Constantinople Has Fallen! Here are 11 Renaissance Recipes to Bring You Out of the Dark Ages

There are some holidays we observe with grand speeches and parades. Others, we toast with flowing rivers of booze. But the best kind of holiday is the eating kind — and even though you don’t know it yet, today is going to be your favorite. Say good bye to the Middle Ages, ladies. Constantinople fell 561 years ago today, and we’re partying like it’s the Renaissance all over again.

If you are really daring, you could serve up the head of a baby goat. Or, you know, bake live birds under a pie crust. But for the rest of us, we rounded up the most epic Renaissance recipes that won’t get you pecked to death. From bright panzanella salad to beef stew, here’s everything you need for the ultimate #tbt.

Image: Adventures in Cooking


You know panzanella today as that trendy little summer salad — but a Florentine painter beat us to it by about five centuries. Before tomatoes were even introduced to Italy, Bronzino dined on greens tossed with bread, cucumber, and onions. Sound familiar? My Name Is Yeh serves up a modern update.

Image: My Name Is Yeh


Renaissance foodies were all about sweet-meet-savory long before bacon desserts were a thing. Food writer Emiko Davies gives us a recipe for biancomangiare, a classic porridge-like first course that pairs chicken with cinnamon and sugar.

Image: Emiko Davies


Before the era of Food Network, Bartolomeo Scappi was the closest thing to a celebrity chef. He left us with the Opera , a massive volume of recipes, including pesto made with “parsley, spinach tips, sorrel, burnet, rocket and a little mint.” Take a cue from Little Leopard Book and use whatever greens you have on hand.

Image: Little Leopard Book

Walnut Linguine

This recipes comes from nineteenth-century cook Pellegrino Artusi, but its flavors are distinctly Renaissance. The good news? It’s easy as grinding walnuts with spices and tossing it all with linguine. Thanks, Emiko!

Image: Emiko Davies

Beef Stew

Think of braised beef stew as your blank canvas. Our friend Bartolomeo Scappi calls for cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves — but you can also give yours a Renaissance-inspired kick with oranges, à la Katie at the Kitchen Door.

Image: Katie at the Kitchen Door

Fish Pie

Italy may have dominated the culinary scene during the Renaissance, but its westward neighbors in France had it going on, too. Lostpastremembered shares an aromatic fish pie recipe from Master Chiquart.

Image: Lostpastremembered


In his Opera, Scappi whips up a “Damascene style” rice soup that sounds suspiciously like risotto. Wild Greens and Sardines has a recipe for the twenty-first century.

Image: Wild Greens and Sardines

Spinach Pie

You can thank Renaissance Italy for just about every kind of pastry dough you love. Scappi, for example, had a thing for pies — including spinach, which he mixed with cinnamon, sugar, and breadcrumbs. His recipe lives on in this torta pasqualina by Juls’ Kitchen.

Image: Juls’ Kitchen


Known as sabayon in French, zabaione is an airy custard hailing from northern and central Italy. Whip up A Cozy Kitchen’s version — and then pair it with fruit for a light dessert.

Image: A Cozy Kitchen


It may be the trendy frozen dessert du jour, but according to legend, we might have Caterina de Medici to thank for it. Savory Simple serves up a classic vanilla gelato to please even the toughest of ruling families.

Image: Savory Simple

Cherry PIe

And for dessert, we’ll have more pie. Are you seeing a pattern here? Scappi calls for a cherry-stuffed pie with a “sugar and rosewater” glaze. Adventures in Cooking is a good place to start.

Image: Adventures in Cooking