Italian Lessons


Food in Italy at Christmastime

If it's Natale — Christmas Day, lots of folks in Italy are at home getting ready for a big meal. Food is a priority, and taken very seriously.


Of course, Italy is famous for pasta, and so on Christmas, the dinner table for traditional Italians will often include lasagne al forno (baked lasagna). Here are some recipes in Italian:

Lasagne al forno lasagne verdi


You wouldn't want to eat lasagna every day, but it's hard to say no to. Even Luca Manara can't say no. Note that, as for other kinds of pasta, the plural is used: lasagne.


Ecco qua il miracolo di zia Caterina, le famose lasagne al forno per festeggiare l'ennesimo caso risolto brillantemente, ecco qua.

Here it is, Aunt Caterina's miracle, the famous baked lasagna to celebrate the umpteenth case solved brilliantly, here you are.

Captions 18-19, Il Commissario Manara - S2EP1 - Matrimonio con delitto

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Tortellini in brodo (Tortellini in broth) is another favorite. See more about tortellini here.

Making homemade brodo (broth) is common in Italy, and is easy and worth it. If you’re not sure what to do with the rind from your parmigiano (parmesan cheese), well, just throw it in the pot with the other basic ingredients: various cuts of meat and bones, celery, parsley, carrots and onions. The parmigiano rinds add some great flavor.

Here’s a recipe for brodo, in Italian.


From the Yabla video series about the famous chef Gualtiero Marchesi, we can see how big a deal a simple broth can be.


Nell'orazione funebre che Bocuse tenne per la morte di uno dei due fratelli Troisgros, ricordava ancora la preparazione del brodo. La preparazione del brodo è come la preparazione della pozione magica...

In the funeral oration that Bocuse gave for the death of one of the two Troisgros brothers, he mentioned again the preparation of broth. The preparation of broth is like preparing a magic potion...

Captions 28-30, L'arte della cucina - I Luoghi del Mondo

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One thing that characterizes the winter season in Italy, is the overwhelming availability of agrumi (citrus fruit). People like to eat arance (oranges)mandarini (mandarin oranges),and clementini (clementines) or clementine (clementines). They are shipped to all other parts of Italy from Sicily and Calabria, and fill shops and homes with their fragrance.


In just about any bar, you can order una spremuta (freshly squeezed orange juice). It's best when oranges are in season.


Per me una spremuta d'arancia, grazie.

For me a freshly squeezed orange juice, thanks.

Caption 41, Provaci Ancora Prof! - S1E1 - Il regalo di Babbo Natale

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In Italy, fruit is generally served at the end of a meal, and at Christmastime, there is usually also frutta secca (nuts and other dried fruits) in addition to panettone and other wonderful but caloric desserts. 

Here’s a link to a Yabla blog about the winter holidays in various parts of the world.

Culture Food

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