Traditional Christmas Menu of Bologna and Modena

Italians love traditions, home cooking and local dishes!

Each region of Italy has its own customs, in Emilia Romagna and especially in the area of Modena and Bologna there are some dishes that will hardly miss from the Holidays tables.
The link with tradition is not only dictated by local customs and traditions, but also by the large number of DOP and IGP foods typically produced in this region of Italy.



The Christmas lunch varies from family to family. Among the first courses win tortellini, followed by passatelli and lasagna.
Tortellini are mostly home made, every family has its own recipe, and must be served in broth, even if now, younger people prefer tortellini with a cream sauce.

Among the meat zampone or cotechino are the most common, always in competition with lamb and beef fillet, only after them you can find the famous boiled meat.
Zampone and cotechino come with a side of smashed potatoes and large beans in a tomatoes sauce.

Among the desserts,  pandoro and panettone are the preferred ones, although in the real tradition there would be a Christmas “bread”(Pane di Natale or Certosino depending if you are in Modena or Bologna)
It comes out a lovely golden brown color and should be served in small pieces not much bigger than a biscuit. It can be eaten alone, or better yet, with typical local amaretti biscuits or sponge cake squares covered with vanilla-flavoured powdered sugar.

And ending the Christmas lunch happily means drinking a little shot of Nocino a dark liqueur made with alcohol, sugar, walnuts and secrets spices coming from old recipes of the families.