A proper Victorian Christmas dinner had a roast at its center. The archetypal English "joint," prime rib of beef, features a burnished crust and a rosy interior. Although Mediterranean in origin, bay leaves and sage pair beautifully with cold-weather fare, enhancing the prime rib and accompanying potatoes.
These Italian dumplings are essentially
ravioli without the pasta covering. For
best results, use fresh ricotta cheese, which
can be found in Italian markets or specialty stores. Semolina is best for coating
the baking sheet; you can substitute
flour, but be careful that the gnudi are
not absorbing too much of it.