Bringing Italy Home for Thanksgiving Dinner

When I think about new food recipes, I always think Thanksgiving is the perfect time to share with family and friends the international experience I have had in the beautiful region of Tuscany, Italy. Living and studying abroad, I had the opportunity to learn simple and delicious dishes  which I think are perfect additions to my families Thanksgiving dinner. My husband who is Italian and a great cooker has showed me several tips to keep in mind when I’m cooking Italian food. When we travel to visit my family for Thanksgiving,  we bring always a new Italian dish for them to try.

Traditionally speaking, American’s top dishes of Thanksgiving is been always the same, roasted turkey filled with stuffing/dressing and side dishes such as cornbread, mashed potatoes, ham, cranberry sauce, gravy, yams (sweet potatoes). Adding amazing delicious plates to  the table make this celebration even more especial.

My first idea was to keep in my new Italian culture and Italians love to have an antipasto (appetizer) before the main course – I thought I would try one (or two or three or …. ) with my family. For Thanksgiving dinner, we will love to prepare two of our favorite antipasto (appetizers)  polpette di melanzane (literally this means little balls of fried eggplant) and bruschetta with pomodoro e pepperoni.

I have used my husband and I’s recipe but the photos have been borrowed, to give you a better feel.

APPETIZER (Antipasto)


3 eggplants

2 eggs

half cup of flour

half of cup of cornbread

parmigiana cheese


mashed garlic

salt, black pepper,

olive oil


Peel the eggplants and cut them into small pieces.

Place it in a big bowl with hot water. Let them boil until they are a little tender.

Remove them from the water and let them cool for a few minutes.

Mash them with a folk or use a mixer until rich the puree.

Add the rest of the ingredients eggs, flour, cornbread, cheese, parsley, salt, garlic and black pepper and mix well. Make small ball about the size of a nut. Fry them in a large pan until browned. Put them over a piece of napkins to drip the oil. Ready to serve warm!


half of loaf of Italian bread , slide ½” thick (it is best if it is NOT fresh – better yet toasted!)

1/2 medium each  red, yellow and green pepper

2 small tomatoes, the riper the better … but not too ripe

extra virgin oil olive
salt and pepper


This is best done a little bit ahead of time so that the flavors can mix and mingle together.  Cut the tomato and the peppers into small cubes – I think the smaller the better!  Then place in a bowl with garlic, some fresh pressed extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.  Some people add fresh basil or oregano – either one goes perfectly with this dish.  Personally, I like to toast the bread so that it soaks up all yummy juices from the tomatoes, olive oil and spices!  If you really love garlic (and I do!) you can take a clove of garlic, you don’t even need to peel it, and rub it on the toasted bread – it will increase the garlic flavor.

What’s your family’s favorite antipasto for Thanksgiving?


About Pierotucci

Since 1972 Pierotucci has been designing and producing classic Italian Leather goods for men & women, including leather bags, leather handbags and purses, leather jackets and leather accessories such as wallets, gloves, belts and much more.
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