Tag Archives: holidays

Comfort Foods for the Holiday Season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and it’s my favorite time of the year too! One of the aspects of the holiday season I love the most is simply having wholesome meals with my friends and family. For me, every meal with people I love during the holiday season is a celebration. I cook something warming and comforting, I turn on the Christmas lights, I play the Christmas tunes, and we have ourselves a merry time. So I wanted to share with you some of the comforting dishes I like to make around this time of year. Explore below!

Easy Bolognese

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As an Italian-American, I find few dishes more comforting than pasta with a chunky red sauce. Bolognese is a classic sauce you can use for pasta, gnocchi, polenta, spaghetti squash, or by itself with crusty bread. My recipe for Bolognese is simple and warms from the soul outward.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

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This is the one to make when you are looking to impress your guests. Sweet, savory, and spicy, Stuffed Acorn Squash is an indulgent, gourmet-style dish that has everything going for it. Get the recipe here.

Butternut, Brussels, and Bacon Pizza

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I love making seasonal artisan pizzas. For Fall and Winter, my go-to pizza is this Butternut, Brussels, and Bacon Pizza. Truly, this is one of the best pizzas ever. This is great for a weekend night in with friends while watching a Christmas movie. Get the dough here. 

Honey Roasted Carrot and Parsnip Soup

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This soup is a great easy weeknight meal served with salad and bread or can be used as an appetizer course. Both sweet and savory, this soup feels very seasonal and like something you would have in a Christmasy cottage somewhere in a fairy-tale. Learn to make it here. 

Johnny’s Tomato Soup

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Sometimes, tomato soup just cannot be beat. While tomato soup isn’t the fanciest of dishes, it is often a great choice on a busy weeknight or when your guests are wanting to still eat healthy while also eating cozy. My Tomato Soup is warming, earthy, and slightly spicy and is completely vegan. I will serve this with a nice winter salad and some crusty bread and before you know it you have a full holiday meal. Get the recipe here. 

Christmas Biscotti

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I am not much of a baker, but once a year I get in the kitchen and whip up a batch of my Christmas Biscotti. These biscotti have the flavors and colors of the season with cranberries, pistachios, orange zest, vanilla, Amaretto, and dark chocolate. These are an incredibly festive dessert and are also a great baked good to bring to potlucks or even present as a food based gift. Learn to make them here. 

Whatever you decide to cook for your loved ones this year, I hope that you have a very merry and tasty holiday season!

Christmas Biscotti

Truthfully, I am not a huge baker and much more of a cook. When it’s Christmas time, however, I do enjoy donning on an apron, covering myself in flour, and whipping up a few sweet holiday treats. Like any sane human, I love baking and eating Christmas cookies. But with so many people opting for traditional holiday favorites like sugar cookies, I like to make something a little bit different when I make the effort to bake up some Christmas cheer.

My original Christmas Biscotti gives me the satisfaction of Christmas baking while paying homage to my Italian roots. Ever since I developed this recipe about 7 years ago, these biscotti have become a friend and family favorite I bake and share every December. This is one of my original recipes I very much look forward to sharing with my children one day!

My Christmas Biscotti are just the right amount of sweet and satisfyingly crunchy! With red from tart dried cranberries, green from earthy pistachios, a bit of warm orange zest, a splash of lively amaretto, and rich dark chocolate, these biscotti look and taste like Christmas! Try them with a nice cup of coffee, tea, or hot cocoa for an optimally festive experience.


Christmas Biscotti

Serves: 12–14 Cookies | Prep Time: 2 Hours | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons orange zest
  • ½ stick salted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons Amaretto liqueur
  • ½ cup pistachios, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • Optional: 1 cup dark chocolate chips to make glaze

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.

In a large bowl, beat the sugar, butter, and orange zest with a hand mixer until a crumb-like texture is formed. Add one egg at a time and beat until completely incorporated. Mix in the Amaretto liqueur. Working in thirds, add the flour mixture and beat together until all ingredients are mixed and dough starts to form. Add the pistachios, cranberries, and chocolate chips until well distributed throughout the dough.

Place the dough in the center of the baking sheet lined with parchment paper and form a log that is 13 inches long and 3 inches wide. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the log is golden brown. Remove from oven and baking sheet and allow to cool for 30 minutes.

Using a sharp or serrated bread knife, slice the log in ½ inch to ¾ inch slices (be careful as the slices will be quite fragile). Place the slices with cut side down on the baking sheet and bake an additional 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a baking rack.

Optional: melt the 1 cup of dark chocolate in a double boiler. Pour the melted chocolate onto a plate. Dip the flat bottom of the biscotti in the melted chocolate and set aside until the chocolate hardens. Enjoy!

Buon Natale!



Making this recipe? Post a pic on Instagram and tag me with @johnnylapasta! Also, let me know what you think in the comments below!