Christmas to New Year’s Day


From Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day, Italians celebrate with food and drink – a true Bacchanalia! Each region and each household has its own rituals and specialties.

I’ve attached my favorite recipes for the traditional baccala, the more modern gamberi or the classic spaghetti alle alici to add to your Christmas Eve seafood repast. This is when everyone eats fish to purify the body and prepare it for feasting.

Throughout this festive time there are always irresistible sweets. I hope you enjoy the panforte and struffoli to nibble during your family gatherings or to give as gifts. The nuts symbolize abundance and fertility, and honey is a talisman that the coming year may be sweet.

And for New Year’s Day the lenticchie are sure to bring you prosperity in the coming year. Oh – and pop open (and enjoy) a bottle of Champagne or Prosecco so that the noise will drive away evil spirits. And do eat lots of oranges – they’re said to promise love.

P.S. In reading the recipes, please note that OO is my quick way of typing olive oil – extra virgin, of course!

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