Our 2012 La Festa dei Sette Pesci (Feast of the Seven Fishes)

Growing up1 (1 of 1)
Joey about to nail me with that ball in his hand 😮

The Italian tradition of The Feast of the Seven Fishes is a big deal for our family.  My brother and I start planning the menu in November as emails fly from coast to coast with ideas. We have celebrated the feast for as long as I can remember.  As a youngster, I remember visiting my Uncle Nelson’s apartment on Christmas eve, sangria flowing for the adults, yule log blazing on the TV. We would munch on tiny fried smelts as if they were M&Ms. Calamari and baccala were staples in one form or another. When we finished eating our share of fishy things, we would bundle up and head off to midnight mass where I would usually doze off at church with my head tucked against my mother’s arm.  Through the years, my brother and I have continued the tradition and have been fortunate enough to cook this wonderful meal together over the past 8 years – whether on his coast or mine.

So this year, like so many years past, we discussed and debated…calamari or eel? How to prepare the baccala? Ravioli or something new? And – ta-dah – our 2012 La Festa dei Sette Pesci is pronto! The menus are being printed (although rather slowly on my old printer), the fish is ordered from the fishmonger and the cooking will soon begin!  This meal has become a tradition I dearly cherish – a true heartfelt celebration of family not only with those around the table but also with those that sit alongside us only in memory.

Buon Natale, tutti! (Look for photos and recipes after the meal.)


2012 La Festa dei Sette Pesci

prima alla  cena

nutty reindeer ginger prosecco cocktail

tomales bay ostriche rockefeller

(tomales bay oysters rockefeller)

sperlani fritti con limone fresco e sale marino

(crispy fried smelts with fresh lemon and sea salt)

ceviche capesante con avocado

(scallop ceviche with avocado)

a tavola

 gamberetti dolci al limone aioli

(shrimp cakes with lemon aioli)

paccheri ripieni di polpa di granchio e mascarpone in brodetto di aragosta

(paccheri stuffed with crabmeat and masacpone in a lobster brodetto)

polpette di baccala

(baccala meatballs)

branzino arrosto su un letto di finocchi e cipolle

(whole roasted branzino on a bed of fennel and onions)

insalata di burro lattuga, pere e pecorino con pomegranate

(butter lettuce, pecorino and pear salad with pomegranate)

Join the Conversation

  1. I grew up with the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve 🙂 We don’t do it anymore, due to food allergies in the family – but I do miss my Grandma Jennie’s Baccala!!

    1. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, LyndaMichele! Happy Holidays….Michele

  2. Looking for ward to sharing. , We also still carry on the tradition of,the seven fishes

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