Italian Food

Italian Christmas

Christmas in the Italian Alps

Ah, Christmas in Italy, where the charm of tradition effortlessly blends with the quirks of regional customs. It's a festive tapestry where every thread tells a story, some with a wink and a nudge, and others with a sublime recipe to share.

Let's embark on a whimsical journey, starting in the snowy Alps of the north. In Trentino-Alto Adige, Christmas isn't just about cheer; it's a culinary crusade. Here, tables groan under the weight of canederli (bread dumplings) and zelten (fruitcake), challenging the age-old myth that Italians only eat pasta. Fret not, for I offer recipes that will bring these Northern delights right into your kitchen, with a guarantee of fewer calories but equal joy.

Drifting down to central Italy, Tuscany embraces the yuletide spirit with a rustic elegance. Ever heard of a Christmas tree made of wine bottles? Neither have we, but if any region could pull it off, it's Tuscany. Here, panforte and ricciarelli (almond sweets) are not just desserts; they're a testament to the region's culinary prowess, and I have the perfect recipes to prove it. And in Umbria, the living nativity scenes aren't just a display; they're an inspiration for my collection of authentic and heartwarming Christmas recipes.

Finally, we arrive in the sun-drenched south, where Naples boasts a Christmas market that's a feast for the senses. The presepe (nativity scenes) here inspire a range of Neapolitan recipes, each as intricate and delightful as the figurines themselves. And let's not forget the feast of the Seven Fishes in Sicily. My recipes will guide you through this seafood extravaganza, making you an honorary Sicilian by the end of your meal.

In conclusion, Christmas in Italy is a mosaic of traditions, each with its own flavor of irony, charm, and a corresponding recipe from my collection. From the Alpine peaks to the Sicilian shores, the festive spirit thrives, now accessible through a range of sublime Italian recipes I'm offering. Buon Natale, and may your holidays be as rich, varied, and delicious as an Italian Christmas banquet!

 

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Authentic Italian Christmas Recipes

Indulge in these Italian recipes which are my all time favourites. Spread the love and Buon Natale! Con amore..Elisabetta

The Zuccotto Fiorentino

Signor Buontalenti was, in my humble opinion, one of the most inventive cooks of all time. He worked for the aristocratic family de Medici, which surrounded themselves with talent, just like Michelangelo who worked under the Medici's tutelage as well. This recipe is one of those classic and ancient Buontalenti recipes, the zuccotto, a sponge cake dough drowned in liqueur with a center of semifreddo.  

The perfect Osso Buco recipe

The recipe for this dish originated in Milan. When it is well prepared, this is one of my favourite Italian dishes, especially when it´s cold outside and you crave some real soul food. It´s a shame that many restaurants use a poor quality cuts of meat to make this dish. What is the correct name? Osso Buco, Ossobuco or Osso Bucco, I have found all 3 used in Italy, however I will stick to Osso Buco, with one c. Adding tomato, I indicated as an option in this recipe, is the way the dish is prepared in Emilia Romagna.

The only original recipe for Tiramisù

The story about the origin of the famous Italian dessert Tiramisu was first told to me by chef Celestino Giacomello of the famous hotel  Gritti Palace  in Venice. He also assured me that this dish is at least as authentic Venetian as a gondolier. 

Tarte de Mougins with black olives

This recipe is originally from Robert Vergier, the most famous chef from the Provence, who sadly passed away in 2017. His Michelin star restaurant in Mougins still exists but this aromatic savory pie is unfortunately no more on the menu. Delicious as an appetizer with an aperitif or as an antipasto, I make it at least once a year. When i recently made it for a group of Italian women, they kept asking me for the recipe, so it must be good. If possible use greek olives, which usually only sell with pits, so that's an extra quarter of an…

Risotto in 5 easy steps

With Risotto, time and care are the most important ingredients. Take out about 20 minuted to carry out the process of stirring and adding moisture. The choice of rice depends on the recipe, but at the end of the day this is a fairly simple dish that everyone should be able to make.

Rabbit stew with polenta and pomegranate

This dish with wild rabbit or hare is simple, incredibly tasty, and very festive, but it takes some patience. The polenta needs time to firm up so you can easily cut it into slices later. The origine of this dish goes to Friuli-Venzia Giulia, the mountainous regions where hunters bring home their catch for a festive meal.

Hugo - My favorite Alpine cocktail

This vibrant summer treat is slowly starting to conquer the world. In contrast to the popular Spritz Aperol from the Veneto, this cocktail does not have the slightly bitter Amaro taste, but it is light and fresh. A popular aperitivo that you will certainly encounter on holiday in Northern Italy and especially in restaurants and on terraces in the region of Trentino and Alto Adige, the apple country of Europe, the Hugo originally comes from Bolzano. The main ingredient is elderflower syrup, which you can usually find in your local health food store.

How to make the perfect Spritz Aperol

´Spritz Aperol is a nice refreshing aperitivo from the Veneto and very easy to make. Ít is a variation of the Spritz or Spritzer, a drink that was introduced to northeastern Italy during the Austrian occupation, when the Austrians were exploiting the Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia regions and found wine was too heavy to drink straight and in an effort to lighten the taste, literally added water to the wine.

How to make Italian Bombardino - A favourite ski-slope shot

in Recipes

by Elisabeth Bertrand

On the ski slopes of Cervinia in the Val d'Aosta, I first experienced the warmth of a Bombardino. This vibrant yellow drink, reminiscent of festive eggnog, was a novelty to me. Standing in the snow at an altitude of 2000 meters, with a biting cold wind, I was grateful for its warmth and hearty dash of alcohol. As I sipped, I echoed the sentiment of the drink's first taster in 1845: "This is indeed a little bomb, le's have another!"
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