The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday - - Front Page -

fes­tive tra­di­tions in­volve the whole fam­ily – and her restau­rant staff, too. For a lav­ish lunch and cock­tails, ev­ery­one’s wel­come

Christ­mas in­volves 30-odd peo­ple com­ing to cel­e­brate with me and my hus­band, Neil, and so we of­ten host it at my restau­rant, Mu­rano. I as­sign jobs to ev­ery­one – my un­cle does the dec­o­ra­tions, my neph­ews write the ta­ble set­tings – and we all prep the veg­eta­bles. Many of our staff come from Italy and France, so we in­vite them too; I don’t like the idea of peo­ple be­ing on their own. The more the mer­rier!

That said, if I could of­fer one tip this Christ­mas it would be that less is more. Don’t of­fer five sides, do three – but do them re­ally well. That way, you won’t feel over­whelmed. And don’t feel un­der pres­sure to eat tur­key. If you pre­fer a lit­tle roast chicken for two of you, that’s fine too.

Last year, we opted for roast capon, a tip from Ital­ian chef Gior­gio Lo­catelli whose grand­fa­ther used to make it. My recipe here works just as well with capon or chicken, but I find the capon (fed a rich diet for eat­ing) more ten­der and flavour­some. Bon­ing out the bird is the trick­i­est thing to get right, so ask your butcher to do it for you – and when you tie it up, make sure it doesn’t burst.

For af­ters, my mum al­ways used to make mince pies with savoury rather than sweet pas­try, and I’ve car­ried this on. I use shop-bought mince­meat and I like to eat them warm, with a dol­lop of crème fraîche.

The flo­ren­tines are an ex­tra sweet for the end of the meal, or a present for guests to take away. This has been our tra­di­tion ever since my cousin’s wife made them a few years ago and the en­tire fam­ily goaded me all day, say­ing: “These are so good An­gela, do you know how to make them?” Even­tu­ally I replied, “Hang on, I’ve cooked for 30 of you and you’re giv­ing me a hard time about bloody flo­ren­tines?!”

Box­ing Day is my favourite day of all. I love the left­overs, and the op­por­tu­nity to do ab­so­lutely... noth­ing.

Sun­day 9 De­cem­ber 2018

You can keep the mar­i­nated cran­ber­ries in the fridge.

Sun­day 9 De­cem­ber 2018

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