All Your Classic Favorites,
With a Dash of Italian Flair
Disclaimer: This is not your quick-and-easy Thanksgiving Dinner. You may have noticed that I enjoy all things over the top, whether we’re talking an Aquazurra heel or a holiday feast. So naturally what we have for you here is nothing less than spectacular, with a full line-up of hand-picked recipes all competing to steal the show.

If you love Italian flavor as much as I do, then you’ll delight in these fresh takes on American classics. Of course you need not make them all, but if you do decide to go glam with it, make sure you have help! And don’t forget to check out the DL guide to planning Thanksgiving like a girl boss, because there will be no shlepping for you this year.


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Cranberry Orange
Prosecco Cocktail

Courtesy of Garnish With Lemon




Serves 1
1½ ounces cranberry juice
1 ounce orange liqueur
Fresh cranberries for garnish (optional)
Orange peel for garnish (optional)



Directions: Add cranberry juice and orange liqueur to a champagne flute.
Top with prosecco and serve immediately.
Next Recipe: Carrot Fennel Soup

Carrot Fennel Soup

Courtesy of Gourmet



Serves 6
2 medium fennel bulbs with fronds
1 lb carrots, quartered lengthwise
1 medium onion, quartered
1 garlic clove
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon fennel seeds



Directions: Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in lowest position. Chop enough fennel fronds to measure 1 tablespoon and reserve. Discard stalks and remaining fronds. Slice bulbs 1/4 inch thick and toss with carrots, onion, garlic, 3 tablespoons oil, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread in a 4-sided sheet pan and roast, stirring occasionally, until browned and tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
Blend half of vegetables in a blender with broth until very smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepan. Repeat with remaining vegetables and water. Thin to desired consistency with extra water and simmer 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, finely grind fennel seeds in grinder and stir into remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Serve soup drizzled with fennel oil and sprinkled with reserved fronds.


Notes: Soup can be made 1 day ahead and chilled.
Fennel oil can be made 2 days ahead and kept at room temperature.

Parmesan Herb Popovers

Courtesy of White On Rice Couple



Serves 12
1 cup (8 oz) whole milk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (5 ounces) unbleached, all purpose flour
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons finely chopped herbs: rosemary, thyme or sage (preferably fresh, but dried will also work)



Directions: Preheat oven to 450ºF and position an oven rack in the center. Lightly coat the muffin pan with melted butter or high-heat canola-oil spray. Once the oven is fully heated, heat the prepared muffin pan in the oven for about 7 minutes.In medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, melted butter, flour and salt until well blended. Then add the herbs and cheese, blend well.
Using a spatula, scrape the batter into a measuring cup. Remove the pan from the oven and pour the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Return the pan to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 400ºF and continue baking the popovers until they are puffed and deep golden brown color. Remove from oven and cool pan on rack for a few minutes. Remove popovers from pan and serve hot.

Focaccia with Roasted Squash

Courtesy of Food & Wine



Makes two 8-inch round loaves
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup tepid water
1 1/8 teaspoons active dry yeast
Extra-virgin olive oil, for greasing and brushing
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup tepid water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (from one 1/4-ounce packet)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
One 1 3/4 pounds butternut squash or pumpkin— peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
Kosher salt
Honey, for drizzling
Thyme leaves, for sprinkling
Maldon salt, for sprinkling



Directions: In a large bowl, mix the flour with the water and yeast. Cover the bowl and let stand at room temperature overnight.

Grease a large bowl with olive oil. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the starter with the flour, water and yeast and mix at medium speed for 8 minutes. Let rest for 20 minutes, then add the salt and mix at medium speed until smooth and tacky, about 8 minutes. Scrape the dough into the greased bowl and shape it into a ball. Cover and let stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and cut it in half. Shape the dough into 2 balls and transfer to a parchment-lined baking

sheet. Brush the balls with olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and let stand until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large bowl, toss the squash with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread the slices in a single layer on 2 large rimmed baking sheets and roast for about 15 minutes, until tender; let cool completely. Increase the oven temperature to 450°.

Gently curl the cooled squash slices and press them into the dough. Brush the focaccia with olive oil and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until risen and browned on top. Transfer to a rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Drizzle honey on top and sprinkle with thyme leaves and Maldon salt. Serve warm.


