Add An Italian Flair to Your Christmas Meal

Lidia has sought to bring loved ones together over food her entire life. “Italians love to celebrate life, family and friends and for us, this is best done through food. Entertaining Italian style is not only about what to eat but also about the welcoming feeling, the setting, and the mood, la festa,” shares Lidia.

In Celebrate Like An Italian, Lidia gives you everything you need to make any get together feel like a party. She will help you add the right amount of Italian flair to your gathering whether it is an intimate gathering or a large sit-down dinner. Her cookbook offers 220 fool proof, easy-to-follow recipes as well as suggestions for planning a party, setting an inviting table, and more. Lidia even highlights recipes for guests with dietary restrictions. Lidia says, “Every meal is an opportunity to celebrate: good food and good company are all you need.”

“Food communicates how we feel so well, and when the food is both delectable and well presented, any event becomes a celebration,” reveals Lidia.

Dishes prepared:

  • Italian Antipasto Platter – There isn’t a recipe for the antipasto platter, but Lidia does write about serving antipasto and there is a photo of a nice spread on page 2 – Italian cheeses (Grana Padano, Mozzarella, Burrata, Parmagiana, gorgonzola, etc.), assorted meats (mortadella and salumi, prosciutto, etc.), breads, fruits (grapes, berries, figs, apples, etc.), and olives. 
  • Lasagna with ricotta and mozzarella p. 224 – Buy fresh sheets of pasta if you are short on time. Remember the lasagna cuts best when it has rested and cooled.
  • Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes – There is no recipe for this side dish in the cookbook. The recipe will be posted online.
  • Braised Broccoli with Oil and Garlic – There is no recipe for this side dish in the cookbook. The recipe will be posted online.
  • Chocolate Hazelnut Bread Parfait p. 332 – The beauty of this recipe is the recycling of the old bread into something new and tasty.
  • Almond Torte with Chocolate Chips p. 335 – This cake is delicious as is, but can also be served with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar.


  • Braised pork chops with apples, onion and dried cherries p. 295 – This festive recipe is nice for a holiday meal. The onions and fruits are like built-in side dishes.

On December 15, Lidia’s Christmas TV special airs nationally on PBS called Lidia Celebrates America: Homegrown Heroes. The special pays homage to the men and women of our military and all they’ve sacrificed for this country. Lidia looks at veterans who return home and find farming to be a path back to civilian life. The special features seven veterans’ stories, which take Lidia from the heart of Appalachia in Loom, West Virginia to Richmond, Kentucky and Anaheim, California, and prove that farming, beekeeping, and raising livestock can help people reconnect in a meaningful way to the community. The stories represent individuals from all branches of the Armed Forces. The special culminates by bringing the featured veterans together for a large family-style dinner at the Thomas Fogarty Winery in Woodside, California where Lidia will make a meal inspired by her travels. One of the places she will gather ingredients from is a local California farm called Jacob’s Farm, created as a training facility to help transition veterans to farmers. Last year’s special was also about veterans and won a James Beard Award, the most prestigious honor in the food world.

Lidia has married her two passions in life – her family and food, to create multiple culinary endeavors alongside her two children, Joseph and Tanya. Lidia’s cookbooks, co-authored with her daughter Tanya, include Lidia’s Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine, Lidia’s Commonsense Italian Cooking, Lidia’s Favorite Recipes, Lidia’s Italy in America, Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy, and Lidia’s Italy—all companion books to the Emmy winning and three time nominated television series Lidia’s Kitchen, Lidia’s Italy in America, and Lidia’s Italy.

Lidia is the chef/owner of four acclaimed New York City restaurants: Felidia, Becco, Esca and Del Posto, as well as Lidia’s Pittsburgh and Lidia’s Kansas City along with her daughter Tanya. She is also founder and president of Tavola Productions, an entertainment company that produces high quality broadcast productions. In 2014, three Tavola productions--Lidia’s Kitchen, Lidia Celebrates America: Freedom and Independence, and Amy Thielen’s Heartland Table on the Food Network--were nominated for a James Beard award. Lidia Celebrates America: Home for The Holidays won the James Beard Award in 2016 for “Best Special”.

Along with her son, Joe Bastianich, Mario Batali, and Oscar Farinetti, the team opened Eataly, the largest artisanal Italian food and wine marketplace, in the Flatiron District of New York City and at the World Trade Center in New York City. She also opened Eataly marketplaces in Chicago, Sao Paolo, Boston and the Los Angeles location which opened in November this year. The Toronto marketplace is scheduled to open in 2018.

Lidia gives freely of her time and knowledge, and is an active member of society who participates in community service activities and special events on behalf of several foundations and public television.

In 2015, Lidia along with Angelo Vivolo, of the Vivolo Restaurant Group in Manhattan, were in the kitchen once again for the papal visit to New York City.  Joined by Felidia Executive Chef Fortunato Nicotra, Becco Executive Chef William Gallagher, Lidia’s children, Joe Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali, and Angelo Vivolo’s son, Frank Vivolo, the team prepared and served meals to Pope Francis. “What an extraordinary honor this is,” said Lidia. “For me, cooking for the Pope was special because, not only am I Catholic, but I came to this country in 1958 as a refugee from communist Yugoslavia and was cared for by Catholic Relief Services. They did so much to give me a start in America, so I am very proud to give back through what is most dear to me on this Earth: food and my family.” She and Angelo had also cooked for Pope Benedict’s US visit in 2008.

Mentioned in the Video

Guest Info


Best-selling cookbook author, latest, Celebrate Like An Italian, (Alfred Knopf, 2017)

Emmy award winning public television host of Lidia’s Kitchen, Lidia Celebrates America, etc.

Owner of four acclaimed New York City restaurants

Founder/ President of Tavola Productions, an entertainment company

Partner in the acclaimed Eataly, an artisanal Italian food and wine marketplace

Owner of LIDIA’S pastas and all natural sauces

Two adult children: Joseph and Tanya



Right-click on a link below and choose "Save link as..." to save the file

High Definition - MP4
High Quality - MP4
Low Bandwidth - MP4
Give Now