Christmas on the table, typical dishes of Southern Italy

Our journey to discover the typical Christmas dishes of the various regions of Italy has reached the south and the major islands. Here you know, good food never fails! Sitting at the table means sharing, being together and celebrating the relationships of love and friendship between an abundant fork and a glass of wine, in a cheerful and convivial atmosphere that intensifies with the arrival of Christmas!

Let’s start from Abruzzo, famous for its parks and its prestigious local wines that, during the Christmas holidays, accompany dishes such as:

  • cod: undisputed protagonist of the dinner on Christmas Eve in Abruzzo, is served as an appetizer or as a main course and cooked in many different ways, baked or stewed, fried in batter or boiled; 
  • Spur anchovies: caught near the coast, the anchovies are fried in batter and then vinegar and flavored with garlic and parsley; 
  • cace pallotte and where: these are meatballs made of bread, eggs and pecorino cheese, fried in boiling oil and seasoned with tomato sauce; 
  • scrippelle ‘mbusse: first course of crepes prepared with flour, water and eggs, stuffed with pecorino cheese and served in meat broth; 
  • thistle soup: a rich and complete dish, combining cardoons with eggs, parmesan and nutmeg, and then served with meat broth; 
  • rintrocilo: fresh egg pasta topped with mountain castrato sauce and pork
  • cooked lamb: lamb meat cooked over low heat and flavored with oil, salt, pepper, sage, parsley, lard and onion; 
  • parrozzo: a traditional cake that consists of a loaf of corn baked in a wood oven and covered with dark chocolate; 
  • calcionetti: small sweets made with a crumbly dough and filled with brown, cinnamon, honey, dried fruit and chocolate.

Fonte: dal web

Just take a small step south to land in Basilicata, with its hills, its Vulture and the beautiful city of Matera! For Christmas the tables of Basilicata are filled with: 

  • pettole: a typical Lucan appetizer, very versatile and suitable for all tastes. It is usually based on anchovies, broccoli and cod;
  • strascinati: long pasta similar to spaghetti served with meat sauce;
  • cod and peppers Cruschi: a crunchy dish that requires a lot of patience, especially for the slow cooking of dried chili;
  • piccilatiedd’: a sweet almond bread, excellent end of meal;
  • chinulidd’: another typical dessert, consisting of a hard wheat paste filled with chestnut cream, fried and then sprinkled with powdered sugar and honey.

Fonte: dal web

Even further down is Calabria, whose food and wine tradition is practically known all over the world as well as the wonderful products (healthy and genuine) offered by its territories. And the latter are the basis of the dishes proposed on the occasion of Christmas: 

  • anchovy crepes: prepared with a mixture of water, yeast, flour and salt to which anchovies are added before frying;
  • Horny broad beans: these are dry beans boiled in salted water to which are added the black olives and, once ready, they are seasoned with garlic, oil, oregano and hot pepper;
  • spaghetti with stockfish tripe: the sauce is prepared with garlic, oil, red pepper and tomato sauce, inside which are cooked the “trippicedde” (ie tripe);
  • stockfish and potatoes: the fish, being dried, is left to soak for 15 days before being cooked together with the potatoes;
  • baked kid with potatoes: the meat is flavored with field herbs and accompanied by potatoes, artichoke flan or broccoli from Calabria, sautéed in a pan with chili; 
  • crucitti: dry fig buns are a typical Calabrian sweet, prepared with cinnamon, walnuts, sugar and orange peel, baked and covered with chocolate or fig honey; 
  • cannarituli: a kind of large fried dumplings immersed in the cooked must and decorated with colored sprinkles;
  • giurgiulena: a nougat prepared with sesame seeds, sugar, honey and nuts.

Fonte: dal web

Before going even further down, you need to make a stop in Molise, the smallest region in Italy but, at the same time, rich in treasures and enchanting works. Its beauty is also tangible in its kitchen that, on the occasion of Christmas, puts on the table:

  • scarpelle: these are pancakes made with water, flour and yeast enriched with cod, anchovy fillets or pieces of cauliflower; 
  • soup alla santè: based on chicken broth with the addition of bread croutons, parsley, meatballs and chicken pieces; 
  • cavatelli with meat sauce: fresh pasta made with durum wheat semolina topped with pork sauce; 
  • Pizza di Franz: pieces of pizza made with eggs, parmesan and parsley, baked and passed in hot broth; 
  • salted cod: the fish is baked and served with savoy cabbage, parsley, bread crumbs, raisins and nuts; 
  • pampanella of baked ribs: a rustic dish made of pork chops cooked in the oven, seasoned with garlic, chili and dried red pepper;
  • caragnoli and rosacatarre: these are sweets composed of a very simple dough made of flour, eggs, sugar and eggs which, then, is given the shape of rose for the rosacatarre and propeller for the caragnoli;
  • milk pan: another Christmas cake that consists of a zuccotto wet with Milk, a Molise liqueur, and covered with white chocolate; 
  • calciuni: cakes in the shape of a crescent-shaped flour, eggs, oil, wine and water and filled with chestnuts, rum, chocolate, honey, almonds, candied fruit and cinnamon.