Pancetta-Sage Turkey & Gravy

Courtesy of Bon Appetit



Pancetta-Sage Butter
4 garlic cloves, peeled
4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta (Italian bacon), chopped
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 14- to 16-pound turkey, rinsed, patted dry inside and out; neck, heart, and gizzard reserved for Shortcut Turkey Stock
8 fresh sage sprigs
4 fresh rosemary sprigs
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups Shortcut Turkey Stock or water
1/2 cup diced thinly sliced pancetta (Italian bacon; about 3 ounces)
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 cups Shortcut Turkey Stock
1 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage



Pancetta-Sage Butter
With machine running, drop garlic down feed tube of processor and chop. Add pancetta. Pulse to chop finely. Add all remaining ingredients. Pulse blending to coarse paste. Transfer to small bowl. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before using.

Set rack at lowest position in oven and preheat to 325°F. Sprinkle main turkey cavity with salt and pepper. Spread with 2 tablespoons pancetta-sage butter. Starting at neck end, slide hand between skin and meat of breast, thighs, and upper drumsticks to loosen skin. Spread remaining butter over thighs, drumsticks, and breast meat under skin. Fill main cavity with herb sprigs. Tie legs loosely to hold shape. Tuck wing tips under.

Place turkey on rack set in large roasting pan.

Rub turkey all over with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour 2 cups stock into pan.

Roast turkey until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°F to 170°F, about 3 hours. Tilt turkey so juices run into pan. Transfer turkey to platter. Tent with foil; let rest at least 30 minutes (temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees). Reserve pan.

Scrape juices and browned bits from roasting pan into large glass measuring cup. Spoon off fat. Reserve 2 tablespoons. Heat 2 tablespoons reserved fat in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add pancetta; sauté until beginning to crisp, about 5 minutes. Add shallots; sauté 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium. Add flour; whisk until golden, about 4 minutes. Whisk in 3 cups stock, wine, and degreased pan juices. Bring to boil, whisking. Cook to desired consistency, about 5 minutes. Whisk in rosemary and sage; season to taste with salt and pepper.


How to Cook a Heritage Turkey

If you took my advice and opted to order a fabulous Organic Heritage Turkey from D’Artagnan, there are a few things to keep in mind. Heritage birds are leaner than your average turkey, which means you should be extra careful about overcooking and pull it form the oven at 150 degrees. Also note that it might be a bit gamier than what you’re used to, so slice the dark meat thinner than you normally would.


Cornbread, Sausage and
Pecan Dressing

Courtesy of Bon Appetit



Serves 8-10
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter plus more for baking dish
1 pound day-old cornbread, broken into 1 1/2-inch–2-inch pieces (9 cups)
1 pound breakfast sausage links, casings removed
2 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
1 1/2 cups 1/4-inch slices celery
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
1 1/4 cups chopped toasted pecans (optional)
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs



Directions: Arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 250°. Butter a 13x9x2-inch baking dish; set aside. Scatter cornbread in a single layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Bake, stirring often and rotating sheets halfway through, until dried out, about 1 hour. Let cool. Transfer to a very large mixing bowl.

Meanwhile, cook sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up into 1/2-inch–1-inch pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned, 8-10 minutes. Transfer to bowl with cornbread but do not stir.

Heat 3/4 cup butter in same skillet; add onions and celery and cook, stirring often, until softened and just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add to cornbread in bowl.
Return skillet to heat. Add vinegar; cook,

scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan, for 1 minute. Pour into bowl with cornbread. Gently fold in 1 1/2 cups broth, pecans, if using, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Add salt and pepper. Let cool.

Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk 1 1/2 cups broth and eggs in a small bowl. Fold gently into cornbread until thoroughly combined, taking care not to mash cornbread (mixture will look wet). Transfer to prepared dish, cover with foil, and bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of dressing registers 160°, about 40 minutes. Do Ahead: Dressing can be made 1 day ahead. Uncover; let cool. Cover and chill.

Bake dressing, uncovered, until set and top is browned and crisp, 40-45 minutes longer (if chilled, add 10-15 minutes).


Cranberry Sauce
with Dried Cherries

Courtesy of FOOD & WINE



1 pound fresh or thawed frozen cranberries (4 cups)
1 1/2 cups dried sour cherries
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup pure cranberry juice
Juice from 1/2 navel orange (1/4 cup)
Kosher salt



Directions: In a medium saucepan, combine all of the ingredients except the salt and bring to a simmer. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst and the sauce is jammy, about 15 minutes. Scrape the cranberry sauce into a heatproof bowl and let
cool completely. Season with salt and refrigerate until chilled. Serve the sauce cold or at room temperature; stir in a few tablespoons of water if the sauce is too thick. The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Next Recipe: Potatoes

Truffled Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Parmesan and Sage

Courtesy of Tastespotting


Serves 4
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup grated parmigiano-reggiano
cheese, plus more (shredded) for garnish
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoons truffle oil
fresh sage leaves for garnish

Directions: Place cut sweet potatoes in a large pot and fill pot with enough water to cover the potatoes by at least 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let cook at medium until sweet potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.

