Traditional Italian Christmas menu

Traditional Italian Christmas menu

For a showstopping Italian-themed Christmas day feast, look no further than Essteele's carefully curated festive menu featuring recipes from a Michelin-starred chef and legends of Italian cuisine. Buon Natale e felice Anno Nuovo.

Acchiughe Con Salsa Verde (Anchovies in Green Sauce)

Use salt-packed anchovy fillets to make this antipasto from Luciano De Giacomi’s Nonna Genia’s Classic Langhe Cookbook (Astilibri, 1982).



  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced basil
  • 1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoon. white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon. crushed red chilli flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 hard-boiled egg yolks
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Roughly 20 anchovies, rinsed, soaked, and butterflied
  • Country-style bread, for serving


In a bowl, whisk together oil, basil, parsley, vinegar, chilli flakes, garlic, and yolks; season lightly with salt. Pat anchovies dry; arrange a third of the anchovies in a bowl and cover with a third of the parsley sauce; repeat twice more. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Serve with bread.

Roasted veal shin with potatoes ‘in tecia’

By Alessandro Gavagna

This rustic veal shin recipe from Michelin-starred chef Alessandro Gavagna is slowly roasted with vegetables and lardo for a decadent finish.



  • 1 veal shin, from the back leg
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 3 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 3 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 sprigs of marjoram, coarsely chopped
  • 2 sprigs of sage, coarsely chopped
  • 50g of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of lard
  • 30g of lardo
  • 250ml of chicken stock
  • 50ml of sunflower oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 500g of potato
  • 30g of lardo
  • 30ml of peanut oil
  • 30g of lard
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • Salt and pepper


To begin, season the veal shin with salt, pepper and 2 cloves of sliced garlic

Add the sunflower oil to a large saucepan and place over medium heat. Add the onions, carrot, garlic, sprigs of sage and marjoram and sauté until softened

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4

Rub the lard and lardo over the shin and place it in the pan

Bake the shin in the oven. When the first side is golden brown, turn the shin over and continue to cook. To obtain a nice colour turn the thickest part of the shin upwards - this will result in a crispier finish overall

Cook the shin for 2.5-3 hours. Add a little chicken stock to the roasting pan to prevent the bottom from burning, topping up if necessary during the cooking process.

Boil the potatoes in salted boiling water for 8 minutes, then drain and remove the skins. Roughly chop the potatoes and set aside

Warm some oil and lard in a large casserole dish, then add the lardo and cook until it begins to brown. Add the sliced onion, followed by the chopped potatoes. Season generously with salt and pepper

Continue cooking over high heat for another 30 minutes, turning occasionally to colour evenly

Serve the whole shin on a serving plate and carve it in front of your guests.

Serve the potatoes on the side, straight from the casserole dish

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