With the arrival of cold weather, the desire to eat a good steaming dish grows. The main dishes on the menus of cafeterias and restaurants are tortellini in broth, minestrone and saffron rice. In Italy we have an incredible repertoire of regional winter recipes, perfect for creating a different proposal that doesn't bore the customers . For this reason we have chosen for you 5 Italian dishes to add alongside the winter classics.

1. Crostini from Mantua with polenta and gras' pistà

Gras' pistà , in Italian pounded fat, is a typical Mantua appetizer. The pork lard is minced and flavored with garlic and parsley until a cod-like consistency is obtained. Its flavor goes very well with toasted polenta, for an appetizer or a strong-flavored aperitif buffet .


  • 10 slices of polenta
  • 100 g pork lard
  • Garlic to taste
  • Parsley to taste


A tip from our chef: to obtain a homogeneous cream of lard and herbs, use a heavy knife and heat the blade.

2. Jota from Trieste: the border soup

Jota is a soup of beans, potatoes and sauerkraut, seasoned with pork, which is also very common in Slovenia and Austria. It is no coincidence that it is one of the symbolic dishes of frontier cuisine . Its intense taste is perfect for giving your restaurant's menu a different touch, to be garnished with a fragrant sprig of rosemary.

Ingredients for 4 people

  • 300 g dark beans;
  • 250g potatoes;
  • 400 g cabbage;
  • 100g lard;
  • 200 g smoked bacon;
  • 3 tablespoons of flour;
  • Garlic to taste


  • Boil the beans and 100 g of pancetta in 2 liters of unsalted water for one hour;
  • Add the potatoes in pieces and continue cooking for another 20 minutes;
  • Brown the other 100 g of bacon and the lard in a pan with the garlic, flour and the white cabbage;
  • Sift the beans and potatoes and put them back in their cooking water;
  • Add the browned ingredients in the beans cooking water;
  • Season with salt and pepper.

We reveal a little curiosity: the jota is better if prepared a day in advance, you can present it in the menu of the day without waste.

3. Virz'e laughed from the Neapolitan tradition

Savoy cabbage is one of the most frequent ingredients in regional winter recipes. If cabbage is used in the Trieste jota, in the Neapolitan tradition cabbage is preferred. The dish that we propose to include in your offer is in fact rice and cabbage, a full-bodied first course with a peasant flavor. It's not exactly a risotto, not even a soup: virz'e rise is a middle ground of poor cooking that even starred chefs like .

Ingredients for 2 people

  • 500 g savoy cabbage;
  • 200 g of rice;
  • 1 shallot;
  • 30 g of Parmigiano Reggiano;
  • Vegetable broth;
  • Salt and oil to taste


  • Fry the shallots, adding the thinly sliced ​​cabbage and the vegetable broth;
  • Leave to cook for about an hour and a half;
  • Add the rice and finish cooking;
  • Flavor with Parmigiano Reggiano.

Before serving, let it rest for 2 minutes. For a really intense flavour, choose a cabbage grown in the cold and at night frosts.

Savoy, hooded and red cabbage are perfect ingredients for regional winter recipes

4. Busecca matta: the fake Lombard tripe

In Lombardy they call it busecca matta , and it is a sort of omelette cut into strips similar to tripe . Lighter than the dish it emulates, fake tripe is seasoned like real tripe with tomato sauce.

Ingredients for 1 person

  • 2 eggs;
  • 100 g tomato puree;
  • 15g bacon;
  • 1/2 onion;
  • 1/2 clove of garlic;
  • Salt, pepper and oil to taste


  • Fry the onion with the garlic and add the tomato puree;
  • Brown the bacon separately (cooking time with Combi Wave 90 seconds );
  • Beat the eggs and cook the omelet;
  • Roll up the omelette and cut it into strips;
  • Combine the eggs with the bacon, and finally add the sauce.

The chef recommends completing the dish with sage leaves to bring out the taste of the egg and bacon.

5. Boiled stockfish from Ligurian cuisine

Traditional from Liguria, boiled stockfish is one of the regional winter recipes for a fish main course. This Genoese Friday dish rediscovers the simple taste of the Tyrrhenian coast with typical local products : olives, oregano and potatoes.

Ingredients for 6 people

  • 1 kg stockfish
  • 800 g potatoes
  • 1 lemon
  • Ripe cherry tomatoes
  • Taggiasca olives
  • Origan
  • Salt, pepper and oil to taste


  • Put the clean and chopped stockfish in boiling water for 10 minutes;
  • Boil the potatoes;
  • Drain the stockfish and place it in a bowl, mixing it with the potato pieces;
  • Add lemon juice, tomatoes and Taggiasca olives;
  • Perfume with fresh oregano.

Last tip from the chef: cooking the fish is essential for the success of the recipe. The stockfish must be fragmented, but the pieces of fish must maintain a good consistency.

Winter regional recipes: why include them in the menu?

Today we have proposed 5 regional winter recipes, but why all this attention to tradition? The typical dishes of home cooking excite customers , happy to rediscover the flavors of the past, and help you differentiate yourself from other restaurants. Adapting the menu to the seasons, regional tastes and holidays is a fundamental strategy to keep customers interested in your establishment.

In this regard, diets still have time for a personalized Thanksgiving Day menu! Take a cue from our proposals .

November 22, 2018