Authentic Italian Cooking

Italian Xmas recipes: veggie pasta, rice dishes

Holiday recipes do not require always meat and fish. You can plan a great vegetarian or vegan menu by choice of life or health needs that unfortunately, in some cases, can never be forgotten.

Pumpkin ravioli in the Holiday table
Pumpkin ravioli

It must be clear that this page is dedicated not only to vegetarian people but also to all looking for simple and light recipes necessary to balance their menu in the Holiday season.
In fact menus in this period of the year are always very rich and sometimes to choose a first course  without meat or fish is synonymous with intelligence.
Seriously, you risk that your guests are able to taste really all that you have prepared ;))

However, this choice, hides a problem.
If your antipasto is an assorted platter of cold cuts according to a traditional Italian menu and your first course  is very delicate, you may run the risk it appears insipid. It's up to you to combine your dishes so you do not fall into this error.

Pasta and rice dishes without meat or fish for Christmas and New Year's Eve dinner

Agnolotti from friuli

A first course of stuffed fresh pasta to do at home. This stuffing is very simple to do but different from the usual: cinnamon, sugar, brandy, parsley and mint. The ideal in the menu of the Christmas period sometimes too full of heavy dishes. I find them delicious when they are combined with game.

Lentil and rice timbale

Rice timbale with lentils

The recipe is vegetarian but nothing stops you to add sausage. I find it really a winning choice for the New Year's Eve dinner party. In fact, you can prepare it in advance.

Four cheese pasta

Four cheese macaroni

Four traditional cheeses: emmental, mozzarella, Dutch cheese and grated Parmesan are the ingredients to dress pasta. It is not a low-calorie dish properly but its flavor can help you to well separate your starter from the second course. Fast and delicious recipe.

Baked macaroni

Baked macaroni

Another suggestion for a pasta dish dressed with cheese that can be made with penne or macaroni. The ingredients for the sauce are just a few: white sauce, egg yolk, butter and Parmesan.
Do not underestimate it as a choice because the final part of the cooking is done in the oven, and when you have guests it is always good to provide some dishes that you can prepare ahead and put in the oven just before serving.

Porcini mushroom risotto

Porcini risotto, Italian style

Some might argue: a simple mushroom risotto for Christmas or New Year's Eve dinner party? I say yes because it all depends on how you do it and what ingredients are used. If the broth is made with good-quality meat, if saffron is in pistils and the mushrooms are just good, you can do it ;)

Rigatoni with cauliflower, Sicily style

Pasta dressed with cauliflower, sicilian recipe

It's a typical Sicilian dish, ideal for all who love vegetables. It can be made in the Holiday season. In fact cauliflower is combined with pine nuts and raisin. In the traditional recipe anchovies are used too but I tested it without them and it is very good!

White grape risotto

Risotto with white grapes and cheese

This is a very simple risotto but it can help you to balance a very rich menu. Use the very good grapes which is typical of this period, sweeter than usual. Its flavor will harmonize well with the cheese suggested by me.

Cocoa tagliatelle with cream and walnuts

Cocoa tagliatelle dressed with white sauce

This tagliatelle dish is ideal for people looking for particular and unusual tastes for their Christmas dinner party.
But be very careful matching it with other courses. It is particularly delicate and so you can not plan a menu rich in strong flavors.
You can find these dried cocoa tagliatelle in the best food stores or make them at home. This tagliatelle dish is ideal to combine with appetizers or main courses made with game.

Pumpkin ravioli

pumpkin ravioli

Do you like it? this fresh pasta is delicious. Its stuffing is made with pumpkin and amaretti biscuits. A real Italian delicacy, ideal for your great occasions. You can prepare your ravioli some days ahead and freeze them. Then they can be cooked, still frozen, just before serving in few minutes and dressed with a tomato sauce you can cook in advance.