Part 2 - 20 Christmas Dishes from different Italian regions

Pimonte - Poached Martine Pears in Nebbiolo

Martine pears in spiced red wine are a delicious winter dessert, which is traditionally prepared especially at Christmas. Made with martine pears, Nebbiolo red wine, spices and sweetened, in this version, with maple syrup. 

Valle d'Aosta - Micòoula sweet bread

Christmas in the Aosta Valley smells of sweet bread baked in village ovens.  Among these is micòoula, the forerunner of panettone, made of rye and wheat flour to which chestnuts, raisins, figs and other local products are added to make it richer.

Mix everything well and transfer into a piping bag, to make filling the capon easier. Stuff the capon with the prepared filling and finally sew up the abdominal slit so that it does not come out during cooking. Cut the celery, carrot and onion into pieces and arrange them on the bottom of a baking tray together with the garlic and herbs. Place the capone on top and season with a good drizzle of oil and a pinch of coarse salt to distribute more on the vegetable base than on the meat. Transfer to a preheated oven at 180°C and when the capon is also hot, sprinkle it with half a glass of Madeira. Let it evaporate, then continue cooking for at least 2 hours. During this time, check the capon often and keep it well hydrated with the bottom (diluted with a little water if necessary). This will prevent the skin from breaking.

Lombardia - Stuffed Capone

Pollin de Natal” - stuffed Capone - is the name of the traditional second course of Milanese Christmas. And is an absolute must on the Christmas table ; the important thing is that it is a farmyard animal. Grazie a Il Cucchiaio D'Argento for the recipe!


For the capon and its sauce: 1 capon weighing 2 kg already cleaned; 1 carrot; 1 stalk of celery; 1 onion; 1 clove of garlic; rosemary and sage, as well as laurel. A glass of Madeira or Port wine; 200 g of fresh cream; extra virgin olive oil; coarse salt. For the stuffing: 150 g of minced beef; 150 g of sausage; 20 boiled chestnuts; a handful of natural pistachios; 30-40 g of milk; 1 egg; 50 of grated Parmigiano Reggiano; nutmeg; salt; pepper


To prepare the stuffed capon, start by collecting the minced meat with the hand-seeded sausage in a bowl. Add the milk, egg, parmesan and a grating of nutmeg. Mix everything together and then blend until chopped into a smooth mixture. Then add the chopped pistachios and chestnuts.

Last Steps: Dedicate yourself to the accompanying sauce once the capon is cooked. Collect the cooking juices in a saucepan by passing it through a sieve. Add a generous dose of Madeira, bring to the boil and add the cream.Let it thicken a little while stirring. If you need to make the sauce more velvety, dissolve a teaspoon of cornstarch in a small bowl and, once the lumps have been removed, pour it into the saucepan, forming a vortex, so as to incorporate it perfectly. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a gravy boat. Serve the stuffed capon with its hot sauce.

Tuscany: Croutons and Liver Pate - Crostini di Fegatini

Tuscan liver crostini are served in all the local restaurants for Antipasti or Appetizer and each one prepares them with some slight variations. The liver crostini or black crostini are no exception, a typical appetizer of every self-respecting Christmas lunch, from Arezzo to Florence, from Siena to Versilia. 


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