The most magical night of the year is Christmas Eve. We come together as a family and savor the time we have with each other here on earth, and we remember the loved ones who have passed on. Of course, we also eat great food and lots of it. The Feast of the Seven Fishes, also known as La Vigilia (the Vigil), is a Sicilian-American traditional dinner on Christmas Eve.
So, what should you serve at the Feast of the Seven Fishes? While there are no hard-and-fast rules about the preparation of the Feast of the Seven Fishes, there is plenty of debate over how to celebrate this Sicilian-American tradition. What fish should be included and how they should be prepared can vary. Some people cook seven courses; some choose to make twelve (in reference to Jesus’ twelve apostles). Some simply create a seafood stew. Many families keep their own traditions, but everyone who celebrates can agree: seafood should be prepared and consumed on Christmas Eve, preferably with wine.
Here’s our take:
Antipasto – The Appetizer
We like to offer an assortment of light dishes. After all, you have the pasta and main courses to enjoy, so pace yourself. A simple Salt Cod, with grilled bread or Salmon Rillettes, which is a blend fresh salmon and butter with hot-smoked salmon to give the rich spread extra-rich flavor. Whatever creamy dip you choose to serve, crunchy toasted bread drizzled with quality olive oil is a must. A light salad such as Pan Seared Scallops with Asparagus, Spinach and Tangerines with a homemade Citrus Vinaigrette. To round out this course, Shrimp Scampi, one of the easiest Italian-American recipe known for its buttery garlic sauce.
Primi – The First Course
The first course in an Italian meal is usually a pasta course. For this meal, we like spicy Linguine Lobster Fra Diavolo. Lobster Fra Diavolo is a simple and elegant lobster pasta recipe. It feels like a special occasion pasta, but it’s easy enough for whenever you feel like it. It’s the perfect way to stretch a small amount of lobster.
Secondi – The Main Course
Our second, or entrée course consists of two dishes filled with Italian-inspired flavors, Baked Stuffed Shrimp and Baked Stuffed Cod.
Dolci – The Dessert Course
To finish the meal, we like to serve a small assortment of treats that includes Cannoli, creamy Ricotta Cookies, and Zuppa inglese, which literally translates to “English Soup”, is essentially a type of Italian trifle. A refreshing limoncello gelato to cleanse the palate is a lovely way to end the feast.
We hope that you will begin your own family traditions for the Feast of the Seven Fishes and from all of us at Heartland Foods “Alla nostra.”