Holiday Italiano!

For Christmas, the Boy’s dad asked for a gift that wouldn’t add to all of the stuff in their house, so we thought what better than a meal that would transport him back one of his favorite places – Rome!! So we brainstormed and came up with a four course menu we hoped would make Chef Andrea proud. The Boy came up with a menu of riddles to get his dad to guess the dishes and we prepared a fancier version with the Italian names of the dishes for the actual evening.

The whole thing turned out to be a blast as we spent it with his dad, Pat, his brother, and his brother’s girlfriend. We spent it as the Italians do – eating, cooking, drinking, talking, discussing Italian, nursing a broken toe. Oh yea, I broke my toe the morning of. Woops…

Anyhoo, prepare yourselves for an amazing menu – all recipes to come!

Carciofi alla romana con un sugo di limone, capperi, e yogurt

Primo Piatto
Spaghetti alla carbonara (a la Pisciapiano!!)

Secondo Piatto
Agnello brasato con bacce di ginepro, finocchio, e salvia
servito con risotto alla milanese

Il Dolce
Cannoli fatti in casa


I found a recipe for artichoke hearts in the Roman style which reminded me of crispy artichoke hearts with lemon, caper, yogurt sauce we’ve had before at a local French restaurant in Rhinebeck. So I combined some recipes to make this dish. Though they’re flash fried they’re incredibly light and fresh. The sauce lightens everything up even more and clears the palette for the rest of the evening.

Serves 6 people as an appetizer

22.5 oz canned artichoke hearts

2 cups flour seasons with salt, pepper, and paprika

1 7/8 cups buttermilk

Frying oil (canola, sunflower, or safflower)

Grated parmesan and chopped parsley for garnish


  • Drain artichokes and rinse (to stop the artichoke hearts marinating in the can juices – it gets too intense!).
  • Chop the artichoke hearts in half.
  • Dust with flour and dip into the buttermilk.
  • Fry until golden brown and crispy (if your oil is already hot from, say, frying cannoli shells, it takes no time at all – literally a few seconds).
  • Sprinkle with parmesan and parsley and serve warm with the lemon caper sauce.

Lemon Caper Yogurt Sauce Ingredients

3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (go ahead, be good, use the fat free stuff – it still tastes amazing!)

2 tbsp capers, rinsed, drained, and chopped

1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice (fresh)

1 1/2 tbsp lemon zest

Salt & Pepper to taste

  • Mix all the ingredients together in a serving dish. Cover in plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve.

2 Responses to “Holiday Italiano!”
  1. dina says:

    gosh, this sounds delicious. I spent New Year in the company of a Sicilian family, and we were treated to a delicious pasta dish at 2am after copious amounts of vino tinto!

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    January 2011
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