What to cook for the holidays? Four recipes and wine pairings

Cosa cucinare per le feste? Quattro ricette e gli abbinamenti con il vino

Looking for ideas for holiday meals? Here are four easy and tasty recipes to cook at Christmas, with matching wines. For guaranteed success during the holidays now upon us.

What to cook during the holidays? Here are four tasty recipes and the wines to match.

Chestnut soup

500 g chestnuts; 2 slices of homemade bread; 2 sticks of celery, 1 leek, 1 carrot; 1 onion EVO oil; salt and pepper to taste.

For the perfect result of the chestnut soup, cut the peel of the fruits with a small cut, place them in a pan covered with water and cook them for 20 minutes.

Drain the chestnuts and peel them while they are lukewarm and in the meantime prepare a vegetable broth by cooking the vegetables (leek, onion, carrot and celery sticks) for about half an hour in one and a half liters of water.

Add the peeled chestnuts and cook over medium heat for another 20 minutes. Drain the chestnuts (keep 4 of them and cut them into small pieces) and blend the mixture until you obtain a fairly smooth and homogeneous cream.
Filter the broth and, if necessary, add it to the cream until you obtain the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut the bread into cubes, place it on a baking tray and sprinkle it with a drizzle of oil; pass it under the grill for a few minutes. Serve the steaming cream with croutons, small pieces of chestnut, a drizzle of oil and freshly ground pepper.

To be enjoyed in combination with a generous red, for example Teroldego . To discover various versions, take a look at our thematic selection proposed in October .

Saffron risotto with red prawns

Carnaroli rice 320g; 2 carrots; 2 stalks of celery; 2 shallots; saffron in pistils; light rum; extra virgin olive oil; Salt to taste; 6 red prawns from Mazara Del Vallo; 1 untreated lime; pink pepper and mint leaves; light rum to taste; 200 g white vinegar
200g white wine; 80g parmesan; 50g butter.

Prepare the shellfish stock and the white wine reduction. Clean the prawns, keeping the shells aside and brown the celery, shallots and carrots in a pan with EVO oil with some aromas to taste. When the vegetables are browned, add the shells and blend with rum, then cover everything with water and ice and leave to cook for 30 minutes. Finally let it cool and filter everything through a fine mesh sieve.

In the meantime, put the vinegar in equal weight with the still white wine and a shallot cut in half into a saucepan and leave over medium heat for 15 minutes. to extract a reduction that you will add to the risotto while creaming.
On a separate cutting board, chop the raw prawns, then transfer them to a bowl and season with lime juice, EVO oil, pink pepper, zest, mint leaves and a few teaspoons of rum. Cover with cling film and let rest until ready to plate.

Toast the rice with 30g of butter and a drizzle of oil, when the grain begins to change colour, start with the first dip of fumet and continue without ever allowing it to dry. Halfway through cooking, add the saffron dissolved in a ladle of broth and once cooked (al dente, after about 13 minutes), turn off the heat, add the wine reduction, the remaining butter and the parmesan; let the risotto mix and serve as it is, garnished with the tartare and decorative pink pepper.

To be combined with a white with character. A suggestion? Verdicchio . In the November thematic selection we proposed the reserve version of Marotti Campi.

Juniper glazed hare

hare glazed with juniper

1 hare; 100 g of bacon; 50 g of dry white wine; 1 shot of brandy; 10 juniper berries; 1 onion; 1 shallot; 1 clove of garlic; 1 bay leaf; extra virgin olive oil; butter; salt and pepper to taste.

Cut the hare into small pieces and prepare the marinade with wine, juniper berries, bay leaves, onion, shallots and garlic, salt and peppercorns. Immerse the stew and leave to marinate covered in a cool place for at least 12 hours, stirring occasionally. Drain and dry the various pieces, wrap them in thinly cut bacon and place them on a baking tray brushed with plenty of oil and cook in a preheated oven at 180° degrees for 45-50 minutes, to obtain a slightly rare cooking; if you prefer more cooked meat, continue in the oven for up to an hour.
Filter the marinade and pour it into a saucepan, where over high heat it should reduce the volume by about half. Remove the bacon from the stew and just heat a small glass of brandy, then pour over the meat and let it flame for two minutes. Deglaze the cooking juices with the filtered marinade, bring to the boil over high heat and stir in the sauce with a knob of butter to serve separately.

To be paired with an important red, such as Brunello di Montalcino from our November selection .

Caprese cake

Caprese cake
185 g of peeled almonds or almond flour; 125 g of excellent quality dark chocolate; 125 g of butter; 3 medium eggs; 125 g of granulated sugar; peel of 1 orange; 1 tablespoon Gran Marnier or Rum icing sugar to decorate.
Melt the chocolate together with the butter in a bain-marie, placing them over a low heat and stirring constantly until the mixture is smooth and set aside. Separate the egg yolks from the whites and whisk the egg yolks with 80 g of sugar and the orange peel for a few minutes, until you obtain a frothy mixture. Add the liqueur and combine with the chocolate and butter ganache, then whip the mixture to make it velvety. Add the almond flour or ground almonds, then mix with a spatula.
Whip the egg whites until stiff with the rest of the sugar, then incorporate them, mixing from bottom to top to obtain a frothy cream. Butter and flour a baking tray perfectly into which you will pour the mixture, trying to level it as much as possible. Cook in a static oven at 180° for about 35 minutes.
To be tasted while sipping a sweet wine, for example the Sagrantino di Montefalco Passito from our November selection .

If you've read this far, you're one of us!

So let's tell you a few words about Sommelier Wine Box

We create wine itineraries to discover extraordinary wines, territories and cellars, telling their stories and secrets.

There is no point in hiding, not all wines of the same price are the same , which is why we collaborate with great sommeliers to select only niche wineries and offer our customers the wines with the best quality/price on the market.