Traditional Neapolitan Christmas Menu 24 th December In Naples, Christmas is the celebration of family, smells, lights, and, above all, culinary delicacies. In South Italy and especially in Naples a traditional menu has a great importance, more than in other parts of Italy. Traditionally, people are not allowed to eat meat on 24 th December. The traditional dinner, Christmas Eve dinner ( Cena della Vigilia or Cenone di Natale ) consists of spaghetti e vongole (spaghetti with clams), Capitone e Baccalà fritto (fried eel and dried cod), Insalata di rinforzo (reinforced salad with marinated vegetables and cauliflower), and for dessert roccocò (a pastry with almonds), paste reali , susamielli , and mustacciuoli.
Spaghetti e vongole spaghetti with clams Insalata di rinforzo reinforced Salad with marinated vegetables and cauliflower Capitone fritto e Baccalà fritto fried eel and dried cod
Roccocò a pastry with almonds Mustaccioli biscuits covered with dark chocolate with almonds and honey Susamielli filled with honey, lemon and orange zests Panettone Paste reali a pastry of almonds Struffoli
Following dinner, many families visit the midnight mass at church and Jesus isn’t placed in the manger until the night from 24 th December to 25 th December.
Santa Claus’ presents After the the Midnight Mass, it is time to open the Santa Claus’ presents. The children are happy…
Traditional Neapolitan Christmas Menu 25 th December In the early afternoon on 25 th December, the most important Christmas day, people have the so-called Pranzo di Natale ( Christmas meal ). It starts with Minestra maritata (dish of boiled meat and vegetables), then a pasta dish like Maccheroni , Canelloni , or Tortellini . The Minestra is a typical Neapolitan Christmas meal. The Minestra maritata is a typical Neapolitan Christmas meal.
The second main dish is the cooked chicken, which was used to prepare the soup. Then Broccoli di Natale , vegetables which you can only find at the Gulf of Naples. As dessert, people enjoy Struffoli , accompanied by a glass of liqueur like Limoncello. In the evening, people celebrate the end of the day with Spumante and Panettone or Pandoro .
The recipie This dish is for the Neapolitans a joyful emotion and a temptation for the palate. You can cook it with or without cherry tomatoes. S paghetti e vongole is one of the main dish of the Neapolitan. Ingredients (4-5 persons) Fresh small clams in shells 500 gr. (1.1 pound), Cherry tomatoes 200 gr. (0.44 pound). Chopped garlic 2 cloves Olive oil 1/4 cup Salt 1/2 teaspoon Chopped parsley 1/4 cup Spaghetti 500 gr. (1.1 pound) (as alternative: vermicelli or linguine). Spaghetti e vongole spaghetti with clams
The recipie Procedure 1. Wash and keep the clams in salt water for half an hour before cooking.. 2. Cut each tomatoes into 2-3 pieces. 3. In a sauce pan over medium heat, saute garlic in oil until light blond. 4. Add tomatoes, salt, half of parsley. Stir slowly and cook for 3-4 minutes. 5. Add drained clams, stir and cover till the clams are open (3-4 minutes). If the sauce is too dry add 1/4 cup boiling water from the pasta pan. 6. Drain the spaghetti undercooked and put back into the same pasta pan, pour on the clam juice from the sauce pan and stir for 1 minute over medium heat (You can start to cook pasta, in the pan with boiling water, when adding tomatoes to sauce pan). 7. Top each dish with clams and the rest of parsley and then serve. To cook the recipe without tomatoes spring simply the step nr. 4 A dry cold white wine is the right accompaniment for the Spaghetti e vongole
The recipie Struffoli is a Neapolitan dish made of deep fried balls of dough about the size of marbles. Struffoli are crunchy on the outside and light inside. They are traditionally served with honey with bits of orange rind and chopped nuts. They grace the table at Christmas and Easter and are best served warm. Ingredients 4 cups flour sifted 8 eggs 2 egg yolks pinch of salt 4 tbs. softened butter grated rind of 1/2 lemon grated rind of 1/2 orange 2/3 cup honey 4 tbs. Sugar 3/4 cups candied orange peel 3/4 cups citron mixed flavors and use REAL citron nonpareils Struffoli
The recipie Procedure Put flour, eggs, salt, yolks, butter and the grated rinds in a bowl. Mix to a smooth dough. Rest for 1 hour, covered with a damp cloth. Heat plenty of oil in a deep pan. Roll pieces of dough in a long rope about 1/2” thick. Cut into 1/4” pieces. Optional is to roll them in round balls. When oil is very hot fry them until golden. Drain on paper towels. Put honey, sugar and a few tbs of water into a pan, bring to a boil and simmer until the foam disappears and the mixture is yellow and clear. Lower the heat and immerse the struffoli and approximately half the diced fruit. Wet your hands with cold water and quickly shape into a ring or a round dome. Sprinkle with 100’s/1000’s and candied fruit. Stack in a dish to form an upside down cone shape. Make a lot of these because they will disappear quickly.