Italian Feast of the Epiphany

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Although we’re on our way home this year, I wanted to share our feast of the Epiphany from last year. I hope you might have one, also. All our kids enjoy the recipes in this delicious Italian feast.

At the last minute I decided to make our Epiphany feast, one of our Epiphany traditions. The past few years, the kids have been gone on January 6, but Gentry & Hunter were here this year.

Italian feast of the Epiphany

Sunday morning I made a grocery list of a few items to grab after church.  Then, we headed home to make a very easy feast.

I made the Cenci dough.  Cenci means “rags”. In Italy, it is believed that La Befana flies around in her rags, filling the kids’ socks with small gifts.

cenci dough

If you only have 4 people, you should 1/2 this recipe ­čÖé

Mix together 2 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 2 large eggs, 3 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons brandy, 1 tablespoon vanilla.  If you don’t want to use brandy, add more vanilla.

feast of the epiphany - cenci

The dough was still in crumbles, so I added a little bit of water.


That took about 5 minutes to make in my Kitchen Aid.

I’m done…let it sit while I go to church.

I set out a plate of appetizers to nibble.

feast of the epiphany - appetizers

At the grocery store, I found hard salami and gouda (lime & chili).  Boy, were they yummy!  Everyone loved the salami, and it was the generic brand.  I added some swiss & bagel crisps.

Italians enjoy cheese and sliced meats as appetizers, so I followed suit.

I read that Italians serve sausage & pasta for the feast of the Epiphany.  I found a recipe for ragu that I could use over the stuffed pasta.

Feast of the Epiphany Ragu

Start the ragu by sauteeing onion, carrot, celery stalk and garlic in olive oil.  When they are soft, I added some mushrooms.

Next I added a can of diced tomatoes and a cup of red wine. I chose Chianti because it is traditional Italian.  I’ve never chosen a Chianti, but this is what I found. After visiting Italy, I discovered that Chianti Classico is really good. Next time, I would choose a Classico.


After adding the wine, I discovered the ragu was suppose to simmer for over an hour.

I didn’t have an hour, so I added 1/2 can of tomato paste to thicken the sauce more quickly.

After simmering about 15 minutes, I added sliced sausage.  Our sausage is from one of Steve’s deer and is very spicy.  For that reason, I did not add any extra spices.  The spices from the sausage blended into the sauce for a tasty ragu.


While I cooked, Hunter peeled the clementines – our salad.  Oranges represent light in our feast of the Epiphany.  The Wise Men are following a special light, the Star of Bethlehem.  Others use oranges as a symbol of the gold the Wise Men brought to Jesus.

italian feast of the epiphany

While the ragu simmers, cook the fresh, stuffed pasta.  I found a bag of mixed tortellini.  It was perfect with the sausage ragu.  Sprinkle a little parmesan on top, if you like.

Add fresh bread from the bakery and broccoli.  Yum-O! Or try our Angel Biscuits, a super-easy homemade bread recipe.

It was truly a feast.

How to Make Cenci


Roll the cenci dough to 1/8″ thickness.

I should have rolled ours thinner.

Using a pastry wheel, cut strips of dough (about 3″ x 1″).  Then cut a strip down the middle, so you have 2 strips that can be twisted, but still connected at the top.


Twist the 2 strips and seal ends together.


Fry the twists in hot oil.  I have a small skillet that I used and loved using it.


The small skilled took very little oil.

After draining on a paper towel, immediately sprinkle powdered sugar on top.

feast of the epiphany - cenci

Enjoy while warm…that’s the best way to eat cenci.

Overall, it was a wonderful time of fellowship before Gentry & Hunter left for Houston later in the afternoon.

Our Christmas break was truly a time of family, fellowship, food & fun! Our feast of the Epiphany was a great to end our time together.

For more resources about Epiphany, check out our Christmas Celebrations: Advent, Christmas Epiphany ebook or bundle.

Question: How did you celebrate during the Christmas break?
You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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