Tortelli di Zucca

The final traditional Christmas dish from Northern Italy I made this year was Tortelli di Zucca: tortelli filled with squash or pumpkin. This dish is not from Emilia-Romagna but from Lombardia, and especially from the cities of Mantova and Cremona. The special local ingredient that gives the tortelli a unique taste is mostarda (Mostarda di Cremona or Mostarda di Mantova): fruit candied in a mustard flavored syrup. You can make mostarda yourself, but all the recipes I’ve seen require mustard oil that is as hard to get in these parts as the mostarda itself. You can still make pumpkin tortelli … Continue reading Tortelli di Zucca

Tortellini in Brodo

Tortellini in brodo (tortellini in broth) is a classic Christmas dish from Bologna. The tortellini need to be so small that you can eat them in a single bite, together with the broth. It is quite a bit of work to make them as well as the broth from scratch, but certainly worth it. You can make the broth and the tortellini the day before, in fact my advice would be to do that. Officially you need a capon (neutered rooster) to make the broth, but a plump farm chicken will do. Tortelli and tortellini are the typical stuffed pasta shapes from … Continue reading Tortellini in Brodo

Mince Pie à la Conor

Mince pie is a traditional Christmas dessert on the British isles. I had never had mincemeat pie before, and always thought it was a savory pie containing meat. I had not decided on a dessert for Christmas this year, and when I read about Conor’s Mince Pie I decided that would be my Christmas dessert this year. We all loved the very full flavor of the mincemeat, so it was a big success. This is another great example of a blog-inspired new dish that I probably never would have made without Conor’s post. So thanks Conor! I’ve never had mince pie before so … Continue reading Mince Pie à la Conor

Not decided yet what you are going to cook for Christmas?

I’ve been cooking Christmas dinner for my parents every year for about 20 years now. I’ve already decided on the menu for this year, but I can’t post the recipes yet as most are new recipes that I can only share with you after I’ve made them and taken pictures. The only recipe that I’m going to make that I’ve blogged about before is Corn Soup with Crab. If you’re still undecided what you are going to cook for Christmas this year, perhaps the following suggestions can be helpful. They are recipes that I posted over the last year that … Continue reading Not decided yet what you are going to cook for Christmas?

Dutch Easter bread (Paasstol)

One of the traditional treats for Easter in the Netherlands is a “paasstol”: a bread filled with raisins and almond paste. The same bread is also made with Christmas and then called “kerststol”. Other than the name, there is no real difference. In many cases the filling also contains candied fruits and hazelnuts, but I prefer just raisins. A similar bread is made in Germany and then called “Stollen” (Weihnachtsstollen, Christstollen). Instead of proper almond paste, a store-bought stol will in many cases contain ‘confectioner’s paste’ (“banketbakkersspijs”) which is actually made from beans instead of almonds. It is of course … Continue reading Dutch Easter bread (Paasstol)