What Do Italians Eat for Christmas Dinner?

A traditional Italian Christmas meal is typically a multicourse meal that includes delicacies such as cuts of cured meat garnished with olives and cheese. Typically, one course of the meal includes pasta, though the dish differs between the northern and southern regions of Italy.

The pasta dish served in northern Italy is typically a Lasagna verdi alla Bolognese accompanied with a wide variety of stuffed pastas. In the southern regions, on the other hand, a pasta dish called pasticcio al forno is more common. The dish is a baked pasta and is stuffed with one of a wide variety of fillings.

Italian Christmas meals generally include a wide selection of meat as part of the second course. Dishes such as braised beef, roasted chicken with potatoes and roasted veal are common. A sausage made from, and filled with, pig intestines is also popular in northern Italy.

Desserts are also a common part of an Italian Christmas meal. Dishes such as nougat are common after the main course. The main traditional cake served after the meal is called il pandoro. This cake resembles the il torrone, which is a Milanese light cake, but does not include fillings of raisins and candied fruit.