In Its richness, in its monumentally robust flavor, squab soup makes me think of legendary feasts in some earlier, hardier century. It is, in fact, one of the oldest dishes in the cuisine of the Veneto, its roots perhaps too deep to establish its provenance exactly. Its origin is attributed, depending on the scholar, to Verona, to Treviso, to one or another of the Veneto’s towns. The version I have liked the best was in Treviso, whose home cooking may be the most interesting in all Italy, and this recipe is based on that.
The squab are first pan-roasted in butter, with a soffritto of carrots and celery, until the meat is fully cooked. They are then boned, combined with sautéed bread slices, Parmesan, broth, and baked for 3 hours.
In my preceding books I shrank from putting in a dish so laborious to prepare. Then, one evening, I was surprised to be served excellent sopa coada made by Susan Lescher, the literary agent. If a busy woman and young mother like Susan could tackle it, I decided some of my readers might. To compensate for the long preparation, sopa coada can be done far in advance and it is so satisfying that you need cook little else to go with it.
It is a memorable meal, elegant and deeply satisfying, all by itself. To offset its weight, I would precede it with Tomatoes Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Chives, and before getting to dessert, follow it with Lemon, Cucumber, and Pepper Salad.
© 1986 Marcella Hazan estate. All rights reserved.