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Italian Thanksgiving

Menu Introduction Getting Ready Suggested Wines

When I was a kid, everything on our thanksgiving table, except the Turkey, had Italian roots. We’d always have a pasta or a polenta, and we’d incorporate more of the fall harvest vegetables into traditional dishes.  Try some variation on this menu for your feast if you lean more to focaccia than parker-house rolls!  For more traditional all-American Thanksgiving, see the quick and easy menu for a lot of time saving tips without any flavor compromises.


1. Order your turkey weeks in advance to get the one you want.  Consider local, organic, or heritage Turkeys from small farms. 

2. When cooking for a larger group, also like to roast two smaller Turkeys rather than one large one. I think it is much easier to cook them perfectly when not too large, and it gives you twice the drumsticks for leftovers!

3. Plan a menu where significant steps can be made ahead of time and either refrigerated or frozen.  This will relieve a tremendous amount of the night-before stress.

4. Shop for all your basics the weeks before, saving only produce and dairy for the preceding shopping trip.

A meal of many flavors, you are usually best off staying mid-spectrum on your wines for Thanksgiving. I like dry champagne, Rose, an italian Pinto Grigio and medium bodied reds such as Pinot Noir or Italian Primitivo.  If you are adding any stronger spices to your dishes, you can venture into Zinfandel and Petite Sirah as well.