Emilia-Romagna Funghi Feast

Tasting Truffles and Porcini in Sant’Agata Feltria

We recently posted about the seafood feast we had at Balnearea Beach in Puglia (the heel of Italy’s boot). Well, here is another taste of Italy, this time in the northern region of Emilia-Romagna. The area is well known for its rich agriculture and specialty foods grown there, including their abundant funghi — porcini mushrooms and truffles (remember our truffle hunting fun in Portico di Romagna?) .

"Shops on Piazza Garibaldi in Sant'Agata Feltria, Italy"

Shops on Piazza Garibaldi in Sant’Agata Feltria

During our stay at Le Case Antiche in Verucchio, we took a day trip to Sant’Agata Feltria, which is widely known for its white truffle festival in October. There we met with Giancarlo Dall’Ara, president of Associazione Nazionale Alberghi Diffusi, and other townspeople whose delightful tour of the village we’ll cover in future posts. But for now…it’s about the food!

"Loretta at Sant'Agata Feltria Tartufi in Emilia-Romagna"

Loretta at Sant’Agata Feltria Tartufi

In the village, we were welcomed at Sant’Agata Feltria Tartufi by shop owner, Loretta. With a gracious smile, she served us samples of the cheese and truffle specialties she produces, accompanied by a lovely sparkling wine. On the crackers in the photo below was served Loretta’s delicious “Salsa Funghi i Tartufi”, a spread with mushrooms, summer (black) truffles and black olives.

"Local cheese and truffle spread at Sant'Agata Feltria Tartufi"

Local cheese and truffle spread at Sant’Agata Feltria Tartufi

Look at these beautiful truffles!

"Black Truffles at Sant'Agata Feltria Tartufi"

Black Truffles at Sant’Agata Feltria Tartufi

With our taste buds fully charged, we drove just a few miles into the Apennine foothills to Pereto. The name of the village is the Italian word for “pear”, acknowledging Emilia-Romagna’s importance as a pear-growing region in Italy.

"View of Montefeltro Hills at Pereto, Italy"

View of Apennine foothills and the valley from Pereto

They were expecting us at Trattoria Ciccioni, a family-run restaurant in a pastoral setting with a view of the Apennines and valley, but we did not expect such a grand feast of freshly prepared, traditional local dishes. The trattoria is not a place that is on many tourist radars. We were fortunate to be with the locals who know the area so well and are regulars at the restaurant.

"Trattoria Ciccioni specializes in Emilia-Romagna funghi dishes in Pereto, Italy"

Trattoria Ciccioni

I wish that I had taken notes as the courses were served, but I’ll have to ask you to make do with a few photos without any detailed description. However, I’m sure you’ll be able to imagine exactly how delicious everything was! Most of dishes in the photos were made with local porcini mushrooms as a main ingredient, but each recipe was a creative variation.

"Pasta dish at Trattoria Ciccioni in Pereto, Italy"

Pasta stuffed with cheese and porcini

"Lentils and porcini soup"

Lentils and porcini soup

"Baked porcini dish"

Scallopini with cheese and porcini

"Lentil and porcini soup and bread at Trattoria Ciccioni in Pereto, Italy"

Lentil and porcini soup and porcini spread on bread

"Spinach and porcini fritters"

Spinach and porcini fritters

It’s not all about porcini

There were also plenty of other options, including this delectable prosciutto.

"Slices of prosciutto served at Trattoria Ciccioni in Pereta, Italy"

Prosciutto

Porcini for dessert?

No, not for dessert. But I wouldn’t have been surprised if they had come up with some creative and tasty funghi dessert concoction!

We were ready to burst with fullness, but made room for this pudding that our English friend, Teresa, likened to trifle. Trifle or not, it was not only pretty, but refreshing and delicious. I believe we finished it all, too.

pudding

Ah, limoncello! I became quite fond of ending meals with a bit of limoncello, the Italian lemon liqueur that we enjoyed throughout Italy. It’s totally habit-forming.

"Refreshing liimoncello at Trattoria Ciccioni in Emilia-Romagna region of Italy"

Limoncello

After the feast

We took some time to look around at the many photos, letters from former patrons, and other memorabilia decorating the walls of the restaurant.

