4th Day Before Christmas: Set Your Menu

Six delicious Italian recipes, covering every course of your holiday meal.

This article, written by Joe Trivelli, appears on The Guardian.

Joe Trivelli’s Italian Christmas Recipes

Traditional escarole pizza pie, fragrant slow-roast duck and boozy coffee sorbet: Italian flavours in a festive setting, from the River Café’s Joe Trivelli

here is in my family a deep appreciation for Christmas. We begin with a trip across town to buy a tree and, from then on, all surfaces are laden with the appropriate kitsch. The warm atmosphere is fuelled by the candles of constantly spinning angel chimes and the only space in the house is the empty shelf in the Christmas cupboard. I jokingly protest but with each year I love it more and every day we celebrate in the kitchen.

I love to cook afresh with the extra time in the holidays, taking new approaches with known ingredients and recipes. Here, I’ve used things one might find lying around already, such as sprouts and Brazil nuts. So, while these dishes are loosely based on things I’ve eaten in Italy, they could also be described as Anglo-Italian – except the pizza pie which is a straight-up Neapolitan classic. “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie …” I can hear everyone singing it now, and I can imagine immigrants from the south of Italy (like my grandfather) eating new versions of this with whatever they could find in the US at Christmas time a hundred years ago. This is the spirit of these recipes. Italian-ish, maybe. I’m far less of a purist, at least in the holidays, and am more interested in having fun in the kitchen. Some are beyond easy, others take a bit longer; but they are all straightforward, tasty and just slightly different to what you thought you were going to make.

At the end, there are two desserts. Read more and get all the recipes at The Guardian…

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