Italian Christmas – £120


The essence of Christmas Day in Italy is family, love and food, la famiglia, l’amore e il cibo.

Italian festive food varies from region to region, although there are some common dishes.  In the Italian Catholic tradition, Christmas Eve is a day of abstinence from meat so a celebratory banquet frequently features fish – some families even prepare as many as 20 different fish dishes!  In Rome and southern Italy, il capitone, a dish made with fried eels is a firm favourite.  After dinner, Italians head off for midnight mass.

Lunch, il pranzo, on Christmas Day is the most important of all the Christmas feasts and is a lengthy affair.

Delicacies such as crostini with liver pâté or the classic tortellini in chicken stock, brodo are on the table, while lo zampone, a pig’s foot filled with spiced mince meat, or il cotechino, a sausage made from pig’s intestines containing a similar filling, are particularly popular in northern Italy.  Others opt for lamb, l’agnello and accompanying vegetables include mashed potato and lentils, lenticchie.  Tortellini, cotechino and lenticchie are often on the menu again on New Year’s Eve.

The menu we have put together is a mixture of Christmas Eve and Christmas day.  It is designed so that you can prepare much of the menu in advance, so you have time to relax and enjoy Christmas day.

During the course, James Claydon will tutor you through the following festive menu. 


  • Crostini of crab with radicchio, chilli and fennel
  • Cotechino sausage with puy lentils and salsa verde
  • Roast pheasant in Chianti, stuffed with quince and wrapped with coppa and fresh thyme
  • Cavolo Nero  (Italian black cabbage) with fried garlic
  • Creamy cannellini beans with new season’s olive oil
  • Panettone bread and butter pudding

Your course will commence at 9.30am through to 3pm.  Lunch will be provided, plus your ingredients and copies of the recipes.

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