Feast of the Seven Fish- Christmas Eve & Day Prep and Dinner

Christmas Eve

Every year I look forward to the Italian-American tradition of the feast of the seven fish. Seven fish symbolize the seven sacraments while thirteen fish symbolize Jesus and the twelve apostles. Some years my family does 13 while others we do 7. The #1 rule on our Christmas Eve is no meat! Every year the fish varies but we always keep a few definite favorites.

Basically everything you will see was an appetizer except for the fried fish, pasta dishes, salad and swiss chard. Everything here is homemade and almost everything is made by my dad or me!

Here is the types of fish/shellfish we had this year- 

  1. Clams 
My uncle John's portuguese stuffed quahogs or as us Rhode Islanders like to call them- "stuffies".

Dad's pasta with clam sauce.

     2. Crab 
Crab Cakes 

   3. Shrimp 

Crab stuffing
Stuffed shrimp before 

                                               Stuffed shrimp cooked

Fried Shrimp

   4. Sole 
Fried sole

   5. Smelts 
Auntie Pat's fried smelts 
  6.BaccalĂ  (or salted cod)

Baccala before being cut into pieces, It is very tough and salty so it must be soaked!
Baccala soaking for 3-2 days with utensils to separate each piece for even soaking


Baccala salad 

Zuppa di Baccala with raisins 
   7. Calamari 

Yummy tender stuffed calamari stuffed with tentacles, breadcrumbs and other yummy things. 

So now that you got to see all of the fish we ate, take a look at a couple of other things we had on our table that night. 

Mediterranean Pizza with roasted tomatoes, olives and feta

Garlic and parsley pizza

Truffle pizza with wilted arugula 

Cheese plate with nuts, dried fruits, taleggio, bleu, provolone and parmigiano reggiano.
Pickled baby brussels sprout
Mixture of olives

Swiss chard with raisins and pine nuts

Seasonal Salad 
Aglio olio
Along with other desserts we had my sister Christina's famous torta di marscapone with crushed amaretti cookies and chocolate shavings! Yum!
We also had nuts, dried figs, chocolates, chestnuts, cookies--
and torrone!

Christmas Day-
Christmas day was filled with meat. Meatballs, braciole, tenderloin and sausage. We also had salad, potatoes, stuffed shells and much, much more! My sister and I went over my grandparents house and rolled up some braciole. Braciole is rolled stuffed meat. In different regions of Italy braciole is prepared differently. 

Happy Eatings! 

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