CHRISTMAS IN TUSCANY
In Tuscany and Umbria most families eat tortellini at Christmas, especially on Christmas Eve. They also eat it all the year round but Christmas time is the traditional time to eat the filled pasta. Perhaps this also dates back to the period when people spiced the bread to make it special and maybe, in the same way, enlivened their basic pasta with a filling to make it rich and festive. The small cushions of pasta have different names in diverse parts of Italy, different shapes and different fillings. Tortellini can also be called tortelloni, if they are very large, sometimes they are known as cappelletti or agnolotti and sometimes as ravioli. Ravioli is usually filled with a mixture of ricotta cheese, a mild soft sheep's cheese, and very finely chopped spinach or bietole, spinach beet greens. It is normally served with butter, a sage leaf of two and some parmesan sprinkled over the surface, or in a rich meat broth.
MORE CHRISTMAS IN TUSCANY
The Tuscan Year
SPINACH AND RICOTTA RAVIOLI WITH BUTTER AND SAGE - Ravioli di spinaci e ricotta con burro e salvia
ROAST GUINEA FOWL OR PHEASANT - Faraona in salmi
TURKEY BREAST WITH PROSCIUTTO AND CHEESE - Filetto di Tacchino al Prosciutto