18+ Our Italian Christmas Memories Sugo Recipe Deliciousness Awaits You!

Published on: Mar 1, 2024

Christmas is a time for creating new memories with loved ones and cherishing old traditions. For many Italians, one of the most cherished traditions is making sugo, a rich and flavorful tomato sauce that is the foundation of many Italian dishes. Sugo, also known as Sunday gravy, is a staple in Italian households, especially during the holiday season. Not only does it bring families together in the kitchen, but it also fills the house with the comforting aromas of garlic, herbs, and tomatoes. In this article, we'll dive into the history of sugo, share some personal Italian Christmas memories, and provide a delicious recipe for you to try at home.

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1 of 20

Basic Cannoli

Main Ingredients: Part Skim Ricotta Cheese, Confectioners Sugar, Vanilla
Easy Cannoli Recipe - The Cookie Rookie®
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The classic Italian dessert, cannoli, is a must-have for any holiday gathering. With a crispy shell filled with a sweet and creamy ricotta filling, it's no wonder this treat is loved by many. To make your own, you'll need ricotta cheese, confectioners sugar, vanilla extract, and cannoli shells. Simply mix the ricotta cheese, confectioners sugar, and vanilla extract together until smooth and then fill the shells. You can also add a touch of cinnamon or chocolate chips to make it your own. Serve chilled and enjoy!
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Italian Christmas Bread with Eggnog Glaze

Main Ingredients: Hazelnuts, Eggnog, White Sugar, Salt, Butter, Egg, Egg
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Put an Italian spin on a classic holiday treat with this Italian Christmas bread. Made with flour, yeast, sugar, eggs, and butter, this bread is soft, fluffy, and perfect for a cold winter morning. To add an extra festive touch, top it off with a decadent eggnog glaze. Simply mix eggnog, confectioners sugar, and a touch of nutmeg until smooth and pour over the warm bread. Your family and friends will be asking for this recipe year after year.
Main Ingredients: Eggs, Sugar, Dry Yeast, Milk, Melted Butter, Orange
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If you're looking for a homemade alternative to the store-bought panettone, look no further. This easy recipe only requires a handful of ingredients, including flour, yeast, eggs, and orange zest. The result is a soft and flavorful bread that is perfect for a Christmas breakfast or brunch. For an extra indulgent touch, try adding chocolate chips or dried fruit to the dough. Trust us, your taste buds will thank you.
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Pandoro Christmas Tree Cake (Italian Christmas Cake)

Main Ingredients: Cake, Mascarpone, Vin Santo, Powdered Sugar
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This Italian Christmas cake is not only delicious but also a beautiful centerpiece for your holiday table. The pandoro cake is shaped into a Christmas tree and topped with a powdered sugar glaze and red and green sprinkles. To make it even more festive, you can add candied fruit or chocolate chips to the batter. Your guests will be amazed by this stunning and tasty dessert.
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Italian Ricotta Cookies (Italian Christmas Cookies)

Main Ingredients: Butter, Sugar, Large Egg, Almond Extract, Baking Soda
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These cookies are a staple in Italian households during the holiday season. Made with ricotta cheese, sugar, flour, and colored sprinkles, they are soft, sweet, and perfect for dunking in a cup of coffee or hot cocoa. These cookies are also great for gifting to friends and family during the holidays. Just be sure to make a double batch because they will disappear quickly!
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Similar to the traditional ricotta cookies, these Italian ricotta Christmas cookies add a festive twist with the addition of cranberries and orange zest. The tartness of the cranberries pairs perfectly with the creamy ricotta, making these cookies a crowd-pleaser. You can also top them off with a cream cheese frosting for an extra touch of sweetness.
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If you can't decide which type of Italian Christmas cookie to make, why not make them all? This recipe combines three classic Italian cookies into one delicious treat. The base is a crispy biscotti made with almonds. On top of that, there is a layer of amaretti cookies, which are soft and chewy almond cookies. And to finish it off, a layer of panpepato, a spicy and sweet Italian cookie made with honey, spices, and nuts. Each layer adds a unique flavor and texture, making these cookies a must-try.
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Italian Christmas strudel

Main Ingredients: Dried Figs, Marsala, Raisins, Walnuts, Almonds, Lemon
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This recipe combines the flavors of an Italian strudel with the festive elements of a Christmas dessert. Made with phyllo dough, ricotta cheese, chocolate chips, and orange zest, this strudel is filled with a creamy and decadent filling. To make it even more festive, you can add cranberries or candied fruit to the filling. Serve warm with a sprinkle of powdered sugar on top for a show-stopping dessert.
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Christmas Italian Spice Cake

