Planning a great (and easy) Christmas meal?
Italians have a great traditional festive menu that allows for much advance preparation so everyone can enjoy the most family time together during the Christmas lunch and dinner meals.
A traditional Italian Christmas feast will begin with some simple starters like crostini, a simple platter of ham and cheeses or perhaps even Pinzimonio to whet the appetite.
The first course will likely be a pasta dish that can be prepared ahead of time then reheated on the day. Commonly served is Tortellini in Brodo (Tortellini pasta in Broth) and a baked dish such as Lasagna. Don’t be surprised if there are even two first course dishes served!
Then comes the main. This again will usually be something that can be prepared ahead of time, such as roast meat served with baked potatoes and vegetables.
On the menu at Christmas in Tuscany, it is common to have Bollito Misto – mixed meats that are boiled then served with a range of homemade sauces. A vegetable side will also be prepared, possibly the delicious Tuscan pea recipe.
Dessert will likely be Panettone, Panforte or Pandoro. It is also common for mandarins or other fresh fruit to be placed on the table for guests to enjoy as a palate cleanser either before or after dessert.
To conclude the meal, a liqueur such as limoncello or grappa will be placed on the table to enjoy with an espresso coffee.
And after this delicious Christmas lunch menu?
It’s traditional to go for a lovely walk though the local town or village to visit the Presepi (nativity scenes) around town. Many locals will be about doing the same thing so it also offers a great opportunity to wish Buon Natale to the fellow locals!