Thanksgiving according to Marco Failla – Italian Cuisine

The advice and recipes of the well-known cake designer and food stylist from Palermo for an original Italian-American style “Thanksgiving” lunch.

His creations have conquered many foreigners who, every year, decide to get married in Italy, in the wonderful villas of Lake Como. Chiara Ferragni and Leona Lewis have also entrusted to Marco Failla making your own wedding cake. The cake designer and food stylist from Palermo – divides his time between the Sicilian capital and Milan, and is currently busy with Kitchen Stories, a project that combines his passions for cooking, design and photography – he reveals his tips, and two original recipes, for a Thanksgiving full Italian American style. “Every year I join my brother in Texas, where he lives with his wife and children, to spend Thanksgiving together, my favorite American holiday. Tradition has it that it is a party to be celebrated at home and not in the restaurant. Unfortunately, this year we will be separated, but I still wanted to recreate the atmosphere of this day ". Warmth and hospitality are Marco's keywords to make his guests feel at home, without ever neglecting the small details. The turkey is undoubtedly the protagonist of the table, together with green beans, smashed potatoes, corn bread and, above all, stuffing: a mix of stale bread and other ingredients, such as sausage and vegetables, baked and served as an accompaniment to the turkey . "In my Thanksgiving", Marco points out, "I always add a touch of my city, Palermo, and the recipes of my grandmothers: panelle, cannoli, prickly pears and of course the homemade egg pasta, one of my comfort foods favorites . Here are the advice of Marco Failla.


The undisputed star and symbol of Thanksgiving Day, turkey is definitely the essential dish of this holiday. The color must be perfectly amber and, according to Marco, the secret to a perfect turkey is to make a glaze with muscovado sugar, orange juice and salted butter to brush every 15 minutes, when there are about 45 minutes left to cook.

Vegan proposals

"I always love to include a vegan alternative in the menu of a special lunch like Thanksgiving". The Palermo panelle, for example, they are a fanciful idea that has always won over American friends during lunches organized at the brother's home. Another quick and easy dish is there cherry tomato soup roasted in the oven, coconut milk and savory chestnut crumble. And, again, theprickly pear salad, red onion, spinach leaves and black olives to be served with a red onion vinaigrette, a reinterpretation of a recipe inspired by New Cinema Paradiso, the masterpiece film by the Sicilian director Giuseppe Tornatore.


An imperative of Marco is to always respect tradition, even at the end of the meal. The cake designer therefore offers us the classic Pumpkin pie. "This year, if I had managed to go to my grandchildren, I would have liked to prepare something different, that is a very good bundt cake with pumpkin and spices, a recipe I discovered from an American friend during the last Thanksgiving ". The bundt cake is in fact a Failla must during autumn dinners at home with friends. "Then there is a recipe that reminds me of my grandmother Zina: one day, while preparing a rich banquet for children and grandchildren, she forgot her iconic apple pie in the oven which, alas, was burned. He would never have allowed to finish a meal without a dessert and so, in secret and with what he had available in the kitchen, he prepared a custard with a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg, served with salted pistachio biscuits and cranberries prepared in the previous days, perfect for dipping in cream . An easy and tasty dessert, to conclude a rich Thanksgiving lunch, which Marco recommends pairing with one of his favorite Sicilian wines, Malvasia delle Lipari.

A gift for guests

A self-respecting special lunch must then end with a small gift for the guests. Marco likes to give his guests one of his creations, such as the beautiful (and very Sicilian) hand-painted white chocolate bars enriched with Bronte pistachio, also perfect as a place card.

Marco Failla
Marco Failla.

Marco Failla's recipes for Italian Cuisine

Bundt Cake with Mantuan pumpkin and spices


400 grams of sugar, 160 grams of sunflower oil, 4 eggs, 450 grams of Mantua Pumpkin puree, 390 grams of flour 00, 6 grams of salt, 5 grams of baking soda, 6 grams of yeast, 5 grams ground cinnamon, the tip of a teaspoon of ground ginger, the tip of a teaspoon of nutmeg, a pinch of ground cloves.


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease and flour a 24 cm diameter Bundt Cake pan. In the mixer, clean the eggs and sugar until a frothy mixture is obtained. Pour in the oil and, decreasing the speed, add the pumpkin puree. At low speed, add the dry ingredients mix and whip until smooth. Pour the mixture into the pan and bake for 50-55 minutes. Let it rest for 15 minutes and remove from the pan.

Corn flour biscuits, salted Bronte pistachio and cranberries


220 g 00 flour, 50 g corn flour, 100 g sugar, a pinch of salt, 4 g yeast, 2 whole eggs, 30 g butter at room temperature, 50 g of Bronte pistachios (toasted in a pan a generous amount of salt ), 50 g of dried cranberries.


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. In a bowl, mix the sugar, flour, salt and yeast. In a small bowl, beat the eggs and add them to the mix of dry ingredients. Add the butter at room temperature and mix with your hands until the mixture is smooth. Add the dried fruit and, on a pastry board, continue to knead until the dried fruit is well incorporated into the dough. Divide the dough into two parts and cut into two loaves of 20 cm each. Bake at 180 degrees for about 30 minutes. Let them cool for 15 minutes and cut the loaves diagonally to form the classic shape of the cantucci. Arrange the cookies in the oven again for 15 minutes at 180 degrees until they turn golden.


Photo: Alex Cinisi

Wines: Occhio di Terra and Malvasia delle Lipari by Caravaglio

Fabrics: Allegoria Textiles

Wooden tablet: The Ladies

We also thank Manfredi and Silvia Rizzuto of Masseria Susafa for the availability of their home in Palermo

This recipe has already been read 386 times!

Proudly powered by WordPress

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. Click here to read more information about data collection for ads personalisation

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Read more about data collection for ads personalisation our in our Cookies Policy page