Main Ingredients: All Purpose Flour, Polenta, Blanched Almonds, Cocoa
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This Italian spice cake is a delightful addition to any holiday dessert spread. The cake is made with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and honey, giving it a warm and cozy flavor. To make it even more indulgent, top it off with a mascarpone cream. This cake is sure to be a hit with everyone at your Christmas gathering.
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Cucciddati | Italian Christmas Cookies

Main Ingredients: Figs, Raisins, Unsalted Butter, Powdered Sugar, Orange
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Cucciddati, also known as Italian fig cookies, are a traditional Christmas treat in many Italian households. These cookies are filled with a sweet and nutty mixture of figs, almonds, honey, and orange zest. The dough is then rolled and shaped into a crescent, making them the perfect handheld treat. They are also great for gifting, as they can be stored for several weeks in an airtight container.
11 of 20

Traditional Italian Christmas Eve Doughnuts

Main Ingredients: Flour, Salt, Sugar, Dried Yeast, Water, Orange, Rum
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In many Italian households, it is tradition to have a fish-based meal on Christmas Eve. And what better way to end the meal than with these traditional Italian Christmas Eve doughnuts? Made with anchovies, raisins, pine nuts, and cinnamon, these doughnuts have a unique and savory flavor. They are the perfect way to end a festive Christmas Eve feast.
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Spiced Italian Christmas Fig Cookies

Main Ingredients: All Purpose Flour, Granulated Sugar, Baking Powder
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Another variation of the traditional Italian fig cookies, these spiced fig cookies add a little extra kick with the addition of cloves and allspice. The dough is also made with white wine, giving it a subtle sweetness. These cookies are perfect for dunking in a cup of hot cider or mulled wine. They are also a great option for those who prefer a less sweet treat.
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Panettone (Italian Christmas Bread)

Main Ingredients: All Purpose Flour, Instant Yeast, Lukewarm Water, Large
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No list of Italian Christmas treats would be complete without panettone. This sweet bread is a staple in many households during the holiday season. Made with candied fruit, raisins, and orange zest, this bread is soft, fluffy, and full of flavor. It is also a great gift option, as it can be wrapped in festive packaging and enjoyed for breakfast or as a dessert.
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Struffoli di Natale – Italian Christmas

Main Ingredients: Unsalted Butter, Sugar, Large Eggs, Egg Yolk, Salt
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Struffoli is a traditional Italian holiday dessert that consists of small balls of dough fried until crispy and then coated in a sweet honey syrup. These bite-sized treats are perfect for snacking on throughout the day or served as a dessert with a cup of espresso. You can also add candied fruit or chocolate chips to the dough for added flavor and texture.
Main Ingredients: All Purpose Flour, Sugar, Water, Butter, Salt, Dry
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This panettone recipe puts a twist on the classic version by using lemon zest and limoncello in the dough. The result is a bright and citrusy bread that is perfect for the holiday season. You can also add white chocolate chips or dried cranberries to the dough for an extra burst of flavor. Serve warm with a cup of hot cocoa for the ultimate cozy treat.
16 of 20

Italian Panettone Bread (Christmas Fruit Cake)

Main Ingredients: Active Dry Yeast, Lukewarm Water, White Sugar, Eggs
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For those who prefer a denser and more fruit-filled version of panettone, this recipe is for you. This fruit cake is made with candied fruit, raisins, pine nuts, and almonds, giving it a rich and indulgent taste. It is perfect for slicing and enjoying with a cup of tea or coffee, or even as a topping for vanilla ice cream.
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Italian Christmas Salad / Insalata Di Natale

Main Ingredients: Fennel, Celery, Endive, Oranges, Olives, Capers
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While not technically a dessert, this Italian Christmas salad is the perfect accompaniment to all of the rich and indulgent dishes typically served during the holiday season. Made with fennel, oranges, radicchio, and olives, this salad is refreshing, light, and full of flavor. It is also a great option for those who may want a break from all the sweets during the holidays.
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Christmas Polenta Party, an Italian Tradition

Main Ingredients: Chicken Broth, Sea Salt, Polenta
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In some parts of Italy, it is tradition to have a Christmas polenta party. This involves gathering with family and friends and enjoying a large pot of creamy polenta topped with a variety of toppings, such as mushrooms, sausage, and grilled vegetables. It is a fun and interactive way to celebrate the holiday and enjoy a warm and comforting dish together.
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Christmas Panettone – Traditional Italian Fruit Bread...

