5 Italian Christmas specialities
Italian Christmas specialities include a wide range of dishes from the starters, to the first and second courses, up to an incredible choice of desserts that change from a region to another. These recipes reflect the traditions of each country, but there are other recipes known at a national level.
Here we propose you 5 recipes to prepare at least once in the lifetime!
Christmas specialities: tortellini with broth
Tortellini is a first course, typical of the tradition of Emilia Romagna made with stuffed fresh pasta, served with meat broth.
In 1974 the “Confraternita del Tortellino” (in English, Brotherhood of Tortellino”) registered the official recipe of the stuffing for tortellini at the Chamber of Commerce of Bologna: pork loin, mortadella Bologna, raw ham, Parmigiano, eggs and nutmeg. The puff pastry, instead, is prepared with flour and eggs.
Christmas recipes: Cotechino
The origins of Cotechino of Modena date back to the first years of 1500, when the army of Pope Giulio II besieged the city. To preserve the pork meat, the inhabitants decided to pack it inside the rind. During the year, Cotechino was spread all over the peninsula, till it becomes one of the favourite dishes during the Christmas holidays.
The dough is made of a mix of pork meats with salt, pepper and spices and was traditional served with a side dish of lentils of cornmeal mush.
Christmas specialities: Panettone of Milan
Panettone of Milan is a symbol of Christmas and the legends about its origins are endless. According to some people, it was prepared for the first time in the shop of a baker of Milan called Toni (reason why the dessert was called Pan del Toni).
According to another version, Panettone was born by mistake by the chef Ludovico Sfroza that forgot it in the oven and it burned. It was a scullery boy to fix the mess, saving part of the dough and stuffing it with raisin and candied fruit.
According to the tradition, Panettone is a homemade dessert, where the top was engraved with a cross by the head of the family as good luck for the following year.
The dough of Panettone is at the base of water, flour, butter, eggs with candied fruit, orange or citrus zest and/or raisin.
Christmas specialities: Pandoro of Verona
Someone prefers Panettone and others are fan of Pandoro. This typical dessert of the Christmas celebrations was created at the end of ‘800, when the confectioner Domenico Melegatti, obtained a special authorization (that today could be called patent), to prepare a soft dessert with the shape of a star with eight points with perfumes of vanilla, sugar and butter that was served with a sprinkle of sugar with powdered sugar but without cream or stuffing inside it.
Christmas specialities: Nougat of Cremona
According to one of the legends about the birth and spreading of nougat, this dessert was made of almonds and honey, imported in Cremona by Arabian chef that was working at the court of Federico II in the XIII century. It was packed in rectangular sticks and there are two versions, a soft and hard one.