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Lactose-free Christmas menu – Italian Cuisine

Lactose-free Christmas menu

If at Christmas you have lactose intolerant guests, do not offer a separate menu, but think of an inclusive menu that is good for everyone

TO Christmas we must pamper all the guests of our table, especially those with intolerances. Instead of thinking of a "separate menu", propose dishes that are suitable for everyone. In this way you will save time and money and you will not make anyone feel in trouble.

Ideas for lactose-free appetizers

Let's start with the appetizers and also a little from the setting of the table since the bread wreath we want to offer you is a wonderful decoration and all to eat.
It is made without lactose because it is prepared with pizza dough and can be stuffed in many ways: grilled vegetables, cold cuts and possibly lactose-free cheeses.
You can also prepare single-portion omelettes, such as muffins, simply by beating the eggs with sautéed vegetables or sautéed mushrooms.
Finally, serve croutons with a pickle blended with tuna or spread with chickpea humus or guacamole.

Ideas for lactose-free Christmas first courses

For the first courses you will not find great difficulties: you can choose any type of dry pasta and also gnocchi, trofie tagliatelle, lasagna and cannelloni.
Prepare a classic meat sauce that everyone always likes, in a white version perhaps with the addition of mushrooms and pumpkin or with tomato sauce.
If you want to prepare stuffed pasta obviously don't use cheese, but simply mince ham, mortadella and minced veal, mix with an egg and season this stuffing with salt and pepper.

Ideas for lactose-free main courses

In central Italy at Christmas a mixture of fried foods is prepared with breaded lamb chops and battered vegetables. A second course that does not include lactose and that everyone likes. Think about it!
The only difficulty is that you cannot prepare it in advance because the frying must be done on the spot, so if you don't want to spend time in the kitchen while everyone else is at the table waiting for the second, opt for a vitello tonnato, always super. current and never predictable.
A roast with baked potatoes is a timeless classic as well as roast beef and all these proposals do not contain lactose.

Lactose-free dessert ideas

If there are lactose intolerant guests at the table, perhaps you should avoid pandoro and panettone, unless you get a suitable variant.
However, you can prepare a Christmas tart, obviously with oil shortcrust pastry.
Stuff it with the apples cooked in a pan with brown sugar and raisins and add walnuts, cinnamon and pine nuts. You can also make it covered, almost like a strudel.
Or prepare homemade nougat with melted chocolate and dried fruit. Put the mixture in plumcake or muffin molds and you will get really super greedy blocks of chocolate, also beautiful to give to guests.

Discover all the ideas by looking at our gallery!

Piedmontese menu for Christmas: recipes – Italian Cuisine

Russian salad, agnolotti and braised meat in Barolo: here are the traditional recipes signed by the starred chef Matteo Baronetto – Del Cambio, Turin

Never as during the Christmas period the table becomes the protagonist of the home and the family. From North to South Italy rites and traditions are repeated that have been part of places and people since time immemorial: there are those who celebrate Christmas Eve, those strictly on December 25 for lunch, those who dedicate themselves to the preparation of dishes with fish, who prefers meat. In many Italian regions, first courses based on stuffed pasta as in the case of Piedmont and its iconic agnolotti are inevitable. The Michelin chef knows it well Matteo Baronetto of the Del Cambio restaurant in Turin which has just come out with the volume "Contemporary Piedmontese cuisine"(Edt, 200 pp, 25 euros) in which he tells 45 recipes of the most authentic tradition.

Baronetto seeks a synthesis that has never been tried: to codify today's Piedmontese cuisine, which respects the past but intertwines it with the present and does so together with the photographer's shots Davide Dutto. After all, Baronet knows what it means to confront history: since 2014 he has been running the restaurant founded in 1757 in Turin, the one preferred by Camillo Benso Count of Cavour, one of the historic places in the city, an address that has been able to place the classic room side by side with the one conceived by Michelangelo Pistoletto, ancient recipes and today's sensitivity. “The value of Piedmontese cuisine – he comments – lies in the memory: this is one of the Italian areas where tradition is handed down in the kitchen, where you live and eat; Piedmont is a conservative region at the table and the culture of food is very important ".

Russian salad, agnolotti and braised meat: the advice of chef Baronetto

What then are the dishes symbol of Christmas according to Baronet? Russian salad, Agnolotti and Braised with Barolo: we understand why.

"The Russian salad reminds me of when I worked at Peck's in Milan – he comments – and during the holidays it was one of the dishes that people queued for. Here, as in the case of agnolotti, it is always on the menu: it is a dish that symbolizes family, the warmth of the home and to which I am very attached ". The secret to making it perfect? “Cut the vegetables very small in order to chew less and allow the mayonnaise to be more enveloping. The vegetables are then blanched after being cut, while for the mayonnaise I suggest preparing it with whole egg and not just with red ".