Main Ingredients: White Flour, Active Dry Yeast, Water, Sugar, Salt
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Last but certainly not least, we have another traditional panettone recipe that is a staple in many Italian homes during the holiday season. This version is filled with raisins, candied fruit, and chocolate chips, making it a true indulgence. Serve it warm with a cup of mulled wine or hot cocoa for a festive and delicious treat.
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European-style Hot Chocolate

Main Ingredients: Milk Chocolate, Bittersweet Chocolate, Granulated
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To top off this list of Italian Christmas treats, we have a decadent and rich hot chocolate recipe that is sure to warm you up on a cold winter's day. Made with dark chocolate, milk, and heavy cream, this hot chocolate is thick, creamy, and oh-so-chocolatey. You can also add a splash of amaretto or hazelnut liqueur for an adult twist on this classic drink.

The History of Sugo

The Origins

Sugo has been a part of Italian cuisine for centuries, with its origins dating back to ancient Rome. The word "sugo" comes from the Latin word "salsus," meaning salted, which refers to the salted meats that were used to flavor the sauce. In the early days, sugo was a simple sauce made with basic ingredients such as tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil. It was often served with pasta or used as a base for other dishes. Over time, sugo evolved and became more complex, with different regions in Italy adding their own unique touch to the recipe.

The Sunday Tradition

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, many Italian immigrants brought the tradition of sugo with them to America. It became a staple in Italian-American households, especially on Sundays. This is because Sundays were reserved for spending time with family and enjoying a big meal together. Sugo became known as Sunday gravy, and it was a way for families to come together and share a delicious meal while also passing down their cultural traditions to future generations.

Italian Christmas Memories

Family Bonding

Growing up in an Italian household, Christmas was always a special time of year. One of my fondest memories is helping my grandmother make sugo for Christmas dinner. She would start early in the morning, carefully simmering the sauce for hours, and the whole house would smell heavenly. As a child, I loved being in the kitchen with her, watching her work her magic with the ingredients. It was a time for us to bond and create memories that I will always cherish.

Continuing the Tradition

As I got older and started my own family, I knew I wanted to continue the tradition of making sugo for Christmas. It's a way for me to honor my Italian heritage and pass down the recipe and memories to my children. Now, my children help me in the kitchen, just like I did with my grandmother. It's a beautiful way for us to connect and carry on our family's traditions.

Try Our Italian Christmas Memories Sugo Recipe

Now, it's time to share our family's sugo recipe with you. It's a labor of love, but the end result is worth it. The ingredients may vary from family to family, but the basics remain the same – tomatoes, garlic, herbs, and love. Ingredients: - 2 cans of crushed tomatoes - 1 can of tomato paste - 6 cloves of garlic, minced - 1 onion, chopped - 1 cup of red wine - 1 pound of Italian sausage - 1 pound of beef or pork meatballs - 1 bay leaf - 1 teaspoon of dried oregano - 1 teaspoon of dried basil - Salt and pepper to taste Instructions: 1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and sauté until fragrant. 2. Add the Italian sausage and meatballs, and cook until browned. 3. Pour in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and red wine. Stir well. 4. Add the bay leaf, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. 5. Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. 6. Serve over your favorite pasta and enjoy with your loved ones. In conclusion, sugo is more than just a tomato sauce – it's a symbol of family, tradition, and love. This Italian Christmas memories recipe is sure to bring your family together in the kitchen and create new memories that will last a lifetime. Give it a try and experience the magic of sugo for yourself. Buon appetito!
18+ our italian christmas memories sugo recipe Deliciousness awaits you!

European-style Hot Chocolate

yield: 2 total time: 20 minutes
5.0 Stars (1 reviews)
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  • 3 ounces milk chocolate broken into pieces
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate broken into pieces
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Calories : 620 calories
  • Carbohydrate : 73 grams
  • Cholesterol : 35 milligrams
  • Fat : 31 grams
  • Fiber : 4 grams
  • Protein : 17 grams
  • SaturatedFat : 19 grams
  • Sodium : 210 milligrams
  • Sugar : 65 grams
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