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Romagna’s traditional Christmas fare

From first courses to desserts, join us on a journey through traditional Christmastime dishes

In Romagna, Christmas and yuletide celebrations in general are a great opportunity for reconfirming the link with regional food and wine traditions. 

Under the warm glow of the Christmas lights, one at a time, the dishes of the typical menu are brought to the table. They are often prepared by the keeper of the house and the kitchen, arzdora or azdora in local dialect. 

Pasta dishes

One of the most popular first courses at Christmas time in Romagna is cappelletti, filled with cheese and served with meat sauce or filled with meat and served in broth. In Ferrara, the alternative is pumpkin-filled cappellacci, served with meat sauce or butter and sage

Meat main courses

If stuffed fresh egg pasta is the star at the start of the meal, the traditional main courses of Emilia-Romagna are captained by bollito, assorted boiled meats served with a variety of sauces.

These can range from Ravenna’s sauce of aubergines, anchovies and capers, to the sweet and sour accompaniment of mostarda (preserved fruits). Cotechino is a must, whilst around Ferrara, delicious salamina da sugo rules.


At the end of the meal, when you almost couldn’t eat another thing, it’s time for something sweet. 

As in many other regions of Italy, the Christmas menu in Romagna wouldn’t be complete without traditional panettone, but there are many other delicious typical recipes too. 

For example, chocolate-covered pampepato in Ferrara and other tasty Christmas treats packed with delicious ingredients. Play and have fun with your family, especially your children, but don’t forget, between one joke and another, put some ciambella on the table, it’s fantastic dunked in Albana wine. 

Last update 08/10/2021