Kosher goose is nowadays only available in the US and in Italy through a few select butchers, or only at certain times of the year. But just a few centuries ago, starting in the Middle Ages and continuing through the Renaissance, goose had become the main source of meat for most Jewish communities in Western Europe, from German-speaking countries to the Italian peninsula. Goose was to the Jews what pork was to Christians: where the Gentiles used lard, the Jews cooked with goose fat; the meat was eaten roasted and stuffed or used to prepare sausages, salamis and kosher “prosciutto“. It was the “Kosher Pig”!
Several versions of this dish are still a popular Rosh HaShana main course in different Italian cities, of course only those years when we can get our hands on a goose.
(A widespread variation is a turkey meatloaf enclosed in the turkey skin, which I will add later.)
On a personal note, while I’m obsessed with this recipe, I am not going to serve it for Rosh HaShana this year, because the last time my husband (who is squirmy about meat in general) saw me stitch the neck with the trussing needle, he went 100% vegan for two weeks.
A quick and traditional pasta sauce used for Shabbat in many communities in Northern Italy is the juice
left over from roasting lean cuts of meat.
Use high-quality Italian olive oil, a couple of garlic cloves (whole), rosemary, salt and pepper.
Serve some of this sauce with the roast meat, but use what’s left to dress egg noodles (tagliolini or fettuccine).
A cold version of this pasta is the Agresto, or Bagna Brusca, in which lemon juice and egg are added to the meat juices after the pasta has been allowed to cool off. In this case, serve at room temperature.