Tag Archives: Christmas

Babà (Neapolitan Rum Cake)

I remember this indulgently delicious rum-soaked Neapolitan dessert from my childhood, when it made frequent appearances on the Sunday dinner table along with other typical southern Italian sweets. The last time I had babà, kind of rum cake, was around 2003 in Naples, in a caffè in the Galleria Umberto I. It was, needless to […]

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Montebianco (Montblanc)

Montebianco—which most English speakers know by its French name Montblanc even if the dish originated in Italy—is an elegant dessert often served for Christmas, but, to my mind, it is a perfect conclusion to any festive occasion in the late autumn or winter. Named after the highest peak of the Alps straddling the border between France and Italy, Montebianco […]

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A Neapolitan Christmas: Insalata di rinforzo (Cauliflower and Pickled Vegetable Salad)

This zesty cauliflower salad is a fixture on family tables in Naples during the Christmas season.  The salad is called rinforzo—’reinforcement’—is because it was customary in the old days to make a first batch as an antipasto on Christmas Eve and to keep on ‘reinforcing’ it with more cauliflower and condiments over the course of the holiday […]

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A Neapolitan Christmas: Capitone fritto (Fried Eel)

It wouldn’t be Christmas Eve without fish, and capitone, or eel is one of the most popular choices in Italy, where the tradition goes back for millennia. While eel is almost unheard of in the US outside sushi circles, there’s a good reason for its popularity: eel has a meaty flavor and firm texture that even […]

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Manu’s Christmas Menus

Dear readers, Just a quick note to let you in on this: With the holidays just around the corner, one of my favorite Italian food bloggers, Manuela Zangara of Manu’s Menus, has come out with an e-cookbook entitled Manu’s Christmas Menus. This delightful little volume includes twenty original recipes, helpfully arranged into four menus for […]

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Memorie di Angelina in the news

Friends, Just a quick note as we dash off to visit family for Christmas. One of my favorite food writers, Domenica Marchetti, has written a lovely article about the Feast of the Seven Fishes, an Italian-American tradition, in the exciting new online magazine American Food Roots. Well, guess who’s featured in said article? You just […]

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Tortellini fatti in casa (Homemade Tortellini)

Among the dizzying variety of stuffed pastas in the Italian repertoire, perhaps none—with the exception of ravioli—is more famous than the ring-shaped tortellino. These bits of bliss are ambassadors of Italian cuisine abroad and these days they (or aberrant facsimiles) can be found on the shelves of almost any supermarket. Within Italy, tortellini are practically […]

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Struffoli!

  Struffoli, small balls of dough fried and then covered in honey, is the quintessential Christmas sweet of Naples and its region of Campania. Although I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, it is very dear to my heart; it was one of nonna Angelina’s signature dishes, and it never failed to make an […]

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Spaghetti alle vongole (Spaghetti with Clam Sauce)

A Friday night favorite at our place—and traditional Christmas Eve primo piatto—is spaghetti with clam sauce, one of the signature dishes of Neapolitan cuisine. It is surprisingly easy to make, fun (if a bit messy) to eat and—if you have some good, fresh clams on hand—really, really tasty. Ingredients Serves 4-6 persons 500g (1 lb.) […]

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