Drain sweet potatoes completely. Add grated cheese and olive oil to drained (and still warm/hot) sweet potatoes. Mash sweet potatoes, olive oil, and cheese with a potato masher or a very large fork. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I used about ½ teaspoon salt).

Just before serving, drizzle sweet potatoes with about 1-2 tablespoons truffle oil, depending on how strong a truffle scent you prefer. Garnish with shredded parm and fresh sage leaves.

Truffled Mash

Courtesy of Food Network


Serves 2
1 lb russet potatoes
2/3 cup half-and-half
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup truffled pecorino cheese
salt & pepper

Directions: Cook 1 pound peeled and quartered russet potatoes in a pot of simmering water until tender, 30 minutes; drain. Heat 2/3 cup half-and-half and 2 tablespoons butter in the pot. Add the potatoes and mash. Stir in 1/2 cup grated truffled pecorino cheese, and salt and pepper. Cover and let stand 5 minutes.


Warm Barley and Caramelized Mushroom Salad

Courtesy of Chocolate & Marrow



Serves 8-10
2 cups pearled barley (5 cups cooked)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds mixed mushrooms, stemmed and cut into bite-size pieces
2 teaspoons chopped sage
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt



Directions: In a medium saucepan of boiling water, cook the barley until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add one-third of the mushrooms and cook over high heat, stirring, until golden brown,

about 5 minutes. Transfer to the large bowl. Repeat in 2 more batches with 4 tablespoons of the oil and the remaining mushrooms. Add the sage, lemon juice and the remaining 1/4 cup of oil to the bowl; season with salt and pepper and toss to coat.



Oven Roasted Carrots With White Balsamic Vinegar

Courtesy of Valley Brink Road



Serves 4
1 large bunch of heirloom carrots, washed, stems removed (do not peel)
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
good extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon
good white balsamic vinegar
pink salt freshly ground black pepper



Directions: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the carrots with just enough olive oil to coat. Season with salt and pepper and place them on a baking sheet.

Roast until they start to brown and caramelize, about 25-30 minutes. Remove the cooked carrots from the oven.

Let them cool a little bit and then carefully place

them back in the bowl. Sprinkle with parsley and chives. Drizzle the white balsamic vinegar and the juice from 1/2 a lemon over the carrots.

Very gently toss to coat. Careful not to break up the cooked carrots. Taste. Add more vinegar, pink salt, and black pepper as necessary. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!



Smoked Polenta with Roasted
Beets & Swiss Chard

Courtesy of Sunday Suppers




Serves 6
1lb small beets
1/2 cup – 1 cup water
olive oil for serving
salt and pepper to taste



Directions: Preheat the oven to 400°. Wash and dry beets. Cut off and discard greens. Transfer the vegetables to a deep baking dish or pie plate, in a single layer. Add enough water so that the beets are half covered, but not fully submerged. Cover baking dish tightly with aluminium foil and place in oven. 
Roast beets for 50 minutes to an hour, or until fork tender. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool. Remove the skin by rubbing the beets with a paper towel.

Slice the beets in half. Drizzle with good olive oil and season with salt and pepper.



Serves 6
2 cups polenta
8 cups chicken stock
1 cup grated smoked gouda
¼ cup unsalted butter
sea salt + pepper



Directions: Bring chicken stock to boil over medium-high heat in large heavy saucepan. Reduce heat to medium. Gradually whisk in polenta and cook for about 20 minutes
whisking occasionally, until thick and creamy. Remove from heat. Stir in gouda cheese and butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper.



Serves 6
2 large bunches of swiss chard, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ cup unsalted butter
sea salt + pepper



Directions: Coat the bottom of a large sauté pan with olive oil and place over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook for just about a minute until soft and fragrant.

Add the chard and mix to coat with the oil. Turn

heat down to a medium low and simmer until slightly wilted, about 3-5 minutes. Uncover and mix, making sure chard is cooked evenly all around. Remove from heat and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. 
Next Recipe: Amaretti Pumpkin Pie

Amaretti Pumpkin Pie

Courtesy of Love & Olive Oil



Serves 8-10
1 – 7 oz. bag amaretti cookies, divided
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
pinch salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 3/4 cup (1 -15 oz. can) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 -12 oz. can of evaporated milk
fresh whipped cream, for topping



Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Measure out 6 ounces of amaretti cookies (that’s about 35 small cookie snaps) and place in the bowl of a food processor along with almonds.

