Regardless of your heritage, a traditional Italian Christmas Eve dinner (Feast of the Seven Fishes) is a fabulous way to celebrate the holiday.
Serving a multi-course seafood dinner on Christmas Eve (La Vigilia) is a wonderful holiday mealtime tradition that originated in Southern Italy.
Also known as the feast of the seven fishes, the dishes served for this occasion vary from family to family and region to region.
There’s some debate over what the seven fishes represent. Some say they honor the seven holy sacraments of the Catholic Church, others say they mark the seven days of creation.
The recipes we’ve adopted into our non-Italian family include mussels, clams, shrimp, squid, scallops, cod, and snail salad (scungilli).
More Christmas recipes:
Mussels steamed in garlic, onion and white wine is a classic preparation, full of flavor.
Tender, sweet, littleneck clams topped with a combination of bacon, shallot, red bell pepper, and white wine make a light, flavorful appetizer for an Italian-style dinner menu.
A simple pasta dish that can be served as part of a multi-course Italian dinner, or as a main dish alongside a salad to complete the meal.
Citrus and fresh herbs flavor this quick easy scallop dish made in the Sicilian style.
Baked stuffed shrimp is a popular restaurant dish that's easy to make at home and makes a great choice for a special occasion meal.
This foolproof recipe for cod fillets topped with a buttery blend of fresh breadcrumbs, garlic and parsley is easy to make and sure to become a family favorite.
Scungilli Salad is a delicious appetizer to serve with an authentic Italian meal.
This is a delicious biscotti recipe, flavored with toasted pine nuts, rosemary, fresh orange zest and orange liqueur.
These light, cake-like ricotta cookies are made are flavored with a bit of limoncello liqueur and are an all-time favorite for the holidays.
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.