Porsena’s Monday Night Abruzzi Menu


First course: local sardines

A friend and I went to Porsena last week to check out the menu from Abruzzi being mounted there every Monday in February (including tonight and next Monday night) as part of a regular series of regional menus from Italy. Abruzzi is the remote region which lies on the other side of the Apeninne Mountains from Rome. The three-course feast will set you back $35. After the meal, I talked with chef Sara Jenkins, daughter of cookbook author Nancy Harmon Jenkins, and fellow Organ Meat Society member, about the series.

Second course: maccheroni alla chitarra with clams and artichokes

“Monday night is always a slow night in the restaurant business. So we dreamed up this series to try to fill the place up. And it does,” she said, gesturing at the two dining rooms, which were nearly full. Jenkins grew up in Rome and Tuscany, and has been eating and cooking regional Italian food all her life. Previous regions covered have included Lazio and Calabria.

She was particularly proud of the sardines. “They come from Rhode Island, and somehow taste different than other sardines. I was going to feature them in a more elaborate dish, but when I tasted them, I just decided to fry them with a few crumbs and garnish with parsley and lemon.” She definitely made the right choice.

Third course: rabbit stuffed with herbed bread crumbs

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