"Photos and letters on the wall of Trattoria Ciccioni, Pereto, Italy"

Photos inside Trattoria Ciccioni

In talking to our hosts, we learned about the traditional osterias in Italy which were small places where locals would come to drink wine, have conversation and play cards. The restaurant staff brought out this deck of Napoletane playing cards that were commonly used.

"Napoletane cardstraditionally played in the osterias by patrons coming in to have a glass of wine and talk to friends"

Napoletane playing cards

We said our goodbyes to our wonderful hosts and Trattoria Ciccioni staff and made our way back down the hill to Sant’Agata. We had more to see of Emilia-Romagna and more to eat back in Verucchio!

"Our host, Giancarlo Dall'Ara and friends from Sant'Agata Feltria"

Bloggers with our host, Giancarlo Dall’Ara and friends

"Owner of Trattoria Ciccioni in Pereto, Italy"

With the owner of Trattoria Ciccioni

Contact:
Trattoria Ciccioni
Via Pereto, 11, 61019 Sant’Agata Feltria, Italia
tel: (+39) 0541 929633 – fax: (+39) 0541 929633 – baby8518@gmail.com

Disclosure: Thanks to Al Vecchio Convento for providing our accommodations, meals and activities. Thanks also to Alessandra of 21Grammy and Associazione Internazionale Alberghi Diffusi for making this project possible.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

46 thoughts on “Emilia-Romagna Funghi Feast

  1. Lisa Goodmurphy

    Oh my, Cathy, I just finished dinner moments before reading this post but it has managed to make me hungry all the same! I think I would have to be getting a lot of exercise to make up for all the food I was eating if I spent much time in Emilia-Romagna!

    1. Catherine Sweeney Post author

      I get hungry looking at the pics, too. Wish I could actually convey the taste of some of these dishes via the post. We did a lot of walking in Italy, but still came home up a few pounds. 🙂

    1. Catherine Sweeney Post author

      Before this trip, mushrooms weren’t super high on my list. Wish I could have them prepared as they were in these dishes all the time.

    1. Catherine Sweeney Post author

      We weren’t actually expecting to have so many different dishes served — I didn’t have pics of them all. Each one was delicious.

  2. Jennifer

    Yum! The lential and porcini soup looks delicious. I always love a good mushroom soup, which is often hard to find in Italy. I’ll have to remember that there is also a white truffle festival here. Usually, I only hear about the Alba truffle festival, which is much further away from us from Venice.

    1. Catherine Sweeney Post author

      Yes, definitely check out the white truffle festival in October since you’re kind of “in the neighborhood”. 🙂

    1. Catherine Sweeney Post author

      Oh, that’s a good question. Don’t know how it was made, just that it was delicious. If I can find out, I’ll let you know.

  3. Mike

    I liked that photo of the countryside you slipped in there so I could see how beautiful it is there. You had me a cheese lol! The cheese and truffle spread sounds amazing but my eyes really lit up with the cheese and porcini stuffed pasta. The spinach and porcini fritters too. That was fun how you have a view of the whole journey that accompanied the food. Great post! 🙂

    1. Catherine Sweeney Post author

      Thanks — yes, the countryside was lovely throughout the area. More posts to come with scenery pics, too.

  4. Mary {The World Is A Book}

    The trouble with reading awesome food posts like this after midnight is that I will be dreaming of food on an empty stomach. All that food looks delicious and I’m not much of a mushroom fan. Who knew you can make all that with porcini. You really were treated so well on this trip. I have been enjoying learning about Emilia-Romagna through your posts. That pudding with the Limoncello looks so refreshing.

    1. Catherine Sweeney Post author

      Glad you’re enjoying the virtual tour of Emilia-Romagna with me. I wasn’t a big fan of mushroom before the trip either. But believe me, these dishes an others I had converted me.

    1. Catherine Sweeney Post author

      Going through all the comments tonight, I’m getting pretty hungry, too. Wish we could all get together for a big feast in Emilia-Romagna.

  5. Tricia

    I’m not sure which delicacy here sounds the most divine! Perhaps the Spinach & Porcini Fritters?

    I haven’t been back to Italy since I had to start eating gluten free, but am quite eager to return since I’ve read that the restaurants cook with alternative flours (almond, chestnut, etc.) and are quite flexible in whipping up alternatives.

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