As for the agnolotti it is essential that the pasta is not too thick and it would be better if the size was no more than 2.5 centimeters. “We must always remember – he adds – that it is important to roast the meat that will be used for the filling well, so that the juices remain inside. I prefer not to keep it too moist, on the contrary I braise it to prevent it from being boiled, and then to prepare the filling I recommend cutting it by hand because blending it runs the risk of obtaining a homogenized product ". Important then is the broth: "It starts with cold water so that the meat releases its scents. Then add the vegetables, the parmesan crust that gives flavor, the white brisket, the beef, the chicken, the salt and let it simmer for a couple of hours. After having foamed it, if the color of the broth is too light, you can add some jus de Paris: water and sugar in the proportion of 3 liters to 150 grams ".

And now let's move on to braised for which a long cooking is necessary: ​​“It should be marinated in the fridge, in wine, for one night, then it is heated over the fire and browned. The next step – continues Baronet – is to dip it again in the wine and then cover it with a little broth and then cook it in the oven for about two hours adding the vegetables. When you see that the stock is starting to consume, it is a good idea to remove a few tablespoons of it so that you can use it on the sliced ​​slices before serving ".

Matteo Baronetto's Christmas recipes

Russian salad

Ingredients for 4 people:
300 g of mayonnaise
280 g of potatoes
100 g of carrots
100 g of tuna in oil
10 g of desalted capers
70 g of shelled peas

For the mayonnaise
1 medium egg (50/60 g)
600 ml of sunflower oil
8 ml of white vinegar
4 g fine salt

Prepare the mayonnaise with the help of a mixer or electric whisk, starting with the egg, vinegar and salt and pouring the oil in a thin stream while the mixer is running at medium speed. This dose has a good amount of oil so it is necessary to use an appliance, if you want to do it by hand just decrease the amount of oil.
Peel the potatoes and carrots and cut them into regular pea-sized cubes.
Cook potatoes and carrots separately in boiling salted water; blanch the peas which, if large, will need to be removed from the outer skin.
Allow the vegetables to cool, combine all the ingredients and add salt to taste.


Ingredients for 10 people:

For pasta
1 kg of flour 000
350 g of durum wheat semolina
6 medium eggs
13 yolks
125 ml of extra virgin olive oil
125 ml of water
15 g of salt
For the stuffing
500 g of Bra sausage
1 kg of fresh bacon
1.75 kg of tender veal
3 carrots
3 sticks of green celery
3 medium white onions
White wine
250 g of washed fresh spinach
extra virgin olive oil

For pasta
Mix the eggs, oil, salt and water with the flour and semolina arranged in a heap.
Mix perfectly, let the dough rest covered in a cool place.

For the filling
Generally these ravioli are prepared on Mondays with the cold leftovers of Sunday roasts and stews of which care is taken to preserve the cooking sauces. Here instead you will find a filling recipe made especially for the ravioli in question.
Clean the vegetables and cut them into mirepoix (diced).
Divide the meat into large, regular cubes to facilitate cooking.
Heat a large saucepan, preferably large and low, and stew celery, carrots and onions with extra virgin olive oil.
In a non-stick pan with hot extra virgin olive oil, roast the soft cheese and the pancetta, then add the vegetables in the saucepan and deglaze with the wine; let the alcohol evaporate then cover with a lid and cook over a very low heat for about two and a half hours.
Add the spinach and the sausage divided into pieces, finish cooking.
Let it all cool down and go through the meat grinder.

How to make agnolotti
Roll out the dough with a rolling pin into thin sheets.
Dose the filling in small mounds on the first sheet – with a teaspoon or a pastry bag -, taking care to maintain regular intervals, depending on the size we want to give to the agnolotti.
Lay the second sheet on top and, with your fingers, make it adhere between one mound and the other and at the edges, being careful not to trap air that would make them explode during cooking.
Cut the agnolotti into a square shape with a toothed wheel.
Cook the agnolotti in boiling salted water and serve them with your favorite sauce.

The chef's advice: tradition has it that the agnolotti are served with roast sauce, sage butter and Parmesan, meat sauce or in meat broth and, in some Monferrato towns, even with red wine. Piedmontese stuffed pasta has a thicker layout than the very thin ones typical of Emilia and Romagna, this is due to the poverty in the yolks of the pasta. The Piedmontese sheets are therefore much less resistant and elastic and this does not allow them to be thinned as much as those from Emilia or Romagna.

