Celebrating Ferragosto

Cecconi's holds a porchetta roast in honor of the summer festival.

Ferragosto and the beach? It's a longtime pairing that many Italians look forward to all summer long.

But the August 15 holiday is celebrated around the globe in various quarters, of course, not just the gorgeous sandy stretches of La Italia. San Juan Capistrano has feted the traditional summer holiday in the past, though the 2012 party has been postponed for various reasons.

There is a way, though, if you're in SoCal, to mark the Italian holiday, if you're not planning on spending it in the sun with family: Cecconi's West Hollywood is holding a full Porcetta roast on Sunday, Aug. 12, a few days ahead of the actual date.

The savory details? Chef Andrea Cavaliere will roast a whole pig over open flame. There will be many herbs involved -- think fennel and rosemary, plus garlic -- and the entire affair will spread out on the Cecconi's patio at 2 p.m. The price for a plate is $26.

We like the alfresco element; if you can't be on the Amalfi coast or the Italian Riviera, kicking off your summer holiday spread along with other revelers, you can enjoy a bit of warm weather and sunshine and porcetta, which is the dish much associate with Ferragosto.

Oh, and if you're interested in joining the Capistrano festival? Keep a watch for next year, when it hopes to return with street painting, eats, and traditional revelries.

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