A sagra is a local fair, usually a celebration of food, as in a preparation (sagra dei gnocci) or a raw ingredient (sagra del pesce [fish]). Local customs, dancing, music, sporting events, and children’s activities are usually included as well. Think about our Wurstfest, or even the Chronicle’s Hot Sauce Festival, as a sagra. Last week we attended a sagra at Sagra Enoteca & Trattoria, the small neighborhood outpost for informal, simple, and inexpensive Italian dining. The owners, Gabriel and Sarwat Pellegrini, throw these parties on occasion as a way to thank their customers. All food is free, drink specials abound, and a great time is had by all. The food they celebrate every August is porchetta, the classic Italian boneless stuffed roasted pork.
We arrived at Sagra to find it already packed. Luckily I had reserved a table! We started with my favorite summer cocktail of today, an Aperol spritz, made with Aperol bitters, dry prosecco, and fresh lemon and orange. Light in alcohol and super refreshing, I swear it’s the cure for summer. I could drink a pitcher of the stuff.
The menu was served a la carte, starting with a salad of mixed greeens, oven-rosted grapes, pecans, and honey-gorgonzola vinaigrette. Then came the main attraction: a huge slice of porchetta stuffed with fennel, rosemary and garlic, served with homemade spaghetti tossed with fresh pesto, grape tomatoes, and canellini beans, and a zucchini and tomato layered casserole with cheese and fresh herbs:
Hard to believe, but I couldn’t resist ordering dessert. I usually stay away from sweets but lately I have been craving cake. So, it was a flourless bitter chocolate torte topped with homemade blood orange sorbet (I love chocolate and orange together!) and a drizzle of salty caramel sauce. On the side, a glass of Broadbent oporto. Oh man…
I suggest you visit Sagra sometime soon, you won’t be disappointed. And make sure you sign up for their newsletter so you can be in the know for their next sagra.