Braised in Barolo

Ingredients for 5 people:
1 priest's hat (or parts of the thigh with a lot of collagen and fat)
3 medium white onions
3 carrots
4 sticks of celery
2 cloves of garlic
Herbs to taste (bay leaf, rosemary, sage …)
Spices to taste (pepper, juniper, cloves …)
Extra virgin olive oil
1 bottle of good Barolo
Meat background

Wash and cut the vegetables into mirepoix, melt the minced lard in a pan of the right size with the garlic and butter, then add the vegetables and leave to dry.
In a separate, very hot pan, pour the oil and brown the meat, when well colored, place it with the vegetables, remove the browning oil from the meat and pour a part of the wine into the pan so as not to waste the "caramelized" juices deposited on the bottom of the pan; pour all the wine into the pan, wait for the alcoholic part to evaporate, keeping it on a high flame, then add the aromatic bunch containing the herbs and spices.
Lower the heat and cook for about two and a half hours (depending on the size of the piece) leaving the pan "on the edge of the stove", taking care to turn it every twenty minutes, and in the last twenty minutes of cooking, continue to sprinkle it with its sauce cooking. If the liquid dries excessively, add some hot broth. It is important that the meat is cooked evenly, continuously and without sudden changes in temperature in a constant sweet simmer.
Then serve in slices, sprinkling with the filtered sauce reduced to the right consistency, tastefully arranged and polished with a flake of butter.

Matteo Baronetto (ph A Moretti)

Christmas in Brianza: the traditional menu – Italian Cuisine

Brianza's Christmas lunch is simple, but tasty. And the dishes that make it up are anything but difficult to make, following our recipes

There was a time when the rich Brianza was anything but rich. A time when there were no small buildings dotting the hills, but courtyards and farmhouses up to the gates of Monza. A time when gardens and poultry were the food reserve for a large part of the population. It is in that era that the recipes of the Brianza Christmas tradition have their roots: recipes never elaborated, but enriched for the occasion to compose a menu that finds in the meat, a luxury, the protagonists. Even today in Monza and its surroundings those who follow local customs bring to the table, strictly for lunch on December 25th, dishes with a warm and genuine flavor: it starts with "Italian" appetizers, cold cuts accompanied by pickles or a salad Russian, including the typical one liver mortadella; and among the appetizers a place of honor goes to the nerves, the "gnervitt", which have nothing to do with the nerves, up to the gastronomic panettone. Continue with the ravioli, stuffed with meat, made with a much lighter pasta, poorer than the Emilian one, served with melted butter and parmesan or in capon broth: boiled (and not roasted) capon is the main dish, accompanied by a colorful mustard of Cremona. To close can not miss the panettone, served with a spoonful of fresh mascarpone.

The recipes for the Brianza Christmas menu

Nervets in salad

2 veal trotters
1 calf knee
1 stalk of celery
1 carrot
1 onion
vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper

Bring plenty of salted water flavored with celery and carrot to a boil in a saucepan.
Dip the legs and knee in and let them cook for 2 and a half hours, or until tender.
Drain and let them cool, then remove the cartilaginous parts from the bones and cut them into strips: you will have obtained the nerves.
Collect them in a salad bowl, add the finely sliced ​​onion and season with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, mix and serve.

Monza ravioli


For pasta
300 g of white flour
1 egg

For the stuffing
300 g of pork loin
100 g of Bologna mortadella
100 g of luganega from Monza
100 g of grated parmesan
1 egg
nutmeg, butter, salt, pepper

To serve
100 g of butter
grated parmesan or capon broth

Prepare the filling: in a pan, roast the pork loin with a knob of butter and a pinch of salt.
Let it cook over low heat and covered pan for about an hour.
Remove from the heat and let the meat cool, then chop it together with the mortadella.
Collect the mince in a bowl together with the peeled and crumbled luganega, the parmesan and the egg.
Scented with a little nutmeg, season with salt and pepper and mix everything until you get a uniform mixture.

Prepare the pasta: work the flour for a long time with the egg and as much lightly salted lukewarm water as needed to obtain a firm and elastic dough (about half a glass).
Shape it into a ball, place it in a lightly floured bowl, cover it with a napkin and let it rest for at least an hour.

Roll out the dough into sheets that are not too thin; place a strip of dough on the ravioli machine and place a hazelnut of filling in each of the hollows.
Cover the filling with a second strip of dough and pass the rolling pin over the surface, pressing to cut out and seal the ravioli.
Bring plenty of salted water to a boil in a saucepan, add the ravioli and boil them al dente.
Drain the ravioli, transfer them to a bowl, toss with the melted butter and plenty of grated parmesan.
Alternatively, boil them and serve them directly in the capon broth.

Boiled capon

1 capon
1 stalk of celery
1 onion
1 carrot
coarse salt

In a large pot, bring abundant salted water to a boil flavored with celery, carrot and onion, peeled and cut into large pieces.
Immerse the capon in the water and cook it for about an hour and a half in a covered pot and over low heat.
Drain the capon and serve hot, accompanied by the mustard.

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