On 10 February 1394 in Florence, a resolution of the Republic established that the Councillors of Mercanzia, the University of Mercanti, the Proconsul and the Consuls of all Craftsmen should offer “torchiettos de cera” every year, in perpetuity, for the feast of San Lorenzo on 10 August.
The members of the Craftsmen of Bakers of the city (among whom we can find the pasta makers who didn’t form their own group until the end of the 16th century in Italy) would make their ritual offer to the church of Orsanmichele, where we can still admire a fresco depicting San Lorenzo painted on a pillar with the symbol of the Craftsmen on it.
However, the most important religious festival was celebrated in the Laurentian basilica and in the district of San Lorenzo where many bakers carried out their activities, who would decorate their workshops with bread baked into imaginative forms for the occasion and with “lasagna”, which was then eaten during the holiday. It was “a kind of wheat pasta, thin, and in the form of a wide strip or ribbon, slightly rippled on one side, which was mostly used for soup”.
This is precisely the same particular pasta shape that we have been producing in our Pasta Factory with the same die for more than 70 years, today called “pappardella”. In our family, the feast of San Lorenzo has been celebrated every 10 August for generations and the famous pappardelle are naturally part of the day’s menu.
In Florence and Chianti, the pappardella di San Lorenzo is traditionally cooked with a ragù made with hare (called “sulla lepre” in Chianti), rabbit or wild boar. Pappardelle can also be enjoyed with a creamy tomato, ricotta and basil sauce.