Aaah, Christmas traditions! Every region, city, town…actually every family has its own!
In mine, for example, we have always only celebrated with lunch on December 25th. And I have often thought: “That’s enough for me!”…and in fact, that’s enough indeed since there is always some leftover! So much so that another Christmas tradition is that of the “Leftovers Dinner”: friends or other family members meet for dinner and each brings a leftover from their Christmas lunch, so the party continues. In short, whether it’s for lunch or dinner, only on Christmas day or going through Boxing Day and starting Christmas Eve, there is a thin common thread that unites every Ligurian during the holidays: food!
Here are the three most common dishes that can be found on our tables during the holidays:
In ancient times, the typical first course was Natalini in broth, but as far as I’m concerned, ravioli is the best you can ask for in life for Christmas lunch. Tradition would like them with “Tocco” – the typical Genoese sauce prepared with minced beef, mushrooms, spices, tomato pulp and red wine – but I also love them the simple way, seasoned with butter and herbs.
2. Cappon Magro
If you have the time – 1 hour of preparation, 4 of rest, 2 of cooking – this is one of those dishes that will raise you to the level of starred chef. Cappon Magro, a dish which is difficult to say whether it is tastier or more spectacular, comes from the Genoese gastronomic tradition. Take a pen and paper and mark on the shopping list: capon, potatoes, green beans, carrots, prawns, tuna, octopus, beetroot, black salsify, white wine, bay leaf, juniper, olives, capers, pine nuts. It takes patience for this dish, but the result is truly mouth-watering.
In Borgomaro we know it well: the Pandolce prepared by Forno di Nonna Pierina, in fact, is a must both as a dessert at the end of a meal and also as a sweet present! The town eagerly awaits the first batches in November, when the streets smell of butter, raisins and pine nuts, which are the main ingredients of this delicacy. Even on television they talked about it and here we wrote about it too: Christmas in the village: christmas traditions in Liguria