How To Homeschool My Child

Italian Feast of the Epiphany

Although we’re on our way home this year, I wanted to share our Epiphany feast 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 feast of the Epiphany. 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.

Before church

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.

feast of the epiphany - cenci dough

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

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.

feast of the epiphany - cenci That took about 5 minutes to make in my Kitchen Aid.

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

As soon as I got home from 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.

For the real cooking

feast of the epiphany - raguI 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.

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

feast of the epiphany - raguNext 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.

feast of the epiphany - wineAfter 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.

feast of the epiphany - ragu with sausage

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.

feast of the epiphany - oranges

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 epiphanyWhile 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.

feast of the epiphanyAdd fresh bread from the bakery and broccoli.  Yum-O!

It was truly a feast.

After Dinner, Time for Dessert

feast of the epiphany - 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.

feast of the epiphany - cenci Twist the 2 strips and seal ends together.

feast of the epiphany - cenci 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.

feast of the epiphany - cenci

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, scroll to the bottom of this post.

How to Homeschool My Child

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

For more resources on the celebration of Epiphany:

Star of Bethlehem - A Family Bible Study Guide ~

Star of Bethlehem Family Bible Study guide you to discover more about the star that the wise men followed to worship Jesus.  You can still use promo code “dec13” to save 50% by clicking here.

Feast of the Epiphany blog post – More details about celebrating Epiphany & the arrival of the Wise Men



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