Festa Italiana is just a little more than a week away. And if you’re counting down the days until you can experience the largest Italian festival in America, you should keep on reading. We’ve got the lowdown on some of the new foods you can enjoy while you’re there.
First off, pizza seems to be king this year, with three new varieties of pizza making their debut on the Festa grounds.
First up, an Italian Clementi wood-fired oven will be on the grounds for the first time in a number of years. Joe Scrima, owner of Scrima’s Pizza (Woodman’s Market, Waukesha), will be serving his wood-fired pizza – margherita and Scrima’s classic with homemade sausage – in the new Piazza area on the north end of the grounds.
And if you’re hankering for a classic slice, Angelo’s Pizza will serve both Chicago style stuffed (with cheese, sausage and pepperoni) and handmade pizzas in four varieties: cheese; cheese and sausage; cheese and pepperoni; cheese, spinach, roma tomato and garlic.
"One of the things that really sets us apart is the fact that everything is made fresh," notes Mike Albano of Angelo's. "Our dough is made fresh daily, and we even grate the cheese on premise."
Another new item, straight from the classic Italian playbook is the wild boar ragu with pasta, which will be served at the Divino Wine & Dine booth.
"The dish featured slow braised wild boar with a classic ragu featuring tomatoes and wine," notes Dean Cannestra of Divino Wine & Dine, "And it pairs really well with some of the wines available on the grounds, particularly Amarone or Montepulciano."
And if alfredo is more your style, Trattoria Di Carlo will be serving up a special version topped with matarocco, a Sicilian bruschetta topping comprised of fresh diced tomatoes, garlic, basil and olive oil. Pair that up with a glass of Santome Prosecco from Corvina Wine Co.
Another item just perfect for noshing alongside a glass (or two) of great Italian wine is the charcuterie and cheese platter from Venice Club featuring Glorioso’s delicacies including both imported and domestic meats, cheeses and olives with mini crostini.
The full list of new items and their vendors is available below:
- Bruschetta: Trattoria Di Carlo
- Bruschetta pork sandwich: Cataldo’s
- Chicago style stuffed pizza (whole or by the slice): Angelo’s Pizza
- Chicken sausage sandwich with tomato and basil: Trattoria Di Carlo
- Fish sandwich: Venice Club
- Granny apple fries: Cataldo’s
- Handmade pizza (whole or by the slice): Angelo’s Pizza
- Ice cream puff: Venice Club
- Meat and cheese platter: Venice Club
- Penne al fredo with matarocco (Sicilian bruschetta topping): Trattoria Di Carlo
- Secret recipe Italian Lemonade: Scrima’s Wood Fired Pizza
- Spicy Italian pork: Cataldo’s
- Wild boar ragu with pasta: Divino Wine & Dine
- Wood-fired pizzas: Scrima’s Wood Fired Pizza
Festa Italiana takes place July 22-24 at Henry W. Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr. Hours are Friday from 2 p.m. to midnight, Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Advance tickets are available for $10 through July 21. Tickets at the gate are $13. Children 12 and under attend for free. For more information, including special deals on tickets, visit festaitaliana.com.
Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.