can either completely or partly replace vinegar to get a more delicate, and less strong, flavour.

The ingredients are therefore few and simple, but their high-quality is required for a good outcome: sardines must be ultra fresh, and onions must come from the area of Venice, since the saor is made from Chioggia’s white onions.

The dish is best served cold with slices of white polenta.

PREPARATION:

Discard the sardines’ heads, scrape out their entrails and wash them under cold water.  Dry them and cover them with flour, then sieve them to remove excess flour.

Now it’s time to fry them in peanut oil, which must be boiling. When they’re browned on both sides, lay them on blotting paper and sprinkle them with salt.

The next step is preparing the onions: cut them into thin slices and fry them lightly in olive oil. As soon as they’re golden, add pepper, salt, sugar and vinegar and let the last one evaporate. After that, you can remove the pan from your gas ring. And this your saor.

Now take a bowl and alternate a layer of sardines with a layer of saor and raisins – previously soaked in lukewarm water – and pine nuts. In order for the flavours to mix perfectly, you must let your dish stand for at least one day. Don’t forget to serve them cold!

 

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