Christmas Eve In The Italian Tradition

Christmas Eve In The Italian Tradition: A traditional Italian Christmas Eve dinner is a wonderful holiday feast to share with friends and loved ones - Italian heritage not required!

The Feast of the Seven Fishes

Serving a multi-course seafood dinner on Christmas Eve (La Vigilia) is a wonderful holiday mealtime tradition that originated in Southern Italy. Known as the Feast of the Seven Fishes, a traditional Italian Christmas Eve is a celebration of the vigil awaiting the midnight birth of the baby Jesus.

The dishes served vary from family to family. These recipes are the favorites we've adopted into our non-Italian family. Buon Natale!

antipasti (appetizers)

Steamed Mussels Italian-Style Steamed Mussels Italian-Style

Steamed Mussels Italian-Style

These mussels make a delicious prelude to a meal of pasta and seafood. Serve with bread to soak up the richly flavored broth.

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Clams Casino Clams Casino

Clams Casino

For many seafood lovers, Clams Casino is the perfect appetizer. The briny flavor of the littlenecks is complemented well by the sweetness of the red bell pepper and the smokiness of the bacon.

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primo (the pasta course)

Squid In Marinara Sauce Over Linguine Squid In Marinara Sauce Over Linguine

Squid In Marinara Sauce Over Linguine

This is a favorite pasta dish made with just a few very basic ingredients. It makes a wonderful pasta course in an Italian multi-course dinner. It can also be prepared using a combination of calamari and sea scallops.

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secondo (second course)

Stuffed Shrimp Oreganata-Style Stuffed Shrimp Oreganata-Style

Stuffed Shrimp Oreganata-Style

A simple stuffing of fresh breadcrumbs, garlic, butter and seasonings is the perfect way to dress up some delicious jumbo shrimp.

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Sicilian-Style Citrus Scallops Sicilian-Style Citrus Scallops

Sicilian-Style Citrus Scallops

Fresh thyme, rosemary and dried orange peel lend delicate flavor and citrus aroma to this beautiful scallop dish.

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Cod With Lemon-Parsley Crumb Topping Baked Stuffed Cod

Baked Stuffed Cod

This foolproof, Italian-style recipe for cod fillets topped with a buttery blend of fresh breadcrumbs, garlic and parsley is a perfect choice for a company meal.

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contorno (side dish)

Snail Salad Snail Salad

Snail Salad

Insalata di Scungilli is a delicious appetizer to serve with an authentic Italian meal. It can and should be made ahead to allow the flavor to develop.

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dolce (dessert)

Orange Rosemary Biscotti Orange Rosemary Biscotti

Orange Rosemary Biscotti

This is a delicious biscotti recipe, flavored with toasted pine nuts, rosemary, fresh orange zest and orange liqueur.

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Limoncello-Glazed Ricotta Drops Limoncello-Glazed Ricotta Drops

Limoncello-Glazed Ricotta Drops

Limoncello adds grown-up style to these cake-like ricotta cheese drop cookies.

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Italian Wine Biscuits Italian Wine Biscuits

Italian Wine Biscuits

These delicious Italian cookies have subtle flavors of red wine, black pepper and a touch of salt and make a nice dessert course for an Italian menu served alongside fruit and cheese.

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comments & replies

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