The Carnival

The carnival is a very popular festival loved by both adults and children, and is characterized by costumes, masks, and parades in the streets. It is linked to the Christian tradition, like the etymology of the name says. In fact, it is thought that it derives from the Latin carnem levare (“eliminate the meat”) in reference to the banquet held on Shrove Tuesday, the last day of Carnival, before the fasting period starts. At culinary level, there are many typical sweets that characterized the carnival period. However, we will focus on Carnival and tradition with pasta.

Some first courses related to the Carnival

The first dishes related to the Carnival are rich and often composed of fat and tasty ingredients. In addition to the Neapolitan Carnival lasagne, there are other typical dishes. One of them is the bucatini omelette, a first plate “masked” as second, easy to prepare and very nutritious. Another dish is colored pasta, inspired by Arlecchino’s dress: It has a tasty flavor and is extremely “scenic”.

Neapolitan Carnival lasagna

In Naples during this time, especially for Shrove Tuesday, you can enjoy a first course that has become a real institution, the Carnival lasagna. This differs from the Bolognese lasagna, first because of the pasta, made only of durum wheat flour and without eggs. The condiment is also different, the Neapolitan one, in fact, is richer: the meat sauce is enriched with brains (typical Neapolitan sausage), fried meatballs, hard-boiled eggs, fior di latte, ricotta and parmesan or pecorino. Several layers are formed (at least 5-7) in which the dressing is distributed uniformly. Each family has then its own recipe that presents small variations to the “classic” preparation.