Thinking about hosting a themed party for NYE? What about an Italian New Years Eve dinner party?
For me, New Year’s Eve is all about celebrating with friends. After spending Christmas with family I like having friends over to ring in the New Year’s Eve with an Italian dinner.
Hosting is more work, and a lot more chaotic with kids and pets, but allows you far more flexibility than celebrating at a restaurant. It’s the messiness that makes for memorable celebrations!
Many Italian cities have large outdoor celebrations with live music and you can watch them on tv. Here in Italy, a long dinner isn’t an uncommon event any day of the year and perfect for December 31.
There are traditions on what to eat for luck and prosperity for the year to come.
And the key elements are pretty simpl
An Italian Inspired New Year’s Eve Dinner
The Italian New Year’s Eve dinners begin with starters around 7pm. As friends arrive prosecco is handed out to drink enjoy with simple starters.
All you’ll need are a few local
Once everyone has arrived and
Begin the New Year’s Eve Dinner with ‘Il Primo’
Continue your Italian New Year’s Eve dinner with ‘Il Secondo’
Chicken cacciatore is one option and can be made in advance. In
And add the side dishes or ‘contorni’
On the side is always a selection of
A salad is also a good idea. Fennel and oranges are in season and make for a colourful refreshing palate cleanser. Or go head and skip the secondo and go straight to the lentils and cotechino.
At midnight it’s all about the lentils
Lentils are important as they represent wealth for the new year. The more lentils you eat the richer you’ll be next year.
Try and find Umbrian lentils, famous throughout Italy, from Castelluccio. Grown in a valley in the east of the province, the lentils of Castelluccio are small with a nutty flavor.
Added to the lentils is a cotechino. It’s really just an over the top version of a large fatty sausage. A
Cook the cotechino slowly, boiling it for several hours. The pork is fatty, symbolizing the hope for riches and abundance in the new year. If you can’t find any, then use some local sausages instead.
This dish pairs well with the local red wine since the lentils and cotechino are so rich.
Ringing in the New Year
The brindisi, or toasts, are with a spumante.
Spumante is just a general term used for sparkling wine.
Normally it will be a sweet sparkling wine for toasts. Not my favorite, I sneak some leftover prosecco (meaning a dry sparkling wine) from the beginning of the meal instead.
After all the savory dishes come the grapes
At the end of the feast grapes a must. Yes, an Italian
If you don’t want to still have people at
Finish the evening off with some games
We end the evening with card games. Mandarin oranges, leftover
Like many countries around the
Interested in visiting Umbria during the holiday season? I’ve written a post all about the important days for the Christmas season in Italy and ideas on how what to do.
Make this year’s special with an Italian New Year’s Eve party to bring good luck and fortune in the year to come!