While Thanksgiving’s roots are in early America, the celebration of hard work, giving thanks, and family has branched out beyond America, into many places around the world. There are festivities in Canada, Germany, Japan, and even Italy, where it is known as La Festa Del Ringrazziamento.
It is relatively easy to put an Italian spin on your Thanksgiving table without changing up your whole menu. Without straying too far from your traditional menu, you can easily add an Italian flair to dishes, and pair them with Italian wines to match.
For the pre-Thanksgiving noshes, an antipasto tray brings a little bit of Italy to your table. Start your platter with Italian cheeses like mozzarella balls marinated in olive oil and spices, along with cubes or slices of Asiago, Provolone, and Parmesan, alongside meats like Sopresseta, Proscuitto, and Genoa salami. Then adorn the platter with mixed olives, pepperoncini, roasted red peppers, pickled mushrooms, and artichoke hearts. Add some sliced Italian bread, crackers, or bread sticks, and you have an impressive spread while dinner is cooking.
For pairing with your antipasto selection, may we suggest the 2020 Monte Tondo Frizzante Corvina Rosato, from the Veneto region of Italy? This is a lightly spritzy wine, made from 100 percent Corvina, that makes a great palate awakener, and would complement the meats, cheeses, and other delicious selections on your platter.
The main course for most Thanksgiving tables is the turkey. A way to put an Italian spin on the turkey is to make a paste of room temperature butter mixed with dried oregano, rosemary, fresh basil, parsley, and crushed garlic. Rub the butter mixture up under the skin of your bird. It will add moisture and Italian flavors to the main course. Another option is to make your turkey in a porchetta style, which is rolled with herbs in the center.
Side dishes can carry on the same Italian theme. This stuffing recipe uses ciabatta bread as a base, along with Italian sausage and warm herbs. Mashed potatoes can join in our Italian spin on dinner with the simple addition of a few tablespoons of Parmesan cheese before serving. Other side dishes like creamed cippolini onions, salads, roasted squash, and gnocchi can be found here.
For wines to pair with your dinner, we have three choices. The first suggestion is the 2020 Poderi Elia Dolcetto d'Alba, which is 100 percent Dolcetto. Another wine for your table is the 2020 La Quercia Aglianico, from Pulia, Italy. Our third option with dinner is the 2019 Lovo Blossom Rosso, from Veneto, Italy, which is 50 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, blended with 50 percent Cabernet Franc. All three of these wines would pair well your Thanksgiving feast, whether it has an Italian flair or not.
One of our favorite courses on Thanksgiving is dessert, so we had to share a few options. Italian flairs can easily grace the dessert table, with recipes like the Pumpkin Mascarpone Pie, or the Italian Ricotta Cheesecake.
This weekend Friday November 5 and Saturday November 6, City Vino will be featuring the four Italian wines listed above for you to try. Stop by and taste them, and see if they will grace your Thanksgiving table this year. Cheers!