The Complete Thanksgiving: Sides from the Italian Kitchen

A traditional Italian Thanksgiving dinner is an extravagant feast. Adding a few sumptuous sides to your menu can only make it better.

Read on for some of our favorite home-cooked, traditional Italian side dish recipes, straight from our kitchen to yours.

Roasted Parmesan Reggiano Tomatoes

Savory and juicy, these tomatoes use simple flavors to create a bite that’s perfect for pairing with meats or on its own.

Ingredients:

● 4 tomatoes, halved
● 1/3 cup Il Villaggio Parmesan Reggiano
● 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
● Salt, to taste
● fresh ground pepper
● Extra virgin olive oil.

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place tomatoes cut-side up on a baking sheet.
Top with Parmesan, oregano, salt and pepper. Drizzle with oil and bake until the tomatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.

Ricotta-stuffed Zucchini

Zucchini is a versatile squash, but when paired with our creamy Ricotta Salata, it takes on a whole new flavor profile.

Ingredients:

● 6 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
● Extra virgin olive oil
● 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
● 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
● 2 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded, and chopped
● 14 ounces of Il Villaggio Ricotta Salata
● 1 cup of Il Villaggio grated Pecorino Romano
● 3⁄4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
● 3 tbsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
● 2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
● 2 egg yolks, beaten
● Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preparation:

Scoop out and discard pulp from each zucchini half, leaving about a 1⁄4″ rim around the edges. Heat 3 tbsp. of the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and onions; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, for another 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together the Ricotta, half of the Pecorino, half of the bread crumbs, the parsley, oregano, and egg yolks. Gradually stir in the onion mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set the filling aside.

Rub the insides of the zucchini with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place the zucchini cut side up on a foil-lined baking sheet and broil for 5 minutes. Remove and fill each zucchini half with the ricotta mix, so it’s slightly mounded. Top each of the stuffed zucchini with a generous sprinkle of the remaining Pecorino and breadcrumbs.Drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Broil until the zucchini are soft and the tops are lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes

Arugula, Pecorino, Pine Nut and Pear Salad

This seasonal salad has bright flavors that will lighten up a heavy plate. Needing just a few minutes of prep time, this salad is perfect to serve tableside.

Ingredients:

● 3 tbsp. raisins
● 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
● 2 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
● 8 oz. baby arugula
● Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
● 7 oz. Il Villaggio Pecorino Romano
● 3 tbsp. pine nuts, toasted
● 1⁄4 cup Il Villaggio Balsamico di Modena
● Extra virgin olive oil

Preparation:

Boil one cup of water. Once boiling, combine with the raisins; let sit 20 minutes and drain.

While the raisins sit, place the pears in a bowl and toss with the lemon juice. Arrange the arugula on a serving platter; season with salt and pepper. Top with pears and grated Pecorino Romano. Sprinkle with the raisins and the pine nuts. Whisk the balsamic, salt, and pepper in a bowl. While whisking, slowly drizzle in about a half cup of oil until emulsified; drizzle dressing over salad.

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