Fonte: dal web

In the excursus of the typical Christmas dishes of southern Italy can not miss the Campania that, to be honest, boasts a high culinary tradition every day, attracting the attention of millions of tourists at any time of the year! Here’s what he offers at Christmas: 

  • Scarole pizza: a light appetizer, consisting of the dough of the pizza filled with escarole, olives or raisins, capers and pine nuts; 
  • pizzelle: another appetizer that can be served fried, based on tomato sauce and basil, or with the addition of cauliflower and cod;
  • soup maritata: the oldest and most widespread first course of the whole Campania, which combines meat and vegetables making them, in fact, maritare; 
  • rice sartù: a typical dish of Campania, consisting of a rice timbale stuffed with meatballs, sausage, peas, hard-boiled eggs, mozzarella, liver and Neapolitan ragout; 
  • zeppole of cod: the fish is combined with the dough of the bread before being fried, so as to form zeppole; 
  • sea bass/sea bream in crazy water: the chosen fish is cooked in the oven or in a pan together with oil, garlic, cherry tomatoes, salt, water and white wine; 
  • reinforcing salad: very famous throughout Italy, it is composed of boiled cabbage, anchovies, black and green olives, papaccelle (green, red and yellow peppers) and giardiniera;
  • large Neapolitan fried food: designed to recover the leftovers of the eve dinner, consists of a mixed fried made of panzerotti, mozzarella in carriage, scagliuozzolo, pizzelle, micciarelli, vegetables and fried fish; 
  • struffoli: irresistible sweets from Campania, these are balls of shortcrust pastry flavored with anise liqueur and citrus peel, fried and then covered with honey, sugar and candied fruit; 
  • roccocò: biscuits shaped like donuts made of flour and almonds and flavored with orange peel; 
  • susamielli: sweets made of flour, sugar, almonds and honey with a typical S shape.

Fonte: dal web

And Campania inevitably calls Puglia which, with its extraordinary beaches even in winter, gives Christmas a breathtaking scenery! And to support its very high standards, it usually presents on the table: 

  • potato focaccia: perfect Apulian appetizer, made with flour, potatoes, olive oil and brewer’s yeast and stuffed with cherry tomatoes, garlic and oregano; 
  • cavatelli with seafood: handmade gnocchi with water and flour seasoned with shrimps, octopus, squid sautéed in a pan with plenty of oil and grated garlic, with the addition of tomato sauce; 
  • Baked lamb with potatoes from Lecce: lamb and potatoes are cut into large pieces to be browned the first and be fried the second. Together, then, they are placed in a pan, sprinkled with pecorino cheese, breadcrumbs, pepper and parsley and cooked in the oven; 
  • cartellate: a typical dessert prepared with flour, dry white wine, olive oil, cooked must, cinnamon and cloves; 
  • chestnut calzone: another typical cake breaded in the cooked place and stuffed with chestnut cream.

Fonte: dal web

We finally reach the first of the two major islands: Sicily! The sea, the sun, the mild climate and the warmth of the people frame a fabulous Christmas that, in honor of the typical island tradition, brings to the table: 

  • vegetable caponata: starter protagonist of the Christmas holidays based on mixed vegetables (eggplant, peppers, potatoes, onions, carrots) fried separately and then combined with raisins, vinegar and pine nuts for the sweet and sour effect; 
  • timballo di anelletti: typical of Palermo, it is a first course made of pasta topped with ragout, fried eggplant, cheese and baked boiled eggs; 
  • pasta ‘ncasciata: typical of Messina, is a pasta seasoned with meat sauce, ham, cheese, Parmesan and everything you have at home, covered with breadcrumbs and baked in the oven; 
  • falsomagro: a giant roll wrapped in bacon and stuffed, usually, with boiled eggs, ham, cheese and onion. It is baked in the oven with potatoes; 
  • pistachio rolls: typical of Catania, they are casings of beef or pork stuffed with ham, soft cheese and pistachio, to taste fried, roasted or baked in the oven; 
  • Beccafico sardines: a second dish based on fish widely spread throughout the island, with sardines in sweet and sour thanks to the presence of raisins and pine nuts; 
  • broccoli curled or bastaddu affucatu: the name changes according to the city, but the substance remains the same. It is a side dish of broccoli sautéed in a pan with black olives, red wine, onion and peppered cheese; 
  • orange salad: a must on Sicilian tables, perfect for refreshing the palate with oranges, olives, fennel, onion, oil and salt; 
  • nucatoli ragusani: typical S-shaped biscuits filled with almonds and dried figs;
  • buccellato: a large donut of shortcrust pastry filled with dried and dehydrated fruit, white, pumpkin and chocolate; 
  • cassata and cannoli: both perfect to close in beauty, must be prepared and served categorically based on ricotta.

Fonte: dal web

And to conclude in the best way these journey among the typical Christmas dishes of every region of Italy you reach, finally, Sardinia; with its beaches Maldives proof and a cultural and gastronomic tradition envied worldwide, here’s what it offers on the occasion of Christmas: 

  • scabecciu pisci: an appetizer made of very small breaded fish with durum wheat semolina and fried with garlic and fresh tomatoes; 
  • orziadas: breaded sea anemones, fried and served with pepper and fresh lemon; 
  • culurgiones de casu: ravioli of aged cheese and vegetables (such as chard or cabbage), with the addition of saffron and nutmeg, served with lamb sauce; 
  • porceddu: the classic roast pig, served with vegetables or potatoes; 
  • pabassinas: a typical dessert prepared with chopped dried fruit, raisins, candied orange, anise and boiled wine must; 
  • seadas: ravioli filled with cheese, fried and served with plenty of honey.

Fonte: dal web

This wonderful culinary journey confirms an aspect of Italy that makes it unique in the world: whatever region you visit, whichever city you choose as a destination to spend the Christmas holidays, you certainly do not stay in a dry mouth! Merry Christmas.

Copertina: dal web

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