Part 3 - Christmas Dishes from different Italian regions

Veneto - Red Radicchio - 2 delicious Recipes for Christmas Lunch

The Christmas lunch in Veneto has the flavor of a seasonal vegetable and the color of Christmas par excellence, red. The vegetable? Radicchio! And the dishes? A Radicchio salad and a Radicchio Risotto, with Carnaroli grown in the rice fields east of Venice . The delicate Treviso Radicchio will be crunchy and with the characteristic bitterish tone.

Ingredients for the Salad: 

250 g Verona celery; 200 g red radicchio from Treviso

1 pear; walnut kernels; extra virgin olive oil; lemon

salt; pepper. 


Preparation: Wash and peel the Treviso radicchio. Clean the Verona celery and cut it into fillets (to prevent them from blackening, immerse them gradually in cold water). Wash and remove the core and stem from the pear, then cut it into thin slices. Assemble the salad by placing the pear slices, radicchio leaves and, in the centre, the celery fillets on the saucers. Complete by adding some walnut kernels. Prepare the citrus sauce for the seasoning: squeeze a lemon, filter the juice and mix it with 6 spoonfuls of oil poured in slowly. Complete with salt and pepper and serve the salad with the dressing on the side.

A great Christmas classic in Veneto? Certainly the Radicchio risotto which brings together two excellent products: Arborio rice, from the province of Verona, and red radicchio grown between Treviso and Chioggia.To give a stronger flavor to our Radicchio risotto, you can use taleggio cheese instead of butter for the final creaming. It's not strictly a Venetian cheese, but it tastes scrumptious!!!

Emilia-Romagna: Tortellini and Cappelletti

The table is set for Christmas in the Emilia-Romagna and opulent as expected. Among platters of cured meats, boiled meats, cotechini and zamponi, lasagne and green tortelli, a place of honor goes to tortellini or cappelletti or anolini, small treasure chests of fresh egg pasta. The most famous of the Emilian stuffed pastas are tortellini alla Bolognese, filled with pork loin, raw ham, mortadella from Bologna, parmesan, egg and nutmeg.

Umbria: Spaghetti alla Nursina and Roasted Lamb

For the Christmas holidays, regional cuisine draws on those traditional recipes based on meat, which acts as the main course, with abundant pasta first courses, rich appetizers to open and homemade desserts to close. For starters or Antipasti Crostini with Olive spread.  All you need is simple homemade bread toasted in the oven and rubbed with garlic before spreading the olive pâté on top. For the first course Spaghetti Alla Nursina. Made with thinly sliced truffle, anchovies browned with a drizzle of oil and garlic, basil, ingredients that form a sauce in which the spaghetti is then drained al dente and stirred before sprinkling it with parsley. For the main Dish:  Either Lamb - either grilled cutlets or breaded and fried. Or alternatively Roasted Pigeon - typical for the Perugia region. 

For the Crumbed Lamb Costolette:

12 Lamb cutlets; 3 egg; 1 lemon: the zest and juice; Flour to taste; bread crumbs; to taste fine salt


Clean the cutlets by eliminating excess fat with a knife. Let's beat them a little using a meat mallet or, if we don't have one, use the bottom of a glass. Break the eggs into a bowl and beat them with a fork. Add the juice and grated lemon zest to the eggs, a pinch of salt and mix to combine everything. Make the breading by passing the ribs first in the flour, then in the egg and finally in the breadcrumbs. Heat a pinch of seed oil in a pan and fry the ribs for 2-4 minutes per side, depending on their size. When they are golden brown, drain them, place them on absorbent paper and serve them with a few slices of lemon, a sprinkling of parsley and a little salt.

And to finish of - for dessert: Panpepato. The famous ‘peppered bread’ (a kind of Panforte). Either the traditional version with nuts and dried fruits or decadent with chocolate. Another local dessert is the Macaroni with walnuts. Cold dish consisting of strangozzi seasoned with a sweet mince made from walnut kernels, cinnamon, breadcrumbs, sugar and pine nuts.

Write a comment

Comments: 0