In local tradition, this particular celebration begins the evening before Christmas, in other words, on Christmas Eve. Dinner on Christmas Eve involves fish dishes and after dinner (and before Midnight Mass), cappelletti are prepared for the following day. For dinner on Christmas Eve, we recommend you start with grilled fish, if you are lucky enough to have the room and equipment, or alternatively a delicious fish soup.
And now Christmas Day lunch
To begin you can choose a traditional Italian starter consisting of olive, thin strips of mozzarella cheese and a few slices of mixed cold cuts and salamis, or you could be more daring and warm a couple of slices (or more) of simple bread (choose Tuscan bread or better still, bread from Puglia) and when golden brown cover it with slivers of Colonnata lard and shavings of Fossa cheese. Cut the bread into pieces and it’s ready to serve. But don’t exaggerate! Remember that after that there’s cappelletti in broth and the boiled meat and vegetable side dishes that accompany it. It’s an important celebration so add another main course and side dish, such as roast sucking pork-style rabbit and roast potatoes. Play and fool around with your family, especially the children, but amid all the fun and games don’t forget to serve some ciambella that your guests can enjoy by dipping it into their sweet Albana wine.
Enjoy your meal!
You should serve a full-bodied, well-rounded wine, such as Sangiovese, with the strong flavours of the grilled fish or fish soup you serve on Christmas Eve. For the starter, first course and boiled meat on Christmas Day your guests can sip some Pagadebit, not too strong at around 12° proof, and serve Sangiovese red wine with the rabbit.
Lastly, remember to serve local sweet Albana wine with the ciambella.