Festa delle Cape 2023: discover the traditional recipes
The essence of a territory is difficult to define in words, it is a mixture of emotions, stories, scents and flavors: it is therefore better to rely on a sensory exploration, to discover its extraordinary richness and diversity thanks also to the food and wine traditions, repositories of knowledge ancient but always current. This is what Lignano Sabbiadoro offers with the "Festa delle Cape", a historic initiative born from an idea of local fishermen to introduce visitors to the culinary specialties and fish peculiarities of the upper Adriatic: a food and wine event through which Lignano and its territory tell about themselves and reveal their identity, to the scent of the sea and the brackish water of the extraordinary lagoon of Marano.
Now in its 37th edition, this year the Festa delle Cape will be held on Saturday and Sunday 4-5 and 11-12 March, two weekends in which, in the setting of Lignano Pineta, you can taste typical fish dishes: first of all, razor clams or long cappe, i.e. the "cape", the molluscs that give the initiative its name, prepared on the grill, but also the "pevarasse" (clams in Friulian dialect), breaded and saor sardines (fried and served with an onion dressing), stewed cuttlefish, squid, cod, seafood lasagna with fish-based dressing and many other local specialities.
"The food and wine tradition of Lignano Sabbiadoro is as varied as the area that surrounds it, but certainly among the many flavors that make it up, those of the sea stand out in particular" - comments Emanuele Rodeano, President of Lignano Sabbiadoro Gestioni - "For this reason, the Festa delle Cape , born and raised in this unique area, is a real celebration of the typical flavors and strong Lignano identity. By trying fish specialties such as razor clams or sardines in saor, you not only taste high quality raw materials and recipes that enhance their taste, but above all you savor the history, culture and traditions of Lignano".
In addition to stimulating awareness of the area and its fish products, the Festa delle Cape donates the proceeds to charity every year: in past editions AGMEN, the "Via di Natale", the Organ Transplant Center, the Children in Emergency and some private institutions in the area.
Some of the typical recipes have very ancient origins. Sardines in saor, for example, are a dish created to ennoble a poor fish like sardines: saor, or savor, was in fact a sweet and sour preparation based on onions and vinegar which gave this dish a long shelf life. Capes or razor clams, on the other hand, have always been more versatile, perfect for making appetizers, first courses, main courses and unique dishes to be enjoyed in any season, in winter to recreate the atmosphere of the warmer months, in summer to bring everything to the table the taste of the sea.
Here are some recipes:
Sarde in Saor
Clean the head and bones of the sardines and flour them, then fry them in abundant boiling seed oil; once the desired browning is reached, set them aside on absorbent paper to remove the excess oil and add salt. For about half a kilo of sardines, slice 750g of onions and sauté them for 15 minutes or until they begin to wilt. Then deglaze with 200ml of vinegar, 2 teaspoons of sugar, adding salt and pepper to taste, 25g of raisins and 25g of pine nuts. Arrange the onion base in a bowl and layer by alternating fried sardines and onions until all ingredients are used up. Leave to rest for at least half a day before serving.
After leaving the razor clams to soak for about an hour, to make them purge, open them with a knife and rinse them. Prepare a homogeneous mixture with breadcrumbs, 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, some parsley, 1 clove of minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste, finally adding two tablespoons of white wine. Put the razor clams in the oven, sprinkling them with the gratin mixture, adding a drizzle of oil, and cook for 10 minutes at 200°.
To best accompany these dishes and create a balance of flavors, we recommend local wines such as Sauvignon from the Collio area and Friulano, a regional native grape. The freshness and aroma of the Sauvignon contrast well with the sweet tendency of sardines in saor: despite the few ingredients, from a sensory point of view this specialty is in fact a complex dish, even for frying, and therefore requires a wine with an alcohol content able to support it. For razor clams au gratin, with a much more delicate taste-olfactory persistence, the semi-aromatic Friulano is instead recommended: fresh, dry, with a finish with a typical almond scent that perfectly balances the baked breading.