Italian Halloween Recipes
Though October 31st is not an official holiday in Italy, Halloween is still somewhat celebrated by children and adults alike to a certain extent. According to religious tradition, “All Saints Day” on November 1st is the official holiday and “All Souls Day” on November 2nd is celebrated throughout Italy.
During this time families prepare special meals for the souls of the departed. Families set the table with bountiful feasts then go to church to pray for the souls of the deceased. They leave their home open so the spirits could enter and enjoy the food. For some great information about the Halloween tradition in Italy visit Life in Italy.com.
Though there isn’t a set menu, Beans of the Dead or Fave Dei Morti are traditional cookies that are made for this occasion. There are many variations of these cookies but I found one I particularly liked. The rest of the menu can be almost anything you enjoy. Here’s a few ideas to get you started.
Blood Orange Prosecco
3 cups of blood orange juice
1/3 cup of Grand Marnier orange flavored liquor
1 Tbls of sugar
1 bottle of Prosecco, chilled
In a large pitcher stir together the juice, liquor and sugar until sugar is dissolved.
Add the Prosecco just before serving.
Halloween Pasta Salad
1 pound of wagon wheel pasta, cooked
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 15oz. can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup of Italian Salad Dressing
In a large bowl mix all the ingredients together.
Chill before serving.
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 and 1/2 cups of grated pumpkin
2 Tbls of extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbls of butter
3 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
6 cups of chicken broth
1 cup of fresh grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of fresh ground black pepper
In a medium saucepan bring the broth to a boil.
Reduce the heat to a simmer.
In a large saucepan sauté the onions in the oil and butter until tender.
Stir in the chopped sage.
Add the rice and sauté while stirring for about 1 minute.
Add the pumpkin and sauté for 5 minutes.
Stir in broth one cup at a time. Be sure all the broth is absorbed before adding the next.
Stir in the cheese.
Season with salt and pepper.
Serves 6 people.
Crock-Pot Italian Roast Beef Sandwiches
4 to 5 pound Rump Roast or Sirloin Tip (fat trimmed)
3 to 4 tsp of vegetable oil
6 Tbs of Chicago-Style Italian Beef Seasoning
4 cups of water
4 beef bouillon cubes
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 sweet red or green sweet bell peppers, sliced
1 large yellow onion, sliced
1 package of sandwich rolls (preferably Turano's, Gonnella's or D'Amato's in Chicago)
Hot or Mild giardiniera (optional but necessary
Make sure the roast is trimmed of fat.
In a large frying pan brown the beef on all sides in the vegetable oil.
Place the roast in a slow cooker or crock pot.
Add 6 Tbs of Chicago-Style Italian Beef Seasoning
Add the water, bouillon cubes, garlic.
After 4 to 5 hours add the peppers and onions.
Cook on low heat for 8 to 10 hours.
Shred the beef in the juice and let it soak for a little while
Spoon some juice over the top or dip the sandwich in the mixture.
Top the sandwich with the peppers and onion.
Top with Hot or mild giardiniera and your ready to eat.
Serves 6 to 8 people.
Beans of the Dead
1 and 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
10 oz. of almonds
1/2 cup of sugar
1 oz of pine nuts
1 egg white
1 oz of grappa or brandy
zest from 1/2 of a lemon
1 tsp. of powdered cinnamon
Blanch the almonds, peel them and chop.
In a large bowl combine the flour, almonds, sugar, pine nuts, grappa, lemon zest and cinnamon.
Beat the ingredients until it forms a firm dough.
Shape 1 inch ball of dough into the shape of a fava bean.
Place the cookies on a greased baking sheet.
Beat the eggs.
Brush the top of the dough with the egg.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
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