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Christmas Memories of Rome & Mushroom Tarts

Posted in aperitifs, Caro Diario.(dear diary..), Christmas, Country House Living, cucina, cucina povere, Holidays, La Dolce Vita, recipes, Rome, slow food, the Mediterranean diet, Travel & customs, and Uncategorized


To Celebrate the Holidays I will be posting excerpts from The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition winner of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards and was selected as the Best Italian Cuisine  Book in the USA. (follow along if you have a copy of the book) It is also available on Kindle.


rome at christmas

Memories of Rome

(excerpted from The Basic Art of Italian Cooking:Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition, page 54

Christmas and the holiday season in Rome has never been as commercial as it is in most large cities. For example, in the Eternal City, a lavish Nativity scene is more commonplace than a light up reindeer or glowing elf. Head straight to the Piazza di Spagna (The Spanish Steps) and you will see a rustic version of an 18th century presepio (nativity scene), scaled down and recon­structed on the second level. To make your own original presepio, head over to Piazza Navona for the Christmas Market and you can purchase anything: the figurines, mini light up pizza ovens, small working fountains, innumerable moving and light up items for your presepio, terra cotta tavern keepers, butchers, bakers, man­gers, paper with the picture of the sky above with stars, and any­thing else you can think of. To do it the easy way, you can get up early on a Sunday before Christmas and head over to that endless market, Porta Portese, and purchase an already created ceramic presepio handcrafted at Capodimonte in Napoli.

tortini di funghi

Tortini ai Funghi

(Mushroom Tarts)


Serves 4.

  • 2 scallions
  • ¾ pound fresh mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Pinch of salt and black pepper
  • 1 large puff pastry strip, or 4 small strips
  • 2 eggs
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 ounces grated Comté cheese
  • 3 finely chopped leeks
  • 4 small ceramic or glass baking cups; should be about four inches in diameter

Peel and finely chop the scallions. Carefully wash, clean, and thinly slice the mushrooms. Place 1 tablespoon butter in a sauté pan and sauté the scallions over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and let simmer until all liquid has been absorbed. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and let cool.

Use the remaining butter to butter the baking cups. Place puff pastry in baking cups and cover the bottom and sides of cups with pastry. In a bowl, mix together the eggs, pinch of nutmeg, pinch of salt, and grated Comté cheese.

Cover bottom of each baking cup with mushroom slices, then cover with chopped leeks. Pour egg mixture on top.

Cook in oven preheated to 425 degrees for 10 minutes, then for an additional 10 minutes at 400 degrees.

Best served hot.

*Dec 10th from 1:30-2:45-  join me at Wendell August in Exton, Pa

    Wendell August located at:
    103 Woodcutter Street
    Exton, PA 19341
    Store Phone:610-363-2426

I will be signing copies of The Basic Art of Italian Cooking:Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition and serving recipes from the book on beautiful Wendell August pieces. For more info


Join me for an all inclusive luxury cruise in Italy leaving from Venice Italy. Everything is included ,join me for the trip of a lifetime. Call Julie at Rosenbluth Vacations at 1-800-587-8279 or Makes a great Christmas present for that special someone

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Designed by Brian Hanshaw

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