We’re contemplating going rogue for Thanksgiving, skipping the traditional turkey and mashed potatoes and making an all-Italian feast.
I own every one of Lidia Bastianich’s cookbooks, each one with many dog-eared pages, and each one with tabs of favorites. We’ve eaten at her midtown restaurant Felidia and fallen off our chairs at how incredibly good everything was. We even had a Thanksgiving there one year, a year when the NYC-living kids had to work and couldn’t leave town, so we went in, ate out, and had a to-die for meal.
I sent a group family text, asking each one if they thought it was crazy or stupid to forego turkey and try something different, like an Italian menu.
I was surprised – everyone said Great Idea!
So I set about scribbling down ideas, a long list of possibilities which will get whittled down to a manageable few by Thanksgiving.
Some things on the list:
Zucchini roll-ups with capers
Mini arancini (rice balls)
Prosciutto and fig bruschetta
Celery, potato, and tomato
Octopus and potato
Roasted beets and beet greens
Mozzarrella and celery
Chicken with capers and anchovies
Chicken with oranges and olives
Homemade gnocchi, my grandmother’s recipe
Baked fennel with sage
Roasted sweet and yukon potatoes
Almond cake with chocolate chips
Cannoli (homemade, of course!)
Pear and bread pudding
I’ve asked the family to add and subtract to the list, and who knows, by actual Thanksgiving week everyone will balk and I’ll end up cooking a turkey after all, but for today, hey, this is where were are heading. Mangia mangia.