Christmas is a very important occasion for Italians. We normally gather with our family and share joyful and memorable moments of chat and laughter, of course, around the table!
But what’s in our plates on Christmas day?
We usually get together for the dinner on Christmas Eve and for lunch on Christmas day. Traditionally, our dinner on Christmas Eve is a fish-based supper while the Christmas lunch is based on fresh pasta and meat.
In Bologna, we always start our Christmas lunch with an abundant plate of Tortellini in Broth. This broth is usually prepared beforehand with love and patience by mothers or grandmothers that gently boil capon meat and vegetables for a few hours. Afterwards, the capon meat is withdrawn by the broth that will be used, just before the lunch starts, to cook the Tortellini.
The soft and succulent capon meat is normally served as the second course, accompanied with some dipping sauces, like the traditional Salsa Verde (literally, green sauce). This secular sauce, is a mix of boiled egg yolks, anchovies, capers, parsley and garlic all smashed together.
For dessert, we have quite a variety of dishes to pick from, but of course, the most renowned is the traditional Pandoro or Panettone. The first is a sort of sweet bread usually accompanied by icing sugar and, occasionally, mascarpone whilst the latter is normally eaten alone since it is enriched with raisins, almonds and candied fruit.