Why Some Families In The US Serve Pasta On Thanksgiving

Not all dinner tables are created equal, and that's especially true for many holiday spreads in the U.S. While traditional Thanksgiving tables often include a turkey front-and-center with reliable mashed potatoes and creamy green bean casserole on the side, many families celebrate differently.

KGW News says that families with a Haitian background may include a popular Haitian dessert, Pen Patate, on the Thanksgiving table rather than pumpkin pie. This dessert still satisfies autumnal cravings as its a mix of sweet potatoes, raisins, and bananas that are baked to perfection and served. And, while Mexican-Americans may also include stuffing on the table, it is likely to be infused with delicious Mexican flavors. The article notes that Oaxacan stuffing may include "pitted prunes, poblano chilies, orange zest and more to mix in with wheat bread." Whatever the food, these dishes are reflective of the families that gather at the table.

And, it is no different for Italian-American households, many of whom opt to add a few pasta dishes to the holiday lineup.

The case for serving lasagna on Thanksgiving

For many Italian-Americans, a bubbling lasagna is part of a long history of Thanksgiving tradition, according to Food & Wine. The first Italian immigrants that came to the U.S. did not have an understanding of the American holiday. However, as the immigrants' children went to American schools and became well-versed with American culture, Italians eventually started to celebrate the holiday in their own homes. The first few generations did not incorporate many American foods into the mix, and stuck firmly to celebratory pasta dishes. However, as the years went on, a mix of both pasta dishes and traditional American dishes took over their dinner tables.

Today, many Italian-American households still hold onto this tradition. And, according to Esquire, lasagna isn't the only Italian dish to make the modern-day holiday table lineup. Escarole soup, as a starter, or ravioli can also make appearances. Regardless of what different families pick and choose, incorporating culturally-significant foods is truly what Thanksgiving is about: being thankful for the food that raised you and the people that shaped you.

So, if a turkey just seems like a little too much work this year, consider whipping up a fresh lasagna instead for a true crowd-pleaser.