Reserve remaining cookies for later. Pulse until finely ground. Add flour, sugar, and salt and pulse until combined. Drizzle in melted butter and pulse until evenly moistened and mixture begins to clump. You should be able to press a bit of the crust mixture between your fingers and have it stick together.

Lightly butter a 9-inch-diameter cheesecake pan with removable sides. Alternatively you can use a deep-dish pie pan if you have one; a regular 9-inch pie pan is too shallow and will not hold all of the filling. Dump the crust mixutre into prepared pan and press into bottom and about 1 1/2-inches up the sides of the pan. Tip: use a flat-bottomed measuring cup

or drinking glass to help press the crust into the pan.

Place pan on a baking sheet (to catch any butter that may seep out) and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until just starting to darken. Remove from oven and let cool completely. For filling, in a bowl whisk together pumpkin, both sugars, and spices until smooth. Whisk in eggs and egg yolks, along with vanilla and almond extracts. Add evaporated milk and stir until incorporated. Pour into cooled crust.

Gently place pie in oven (keep it on the baking sheet for easier movement) and bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until edges are set and center is just barely jiggly. Remove from oven and place pan on a wire rack; let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. At this point you can slice and serve the pie, or lightly cover and refrigerate overnight or until ready to serve. Top with freshly whipped cream and the remaining amaretti cookies, lightly crushed and sprinkled over top.

Next Recipe: Honey & Pine Nut Tart

Honey & Pine Nut Tart

Courtesy of Martha Stewart



Serves 8-10
Pasta Frolla
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
5 ounces (1 1/4 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup acacia honey
1/4 cup Tasmanian leatherwood honey
1 teaspoon coarse salt
6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 cups pine nuts (6 ounces)



Directions: Make the pasta frolla: Whisk cream, egg, yolk, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Pulse flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a food processor to mix. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. With the machine running, add cream mixture, and process until dough just comes together. Shape dough into 2 disks, and wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate 1 disk until firm, about 1 hour; reserve remaining disk for another use. (Dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 3 months; thaw before using.)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. On a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness. (If dough is soft and sticky, transfer to a baking sheet and freeze until firm but pliable, about 5 minutes.) Cut out a 12-inch round, and fit it into a fluted 10-inch

tart pan with a removable bottom. (Patch any tears with scraps of dough.) Freeze while making the filling (or cover and freeze for up to 3 days).

Make the filling: Bring sugar, honeys, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan, whisking until sugar dissolves. Add butter, and whisk until incorporated. Transfer honey mixture to a medium bowl, and let cool for 30 minutes. Whisk in cream, egg, and yolk until incorporated.

Place tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Scatter pine nuts over bottom. Slowly pour filling over pine nuts, redistributing pine nuts evenly with your fingers. Bake until crust is golden brown and center is set but still slightly wobbly, about 1 hour. Transfer tart to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Remove from pan, and serve immediately.


Artusi’s Butternut Squash Pie

Courtesy of Food 52



Serves 8 gluten free
2 pounds (1 kilogram) butternut squash
1 pint (500 milliliters) milk
3 eggs, beaten
3 1/2 ounces (100 grams) almond meal 
3 1/2 ounces (100 grams) soft brown muscovado sugar
2 tablespoons (30 grams) melted butter, plus more for greasing
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
Handful of sliced almonds
Powdered sugar, for decoration



Directions: Remove the seeds and skin of the squash/pumpkin and chop into inch-sized cubes. Place in a saucepan with the milk. Simmer about 25 to 30 minutes or until soft. Drain and leave squash/pumpkin in a colander or sieve to drain and evaporate as much as possible until cool (Artusi even instructs to drain until you have one third of the original weight of the squash). Then transfer to a bowl and mash or purée the squash/pumpkin.
In a separate bowl, beat eggs together with sugar, butter, almond meal, cinnamon and pinch of salt. Stir through the cooled squash/pumpkin to combine well. Pour the mixture into a greased 9-inch (23 centimeter) pie dish. Smooth over the top to sprinkle with the sliced almonds. Bake at 350º F (180° C) for 45 minutes or until golden on top and set. The sides will shrink away slightly. When cool, dust generously with powdered sugar and serve.



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