By Apicius International School of Hospitality

PORTIONS: 4/6 pp

Cooking Christmas
It is the time to be joyful, happy, with family and friends. But it is also the time to eat, eat, eat, and it is what Italians do best. The essence of Christmas Day in Italy is family, love and food, la famiglia, l’amore e il cibo. Italian festive food varies from region to region, although there are some common dishes. In the Italian Catholic tradition, Christmas Eve is a day of abstinence from meat so a celebratory banquet frequently features fish – some families even prepare as many as 20 different fish dishes! In Rome and southern Italy, il capitone, a dish made with fried eels is a firm favourite. After dinner, Italians head off for midnight mass.
Lunch, il pranzo, on Christmas Day is the most important of all the Christmas feasts and is a lengthy affair.

Delicacies such as crostini with liver paté or the classic tortellini in chicken stock, brodo are on the table, while lo zampone, a pig’s foot filled with spiced mince meat, or il cotechino, a sausage made from pig’s intestines containing a similar filling, are particularly popular in northern Italy. Others opt for lamb, l’agnello and accompanying vegetables include mashed potato and lentils, lenticchie. Tortellini,cotechino and lenticchie are often on the menu again on New Year’s Eve.
Sweet-toothed Italians indulge in desserts such as nougat, il torrone, and a light Milanese cake filled with candied fruit and raisins, called il panettone. The main, traditional cake is gold bread, il pandoro, which is very similar but without the candied fruit or raisins. A gingerbread with hazelnuts, honey and almonds, il panforte, is also popular.
We wish you a very Merry Christmas with family and friends, cooking in the kitchen with Santa Cristina.

Cooking: 20 min

Cottura: 20 min




— 150g flour

— 375ml milk

— 3 eggs

— A teaspoon of salt

— Butter for the frying pan


— 50g (2 oz) flour

— 50g (2 oz) extra virgin olive oil or butter

— 1/2l milk

— 45g grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

— Salt, pepper and nutmeg


— 400g seasonal mushrooms

— 200g fresh ricotta cheese

— Salt, pepper and nutmeg

— 1 clove of garlic

— 45g grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

— 45g extra virgin olive oil


  1. Beat the eggs in a bowl, whisk in the four and salt. Slowly pour the milk into the batter, whisking continuously. Set aside for 30 minutes. Melt a little butter in a non-stick pan, spread in a ladle of batter and cook the crespelle on both sides.
  2. Rinse and clean your mushrooms well and slice into pieces. In a large pan, brown the garlic in the extra virgin oil. Toss in the mushrooms, salt and sauté until the mushrooms have nice colour and tender. Then drain, cool and squeeze out the excess water. Mix the mushrooms with ricotta cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, pepper and nutmeg.
  3. Heat the extra virgin olive oil and add flour, mixing. Add the milk (previously heated) to the mixture and simmer for about 2 minutes. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Put the filling in each crespelles. Grease an oven pan with butter. Place filled crespelles in pan. Cover with the sauce and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (if you wish you can add also some little cubes of mozzarella cheese). Cook in a oven at 220°C degrees until the surface is golden brown. Garnish with sauteed mushrooms.

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