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Christmas is the favourite time of the year for many people. It’s celebrated throughout the entire world, and Italy is not an exception. This time of the year is known for gifts, family sharing altogether and food. Most delicious food is prepared during Christmas and that is the undeniable reason why so many people enjoy holidays.

Most people enjoy being surrounded by their relatives, and Italian families are some of the most familiar ones. It is a pleasure for them having all relatives around them and a well-served table anyone can eat at and enjoy an excellent time with their beloved ones. As it happens with other countries, dishes may vary depending on the region.

Christmas dinner is probably the most especial food of the entire year, families tend to prepare many different dishes, appetisers, chicken, and obviously, delicious desserts (one of the reasons why children enjoy this time of the year so much). On this article we will mention some of the most important dishes in Italian food and we will also show you how to prepare in a simple way one of the most important desserts served at Christmas dinners, not only in Italy but around the entire world.

Typical dishes from Italian cuisine

One of the most representative dishes from Italian Christmas is the Baccalá which is a type of fish, spaghetti (which can never be left out an italian menu), past baked in the oven and turkey. Traditional dinners in Christmas include 7 different types of fish but they can extend up to 14 types of fish depending on the city where it takes place.

Main dishes

There is another popular dish for dinner called “Napoli’s Watch” common from southern cities and it includes plenty of broccoli and that is the reason why it is called broccoli Christmas, eel and caponata complement this dish.

Another common dish the traditional Italian antipasto which is a classic dish from Italian cuisine served in all special occasions, it is an appetiser usually served before the main dish. It became quite popular during the renaissance and it consists of many different types of olives, salami, ham, shrimps, vegetables and some fruits.

Gnocchi pasta is another of these traditional dishes that are quite famous in Italy, it is made with flour and potatoes but some vegetables such as pumpkin, spinach and tomatoes can be included. Gnocchi pasta is usually eaten with Bolognese sauce or other creamy sauces depending on the likes of people who are going to eat it.

Italian roast beef is also among the most popular Italian dishes prepared for Christmas dinner, as it name says it consists of meat from a cow grilled and accompanied by vegetables or salad.

Italian Minestrone is usually prepared with vegetables and different types of peas, in some cases it includes rice, meat, chicken, jam and even pasta.

Traditional desserts

Traditional desserts are also essential elements for any Italian menú in the world, and Italian food does not forget about them. Many of them are quite Antique but they are extremely delicious and have remain through time changes. One of the most popular ones is Struffoli, which is made with honey, cenci are also quite popular and it can be defined as a sweet pasta.

Nevertheless, the most popular dessert for Christmas in Italy, and also one of the most popular ones throughout the whole world is certainly the Panettone. Panettone is almost a mandatory addition to any Christmas dinner in different parts of the world. This typical dessert is a sweet bisque that usually includes candied fruits, raisins or even chocolate. Some other ways to prepare it include dry fruits and other additions.

The story says that panettone was created during the XVI century, once a baker fell in love with a princess and baked a special golden bisque with eggs and butter in order to surprise her. That bisque was called panettone in century XIX, thanks to Italian unification, this bisque used to be served with red candied cherries.

How to prepare panettone

(8 people)

  • 6 eggs
  • 5 ¾ cups of wheat flour
  • 12 egg yolks
  • ¼ salt teaspoons
  • 2 ¾ cups of extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup of anise liqueur
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of sliced and toasted almonds
  • 1 cup of finely chopped candied fruits
  • Juice from 8 oranges
  • 3 cups of honey
  • 4 sliced oranges
  • ¼ cup of coloured sparks

Preparing a panettone:

Beat the eggs until they form soft peaks. Place the flour in a bowl, add the egg yolks one by one, add some salt, olive oil, anise liqueur and sugar. Gently stir in the beaten eggs with a wooden spoon then mix all the ingredients very well with the wooden spoon and if necessary, do it with your hands. The mixture should be soft and elastic. If it is too dry, add some more liquor, and if it is too wet, add more flour.

Cut into pieces the size of chickpeas and form small spheres. Heat up the remaining oil, fry the pieces of dough until they are golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and dry with paper towels; sprinkle it with sliced almonds and candied fruits.

Put to heat orange juice in a saucepan, add honey and continue cooking this preparation. Then add the orange peel cut in juliennes. Pour the sauce over each portion and the sparks of colours. Cool to room temperature before serving.

At Fernando’s is an excellent option for people looking for a place where they can taste some of top and classic Italian food, whether it’s Christmas time or not. Prepared with those traditional recipes passed generation by generation until our times. The pasta once cooked by la nonna is now possible to be eaten once again thanks to At Fernando’s.

Apart from an excellent menu crowded by surprising culinary options, At Fernando’s offers an excellent environment where eating is no longer an obligation but also a very enjoyable part of the day.