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9 perfect recipes for Christmas main courses

Christmas second courses: the most classic recipes of the Italian tradition

Christmas is a time of traditions and food is certainly no exception - particularly in our Italian culture.

Among the many dishes we can bring to the table, here is a roundup of ideas that come from all over the peninsula for a festive culinary journey dedicated to good food.

Let's take a look at the most classic recipes of the Italian tradition during the holiday season - being worthy of any self-respecting cookbook - it could perhaps help you in choosing that last dish that is missing from your menu for next Christmas.

From Southern Italy: among the aromas, colors and flavors that sub gives to Italian cuisine, it is impossible to resist these dishes with colors so vivid that they make you seem to be in a dream. For Christmas, in addition to meat main courses, they prepare riots of vegetables and fish: try stuffed artichokes, chickpeas with legumes, panzerotti or fried cod.

From Northern Italy: If your family has roots in this part of the country, there are many dishes and desserts to choose from. The best pasta alla norcina or Bolognese ragù will delight adults and children, without forgetting the pumpkin and ricotta tortelli!

From Central Italy: This region boasts an incredible culinary heritage thanks to the variety of soil and climatic conditions that allow crops such as truffles, hazelnuts and chestnuts to thrive. These ingredients are often used in traditional dishes such as Roman porchetta, Bologna mortadella, Modenese cotechino or Bolognese lasagna!

Here are some perfect suggestions for holiday lunches!

1) Capon stuffed with sausage and mushrooms

This dish is a classic and simple to prepare, so it is excellent for those who love good food but don't like recipes that are too complicated to prepare.

Free-range capon with sausage and mushrooms is an economical recipe that can be prepared with ingredients you probably already have on hand.

Since this dish is suitable for the whole family, it is perfect for celebrations of all kinds, from intimate gatherings to large parties!

2) Chicken with vegetables and potatoes

The second course on our Christmas menu is, once again, a light dish. Chicken with vegetables and potatoes will delight your guests without filling them too much (but if you want it to be more substantial, you can add some rice or pasta or even a second chicken breast).

Plus, everyone likes chicken! This recipe requires only 13 minutes of cooking, the time needed to prepare the table and the side dishes!

3) Bolognese lasagna

Lasagna Bolognese is a classic recipe of the Italian tradition. It is a recipe that can be prepared with meat, vegetables and cheese. And it's perfect for Christmas!

Lasagna Bolognese is also an excellent choice to make when you have more time available to cook, because it allows you to use fresh or preserved tomatoes for the preparation of the ragù.

The ingredients for a delicious Bolognese lasagna? Minced beef or sausage (better if homemade), onion, garlic and base for the sauté, tomato paste and a lot of patience to prepare the ragù. The variant adds bechamel - who are we not to follow it!

4) Turkey with chestnuts

Turkey with chestnuts is a classic Italian recipe and a perfect recipe to present during the holidays. Either because turkey is a good source of protein and chestnuts are a good source of fibre, or because the white meat is light and leaves room for all the other dishes: this recipe will please everyone.

If we then want to make our dish tastier or more particular, we can have fun and use delicious variations such as walnuts or almonds instead of chestnuts.

5) Roast pork with citrus fruits

The acrid scent of citrus fruits mixes with the authentic flavor of roast pork sizzling in the oven. Just a few ingredients are enough to transform Christmas lunch into a moment full of memories and aromas.

The citrus roast manages to tickle all palates and thanks to the bright colors it makes even the little ones in the house happy.

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). In a large bowl, combine pork tenderloin with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place the fillet on a baking tray, add the lemon and orange slices and their juice and roast for 15 minutes until golden brown; then turn it over and continue cooking until fully cooked. Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before cutting into medallions or cubes; serve with roasted vegetables or potatoes, if desired.

6) Cotechino with lentils

Undisputed dish for New Year's Eve dinner but also perfect for Christmas lunch. Cotechino is a spiral-shaped pork sausage, prepared with coarsely minced pork and stuffed into a natural casing. It originates from Bel Pese and is traditionally served in Modena and Reggio Emilia (where it is called "cotechino Modena" and "cotechino Reggio").

How to prepare it: for this recipe, cook the cotechino in water until tender (about 1 hour). Then drain it well before serving it with the lentils.

7) Braised beef in Barolo

When you ask yourself how to cook beef in a pan for holidays, every housewife from the north or colder regions has her answer: braised meat!

To enhance the qualities of a very important cut of meat, Brasato al Barolo comes to our rescue and fills Italian kitchens with a spicy aroma and the warmth of home cooking.

The secret? A good cut of Italian meat, a marinade based on wine and spices and a lot of time. We have a recipe that's right for you and will make all your guests go crazy: organic braised or stewed beef with bacon .

8) Chops in tomato sauce

Towards the end of our ranking - but not least - we give space to the most classic pork and queen of grills: we are talking about pork chops in tomato sauce.

It is a traditional recipe from Emilia Romagna, rather simple: just cook the pork chops in a pan with onion, garlic, carrots and celery; then prepare the sauce with tomatoes, milk and cream (you can use broth instead of water if you want). Serve hot accompanied by a side dish of your choice.

9) Veal with tuna sauce

This recipe comes from the Abruzzo region, where people are known for their love of simple yet delicious cuisine.

An adaptable recipe, originally created without tuna and mayonnaise, but which became a masterpiece following their addition.

The veal is cooked in a rich tomato sauce with a splash of white wine, then served over spaghetti.

For a lighter - but absolutely delicious - variant we have a recipe for you: chicken with tuna sauce is here to amaze you!

Italian recipes for Christmas: the menu is served

Our peninsula truly offers many dishes born from tradition, necessity and good taste capable of setting everyone's tables on festive days. The recipe book is served, all you have to do is choose what to cook, take a look at our recipes section of the site for some tasty ideas and at our online butcher's shop to get all the raw materials you need to compose the perfect dish. Organic chicken, 100% Italian beef, cheeses and cured meats... in short, Carne Genuina has everything you need for a truly Italian Christmas lunch!