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Christmas Eve dinner for two

December 28, 2014

Christmas dinner

Christmas dinner

Christmas dinner

Christmas dinner

Christmas dinner

Christmas dinner

Christmas dinner

This year, one of the gifts I wanted to give my husband was an Italian-style holiday dinner.  I was hoping that we’d be able to have some of my family join us, but that didn’t work out, so it was just a really epic dinner for two.  Of course, this couldn’t even compare to a real, traditional La Vigilia meal, where you’d probably find two primi (first courses, typically rice and/or pasta) and maybe even three secondi (second courses, typically meat and side dishes) — so this was my take on a pared-down, Americanized version of my husband’s favorite feast.

Antipasti (clockwise from top-left):

  • Salami trio – Italian dry salame, peppered salame, and sopressata
  • Celery filled with cream cheese and peanut butter
  • Deviled eggs with smoked salmon, dill, & chives
  • Affettati (lunch meats) filled with gherkin pickles & cream cheese
  • Russian salad (recipe here)
  • Affettati platter – capicola, prosciutto, and roast beef


  • Cheese tortellini cooked in chicken broth


  • Cherry-port glazed spiral-sliced ham (recipe here)
  • Cheesy au gratin potatoes

Formaggi e frutta:

  • Double-creme brie
  • Humboldt Fog chevre
  • Hickory-smoked gouda
  • Clementines
  • Green table grapes


  • Panettone
  • Martini & Rossi Asti spumante

It was a wonderful, delicious meal, but I think we both learned that it’s not the food that makes the feast — it’s the people you share it with.  I think we both enjoyed the leftovers we took to my mom’s house the following day much more than the original feast.  And we’re crossing our fingers that in 2015 we’ll be able to enjoy a real Italian holiday feast!

P.S.  Where’s the fish??  In the US, many Italian-American families celebrate Christmas Eve with the Feast of the Seven Fishes.  Unsurprisingly, my northern Italian husband has never even heard of that.  Italians are resourceful and tend to eat what’s most plentiful in their region.  In Piedmont where he’s from, holiday feasts are more likely to include roasted meats, risotto, homemade salame, and liqueurs made from Alpine herbs.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 28, 2014 11:15 am

    That looks Like a delicious meal!

    • whitney marie permalink*
      December 28, 2014 11:38 am

      Thanks Sara! 🙂

  2. December 30, 2014 2:40 pm

    so just let me know when you want more company for a big meal like this – I live far away but I am sure I could work something out. It all looks amazing!

    • whitney marie permalink*
      January 1, 2015 2:44 pm

      Haha, that would be so fun!!

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