Christmas tables and traditional recipes

Click picture above or HERE to download file in English.

Links to recipes:

Dear friends,

Along with my wishes of a joyful Christmas celebration for all of you, I also brought some special recipes – the one of pavé, until today, was a family exclusivity... 

This time, the care with which I send you this piece of work has the warmth of burning candles, the scent of pine trees and a glow similar to the Lodestar of Christmas.


Traditional Christmas recipes - Italian Salad

Seafood - use what you like and can find.
This recipe serves about 4 people as a main course. Perhaps 6 people for an antipasto.
This recipe needs to be started about 3 hours before serving.


About 2 pounds of good quality mollusks, for example:
Manila clams, Black or green lip mussels, some shellfish
About 2,5 pounds of non-mollusk seafood, for example (frozen is OK)
Squid bodies cut into rings
Squid tentacles cut in half (so each has four or so legs)
Bay scallops (corals removed)
Pre-cooked octopus
2 lemons – 2 slices removed and the rest juiced into a bowl
1 cup of white wine
Salt, pepper and hot paprika (or chili flakes)
15 or so pitted Sicilian olives
1 tablespoon of drained capers
1 can of artichoke hearts or 1/2 a bag of frozen artichoke hearts (defrosted)
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut into large chunks
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup of red-wine vinegar
1/2 cup chopped parsley
Salad greens

Special equipment:
Lemon juicer
Slotted spoon
Flat-bottomed container with a locking lid for marinating
A small whisk


Place the clams in a covered pot with cold water for about 1 hour and up to 2 hours. This will force the clams to expel their sand and grit.
De-beard the mussels by pulling off the black hairy outgrowth extending from between the top and bottom shell. Rub the exterior of the shells under cold water to remove as much growth on the shell as possible. Place in a bowl with ice to cover.
Place all the non-mollusk seafood in a colander and rinse with cold water. If they are frozen, rinse every so often to defrost and let drain.
Prepare both a large pot with boiling salted water with a slice of lemon and an ice-bath in a large bowl (stainless steel or ceramic).
Plunge the non-mollusk seafood into the boiling water. Allow the water to come back to a boil and cook for 1 minute.
With a slotted spoon, remove the seafood and lemon slice to the ice bath and let cool until it’s cold to the touch. Drain well and place in a container that will be used for marinating.
Empty the pot used for boiling and rinse. Add the white wine to the pot with the second slice of lemon. Add the mollusks. Watching the pot carefully, bring to a boil until the shellfish begin to open. With the slotted spoon, remove the opened shellfish to a bowl. Let the rest of the shellfish to continue to cook and open. Remove the open shellfish and the lemon slice to the bowl as they open. Discard any clams and mussels that don’t open.
When the shellfish is cool, add to the container for marinating – including the shells.
With your hands, tear the olives apart and add to the container. Add the capers too. Slice the artichokes hearts into quarters and add.
In a bowl, add the lemon juice, red-wine vinegar, olive and garlic. Season with a good pinch of salt, pepper and hot paprika (or chili flakes). Let stand for 10 minutes.
Whisk again and remove the garlic with the slotted spoon and discard.
Add the marinade to the container with the seafood. Seal with the lid and flip over several times. Marinate at room temperature for about 1 hour.
Arrange the salad greens on a platter and with a slotted spoon, serve the marinated seafood salad over the greens. Sprinkle the salad with the chopped parsley.
Serve with bread for enjoying the sauce.

Traditional Christmas recipes - Zuppa di Ravioli


3 links of sweet Italian sausage (casings removed) 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 cup of chopped sweet onion 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 cartons beef broth 1 cup red wine (never use a wine in your cooking that you wouldn't drink-make it a good one) 1 can diced tomatoes (do not drain) 1 8 oz can tomato sauce 1 tbsp organic sugar 3 shredded carrots 1 zucchini cut into small chunks 1 bell pepper, diced 1 cup fresh spinach leaves, stems removed 1 tsp dried basil or 4 large basil leaves, finely chopped 1/2 tsp dried oregano 1 tsp sea salt 1 tsp fresh ground pepper 1 container of four cheese ravioli (in the refrigerator pasta section of your grocery store) fresh grated Parmesan cheese for topping

Preparation method:

Break the sausages after removing the casings, and fry them in a big pot till brown. Set aside.
In the same pot, add extravirgen olive oil and fry the onion. When begining to soften, add garlic and continue frying till both are softened, but not browned.
Add the beef broth, the wine, sugar, tomatoes, carrots, basil, oregano, salt and pepper, tomato sauce, zucchini, peppers and the sausages. 
Leave a teapot with water on the fire in case the soup thickens too much and you need to add a little water.
Boil for about 40 minutes. Add the raviolis and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
Add the spinach and, when softened, turn off the heat and serve with grated parmesan cheese and toasted garlic bread (or garlic croutons).

Traditional Christmas recipes - Tiramisù

It consists of layers of sponge cake (usually substituted by English style biscuits or ladyfingers) soaked in coffee, interspersed with a mascarpone cream and then sprinkled with dark chocolate. But the original recipe admits many variations.

Ingredients (4 servings): 

250g mascarpone200g fresh cream1 egg white2 tbsp sugar25 pistachios20 cherriesBrandy - 1/2 glass1 package of Ladyfingers (sponge finger biscuits)1 cup milkCinnamon

Preparation method:

Whip the cream and fold the mascarpone into it. Add the sugar and the previously whisked egg whites. Divide the mixture in three thirds. Wash the cherries, remove the seeds and roughly chop them to be now mixed with one third of the whisked cream. Do the same with the pistachios.

Set aside these two mixtures - the cream with cherries and the cream with pistachios. Mix together the milk and the Grappa (if impossible, cognac) in a bowl where you will rapidly dip the biscuits.
Take one of the cups in which the tiramisù will be served and, at the bottom of it, spoon a the cream with pistachios then lay over some of the soaked biscuits.
Spoon over a bit of the mascarpone "white" cream, make another layer of soaked biscuits and, finally, spoon the cream with cherries.
Finish by sprinkling some cinnamon and garnishing with some cherries if desired. Place in freezer for two hours and serve it. 

Traditional Christmas recipes - Pavé Uncle John


250 g sugar
5 egg yolks
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
1 package of Ladyfingers (sponge finger biscuits)
250 g unsalted butter not chilled
Port wine
Sliced roasted almonds

Preparation method:

Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until the mixture is white.
Add butter, beat well, then add cocoa powder and beat again. Reserve it.

Pour Port wine on a deep dish till 1,5 cm high.
Rotate the biscuits in the wine avoiding to soak them too much or to let them very dry.
When the wine is lower than 1,5 cm, pour more of it.

In a rectangular dish, preferably crystalware, make a layer of soaked biscuits lying all in the same direction, being careful to keep the design of the dish (rectangle) but on a smaller dimension.
Cover this layer with part of beaten mixture.

For the second layer, the biscuits must be arranged in reverse to the previous layer and, then, covered with another part of the beaten mixture. And so on.

At the end, cover the dessert all over with the rest of the mixture and run on the surface the teeth of a fork in order to decorate it.

Let it chill a bit. As soon as the surface begins to harden, decorate the pavê with the slices of roasted almonds and put it in the refrigerator freezer for at least 12 hours before serving it.


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