ITALIAN CHRISTMAS DINNER MENU
Christmas is such a beautiful time of the year to share delicious food in the company of loved ones and there are often lots of opportunities for catch ups with friends and also to enjoy some time at home.
My wife and I really love entertaining, and when we do, it usually means loooong meals that start with antipasti and end with a number of desserts – so everyone can pace themselves and enjoy each course.
Nonna has a very traditional meal for Christmas in her home but I have to admit, being away from home in Italy, I like to change it up a bit and in this video I am sharing my recommended Italian christmas dinner menu for this coming christmas.
The recipes featured are Italian specialties that come from different regions in Italy and I think we are pretty lucky to enjoy all of these on the same day, thanks to the beautiful produce and ingredients we have access to.
One of my wife’s favourite parts of the meal is a unique cheese antipasto board so instead of just slicing up cheese, you can be inspired to create this Italian Cheese Plate. The little parmesan baskets filled with fennel and cheese are not only cute to look at, they are simply scrumptious and are a very original take on a mini salad. Combine these with truffle pecorino bruschetta and radicchio and asiago wrapped in prosciutto and you have a restaurant worthy plate on your very own dining table!
It’s always refreshing to serve a cocktail to guests too and I find at this time of year you cannot go wrong with an Aperol Spritz. It’s light, refreshing and the perfect accompaniment to a salty cheese plate.
Now don’t overdo it on the platter because it goes without saying that Sicilian Arancini are divine all year around so why don’t you impress everyone and make your own either small – to serve on the platter – or larger so they have their own platter in the middle of the table and everyone can enjoy them while the cheese is still melting in the middle. Creating more than one type of arancini would be perfect too, maybe a vegetarian option to keep it a little lighter? You could even just stuff them with cheese…anyone seeing a pattern here..?!
For the primo, there is no going past my Nonna’s Ultimate Lasagna. I love it so much I can barely talk about it without my mouth watering or running into the kitchen to start making it. Even though I’m proud of how I recreate this particular dish, it will never quite taste the same as Nonna’s, but Ill never give up trying!
The main must be a centrepiece and there is nothing better than an Italian Porchetta with the crunchiest pork crackling on top. If you have a woodfire oven, please try cooking yours in there this year…the taste is unmistakable.
For the moment of “I dolci” (Desserts), there has to be more than one and I suggest two of my festive favourites. The Italian Christmas Tree Cake can be made in no time on the day – no cooking or baking involved – and then sweet honey coated Struffoli can be made ahead and enjoyed for a few days!
Still hungry? When we get together with the larger family, cooking together becomes part of the fun so as a snack we often make Zeppole Calabresi which is a deep fried dough that can be made with different stuffings…
Ok, now I’m hungry. Time to get in the kitchen, what will you be making this Christmas?
BUON NATALE to you and your family…
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