Five Easy Ways to Throw an Italian Thanksgiving
While one of the first traditions a fledgling United States created, Thanksgiving is now celebrated by Americans all over the U.S., and—in the case of some world travelers—all over the planet. Originally a national holiday to recognize giving thanks and celebrating the harvest, there are plenty of opportunities to celebrate with Italian food as well. Here’s a list of five easy ways to help make your upcoming Thanksgiving celebration an Italian Thanksgiving! But if you can’t tackle these on your own—or you prefer pizza to pumpkin—don’t hesitate to call Sam and Louie’s for help with some tasty Italian Catering! While most of our locations are closed on Thanksgiving Day, we’ll deliver as late as the day before the big feast so all you have to do on Thursday is reheat!
Use Pancetta in place of Bacon
So many Thanksgiving dishes have bacon as an ingredient, and while salty, fatty, and delicious to cook with, skip the bacon bits in your mashed potatoes this year, and swap in some creamy pancetta. Pancetta is an Italian ham, which happens to be fattier and more flavorful than traditional bacon. Trust us that working in some freshly diced pancetta and garlic into your mashed potatoes is sure to be a huge hit this holiday!
Butternut Squash Lasagna
An excellent idea to celebrate both cultures on Thanksgiving is a butternut squash lasagna. Pureeing butternut squash, you can layer it into lasagna using it in place of a marinara or Bolognese sauce. Believe it or not, this concoction also freezes well, so there are plenty of servings to send home with family and friends. Deliciously creamy, this lasagna helps use the seasonal Thanksgiving bounty of squash in this classically Italian dish. Then again, if you and your guests prefer more traditional lasagna, catering from Sam and Louie’s has you covered.
Serve Italian Wines
Nothing goes better with a hearty Thanksgiving meal on a chilly autumn Thursday than red wine. Choose good Italian bottles, with layered flavors, like Chianti or lighter red wines like Montepulciano. For you’re traveling toward warmer climates where Thanksgiving is less blustery than it is here in the midwest, select a crisp fruity Pinot Grigio from Italy for a lighter chilled Italian wine experience. These wines beautifully complement both traditionally Thanksgiving meals and Italian cuisine, so pair them up for a profoundly unique (and delicious!) combination this year.
Move over, pumpkin pie! While the apple and pumpkin pies are always expected, surprise your guests and follow up your Thanksgiving feast with a classic Italian dish with an autumnal twist— Pumpkin Cannoli’s! Add canned pumpkin to the mascarpone or ricotta and plenty of sugar. Whip, refrigerate, and then fill the shells. The pumpkin plays perfectly with the sweet/savory flavor of the cannoli crème, all the while brilliantly combining both Italian and American food cultures. Yummy!
Late Night Thanksgiving Pizza
While Thanksgiving dinner is almost always midday, guests usually end up staying well into the night, whether playing games, finishing a glass of wine, or picking over the dessert table one last time. Good hosts never leave guests empty-handed, and what better snack at the end of the day than pizza! For lighter pizza fare, whip together some seasonal cranberry and brie flatbread style pizzas, and be ready to end the evening as the host with the most. Add pecans, leftover turkey, cranberries and brie to pizza dough for a late night Thanksgiving snack or even to munch on cold for breakfast the next morning while you hit the Black Friday bargains! Not feeling the fancier cuisine after cooking a big, delicious Thanksgiving meal? Call Sam and Louie’s the day before Thanksgiving and choose from any one of our popular pies including Thai Pie, Garden, or Sam and Louie’s Best! Reheat it once your guests start getting hungry again.
There you have it. A few ways to add a delicious Italian twist to your Thanksgiving this year! Don’t forget that in addition to our piping hot pizza, you can also try fresh salads, classic pastas and much more when you pre-cater Thanksgiving dinner through Sam and Louie’s family restaurant. This year, throw a perfect Italian Thanksgiving, one so good your guests will leave, calling out molto grazie!