Now a popular Italian-American tradition, the Feast of the Seven Fishes is celebrated on the 24th December and typically involves the preparation of seven different dishes using various types of fish. A lot of people throughout the world still respect this historic Christmas Eve ritual today, though many now choose not to serve seven entirely different dishes. With its origins in Southern Italia, where fish are a staple part of the diet for many, Festa dei Sette Pesci is now a sacred evening, involving a fish-based banquet, that is shared with family and friends.
Whilst there is no strict rule as to which fish to serve on this occasion, we’ve compiled a few of the popular choices below and we’ve even linked a couple of our favourite seafood recipes for you to try at home, if you fancy recreating this Italian ritual yourself this year!
A typical Feast of Seven Fishes may well involve:
- Anchovies, acciughe
- Lobster, aragosta
- Sardines, sardina
- Dried salt cod known as Baccalà
- Squid or Octopus, calamari or polpo
- Shrimp, gamberetto
- Mussels, cozze
- Clams, vongole
These frutti di mare (seafood) will be served up in a whole manner of ways and will often be incorporated into a number of tasty pasta dishes! For example, anchovies can usually be found in a tasty Puttanesca, which we particularly enjoy when paired with conchiglie, and, in the South of Italy, shrimp may be wrapped in a creamy lemon sauce and served with long strands of pasta such as tagliatelle or pici! Baccalà is one of the most ubiquitous members of the Feast of Seven Fishes, and we love it when precious morsels of this salt cod are encased in fresh parcels of ravioli, whisking the lucky feaster away to the distant shores of Veneto!
For a modern twist on this traditional Feast you could incorporate a primi involving calamari or cozze into your Christmas Eve meal, and this is sure to go down a treat with your guests! The preparation doesn’t have to be complicated as these delicacies shine brightest when paired with a simple sauce involving fresh garlic and olive oil.
If you’re keen to bring a little Italianità to the table this Christmas season, you could try your hand at one of our delicious seafood pasta recipes. We recommend our Ultimate Tagliatelle ai Frutti di Mare if you’re craving a taste of the Mediterranean on these cold winter nights. Or, if your heart is longing for Veneto, you could whip up a plate of our divine Seafood Linguine to transport you to the enchanting Adriatic ports of this region. And, if you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous, our Squid Ink Spaghetti will not disappoint!
At Pasta Evangelists, we bring a taste of Italy to your kitchen. Prepared using the freshest ingredients, our gourmet pasta dishes are perfect for those looking to enjoy restaurant-quality meals, delivered to your door, and ready in under five minutes. Order from our weekly menu today, and we’ll offer you 25% off your first delivery - simply enter the code BLOG25 at checkout.
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