Home for the Holidays: An Italian Christmas with Marissa from The Boot

Happy Thursday! Today is the second installment of Home for the Holidays brought to you by myself (obviously) and the lovely Daryl from Roots, Wings, and Other Things. I don't know if any of you have ever been to Italy, but it's a totally fabulous country with amazing food, and I'm very excited, because that's where Marissa (who is going to share an awesome recipe with you) is living right now. She is awesome, and has an amazing little blog here called The Boot. 
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Hello new friends! I’m Marissa and I’m here to tell you today about
what we eat during the holiday season here in Italy. (You can only
imagine that during the holidays, all we do is eat!)

When you go to someone’s house during the festivities, you’ll find
panettone, or vanilla cake, that comes in many different flavors. You
take it out of the bag and shake it up with some confectionary sugar
and give everyone a slice. It’s buttery and simple and delicious! Next
there are frittelle, or fried dough balls that come plain or filled
with tomato and mozzarella or tuna and capers or even nutella!

If you’re having coffee at someone’s house they might even offer you
chocolate covered almonds; they’re my favorite holiday treat, and so
easy to make! Toast a sheet pan of almonds in the oven until fragrant.
Melt chocolate (milk or dark, your preference.) Pour a few tablespoons
over a bunch of almonds and let them cool. They’ll look like little
nests. Keep in a holiday dessert tin and serve with coffee or after
dessert! :)

For New Year’s it is a must that you eat lentils - since they look
like little coins they are said to bring good luck and good fortune
your way throughout the new year! Here is my friend Maria’s recipe for
simple lentils that you can make at home and eat with your family on
New Year’s!

Wash lentils with cold water. 
Place them in a pot and cover them with an abundant amount of cold water.
Cook over a high flame and when it starts to boil add two or three cherry tomatoes chopped in half, a good sprinkling of parsley, three cloves of garlic still with the skin on (Maria says, “with their clothes on”). 
Let that cook for about an hour on low and cover. Stir every now and then. 
Add your salt at the end when the water is absorbed and the lentils are tender.
Maria likes her lentils over rice but you can also serve them over a small pasta like ditalini. 
Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle crushed red pepper over each bowl.
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Yeah... I think I'm going to have to go make that like, now! Hope you all enjoyed hearing about Italian traditions. Don't forget to stop by Marissa's blog to leave her some love, and Daryl's blog to find out how they celebrate the holidays in Italy! 
Happy Thursday!