Italy on a Plate: Week in Italian Food: 12-12-10


Cannelloni in Florence

This week’s Italy on a Plate is one of the best yet.  The Top 10 Recipes are full of hearty winter or Italian holiday dishes, and there are several Christmas sweet treats, too.  Eating Italy includes a gorgeous photo essay of the Christmas market in Merano, the best 15 desserts and where to find them in Rome, what and when to eat in Umbria, a Tuscan Advent calendar, and so much more. If you haven’t already checked it out, see my posts for a Sicilian holiday dinner which include Involtini di Melanzane and the chocolate and hazelnut Sicilian sensation Torta Setteveli (I’ve been wanting to make this for over a year and finally did). I hope you enjoy this week’s addition and Buon Appetitio!


My Choice for This Week’s Top 10 Italian Recipes from Around the Web:

How to Make DiPalo’s Mozzarella – with step by step photos – Huffington Post

Tuscan Zuppa di Porcini (Porcini Soup) – Simple Italy

Cappelletti in BrothProud Italian Cook 

Perfect for holiday entertaining – Sformato di Capellini – An easy and elegant timballo of angel hair pasta – Aglio, Olio & Peperoncino

Insalata d’Orzo e Verdure (Orzo and Vegetables Salad) – Italian Notes

Brasato alla Birra (Beer Braised Beef) from the very north of Italy, the Trentino-Alto Adige – Italicious

Cod in AcquaPazza (Crazy Water) is part of Maria’s Feast of the 7 Fishes – Maria Liberati

Panettone and Pandoro – Two Christmas breads from Italy – Tzatziki a Colazione (in Italian, but Translator in English is available) 

La Divina Cucina, Judy made some Christmas sweets, including Sicilian sesame seed cookies – Over the Tuscan Stove

Celli Ripieni – Sweets typical of the Abruzzo region in Italy – little stuffed half moons – Croze e Delizia (scroll down for English)


Bread at Eataly


Eating Italy:

La Magia dei Mercatini di Natale Merano  – (The Magic of the Christmas Markets – Merano) – Ahhh, this post has me in a magical Christmas daze – More than food, a beautiful photo essay of the Northern Italy Christmas Market in Merano – Volevo Fare Lo Chef (in Italian, but the photos are universal)

 The 15 Best Desserts in Rome – by Tavole Romane on Dissapore (in Italian, but the photos are again universal, and there are links to the places that serve those 15 best desserts)

Update: Tavole Romane now has this post in English: Where to Find the Best Cakes and Pastries in Rome

 My Tuscan Advent Calendar – A little bit of food and Christmas all wrapped up in one Tuscany present – At Home in Tuscany

What to Eat in Umbria: Food for Every SeasonWhy Go Italy

A Trip to Bolzano and a Glimpse into Tyrolean CuisineNot Only Pizza

Grappa – Its history, how to make it, and this drinks place in Italian food culture – Scordo

Chestnut Harvest in ItalyVideo of picking chestnuts in Italy and a trip to a chestnut festival in Lazio – Telegraph

Elizabeth lists her Favorite Places to Buy Bread in Rome – Elizabeth Minchilli in Rome

Take a trip with Cellar Tours on the wine trail in  Sicily – Strada del Vino dei Castelli Nisseni


Grilled Calamari


Upcoming Food and Wine Festivals in Italy:

Cioccolart – December 18 to January 8, 2011 – Taormina, Sicily – In Piazza del Carmine, chocolate, art and culture come together

Eurochocolate Ski – December 16 to 19 – In the Alpine town of Cortina d’Ampezzo you can eat chocolate and ski – Information in English at Italy Magazine

Sagra della Sfincia – January 6, 2011 – A town outside of Palermo, Montelepre (the town of my grandparents) celebrates the town’s sweet fried dough

Cioccolosita (Chocolate Festival in Tuscany) – February 4 to 6, 2011 – The town of  Monsummano Terme, near Pistoia, hosts a chocolate festival and brings chocolatiers from all over Italy with samples!

Sagra del Mandorlo in Fiore (Almond Blossom Festival) – February 2 to 11, 2011 – The town of Agrigento celebrates spring and almond blossoms with this festival featuring typical Sicilian foods

Carnevale di Venezia  – February 26 to March 8, 2011 – A magical event that I would recommend attending at least once in your life, the entire city of Venice becomes a stage

***NOTE: For Christmas Markets and Festivals in Italy, check out my post on Christmas in Italy***


Lemon Granita Cocktail


Related Posts:

Italian Hot Chocolate and My First Sip at Carnevale in Venice

Chocolate Kahlua Budino

Fettuccine ai Funghi (Fettuccine with Mushrooms)

Pasta all’ Amatriciana

Roman Pasta Dishes and 10 Places to Eat them in Rome

Fifteen Favorite Dishes for the Food Lover in Napoli




  1. Paula
    December 12th

    omg that cannelloni looks so sinfully rich – I want it NOW!
    Wait – first I want the stuffed calamari.

  2. Claudia
    December 12th

    Pandoro is on my list…lovely round-up. Getting hungry at 9:30p.m. at night. Uh oh.

  3. Elizabeth MInchilli
    December 13th

    Thanks so much for including me!

  4. Alelunetta
    December 13th

    Thanks!!! What a lovely surprise being in your favourite list!! Grazie grazie!

  5. Tuula
    December 13th

    You’re so of the best weeks ever :)
    How fun are all of the Italian holiday cooking & baking traditions…love the round-up of best desserts in Rome – definitely a few spots to add to the list!
    Hope your holiday preparations are going well, can’t wait to hear how everything turned out!
    Bonjour from SoCal :)

  6. Kathy
    December 13th

    Paula – You’re the second comment regarding the cannelloni (the other was on Facebook) – looks like I’ll have to do a post for that.
    Claudia – Thank you. You know, if you are in Rome, 9:30pm is the perfect time to be hungry :-)
    Elizabeth – You’re very welcome. I’m taking the list with me in March when I’ll be in Rome! Tricolore will definitely be a stop – It was also mentioned in the 15 best desserts in Rome.

  7. Kathy
    December 13th

    Alelunetta – Prego! I have looked at your post at least three more times. Merano (and Verona) were the top two Christmas Markets I wanted to see this year. I also saw your comment that you’re going back to the Merano market again *sigh.* I hope you do a follow up post, so we can all travel again with you.
    Tuula – I thought about you when I added the 15 Best Desserts post. Did you see that Pompi and their Tiramisu was on the list? Between your and Tavole Romane’s recommendations, I’ll be visiting Pompi, too, in March. Hope you’ve recovered from jetlag and are enjoying SoCal.

  8. Esme
    December 15th

    I envy you being the irresponsible one-not sure why I feel the need to be responsible. Cooking is much more fun than lawyering-I am going to make the Porcini soup for tonight-I have a baguette left over from making French onion soup last night.

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