What do Italian eat during the holidays?
When talking about Christmas food & menus, there is one thing that comes to mind about Italy: the one tradition that unifies the whole country, despite the differences. And that is the rule of not eating meat on Christmas eve. Therefore, you’ll see pasta, fish or cheese as the main courses of this dinner. This old tradition comes from the old times, when meat was considered a luxury. But also from religious ideas: it was seen as a way of purifying oneself and get ready for the birth of Jesus.
Where to start then? From the appetizers! There are different options:
- Hard-boiled eggs with mayonnaise
- Tartine with salmon and guacamole or mayonnaise
- Little bites of mozzarella and cherry tomatoes
The first course could be any kind of pasta! The most popular:
- With tomato sauces and tuna
- Fresh pasta filled with ricotta cheese and spinach, seasoned with oil or butter
- Olivier salad: with potatoes, carrots, peas, gherkins and boiled eggs, then topped with a soft homemade mayonnaise
Main dish must be fish! Usually any fish cooked in the oven with some vegetables on a side will be the easy choice for every family cook. But one can try more special recipes such as:
- Stuffed squid
- Fried salted cod
- For a veggie option: stuffed aubergines. They are filled with cheese, breadcrumbs and tomatoes and cooked in the oven!
- Potatoes salad with mozzarella, tomatoes and tuna fish
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