5 Easy Italian Christmas Eve Dinner Recipes
If you're hosting Christmas Eve, use 5 easy Italian Christmas Eve dinner recipes! Italian Christmas Eve celebrations center around seafood. The reason for this is the Feast of the Seven Fishes, festa dei sette pesci, an Italian-American tradition that originated in southern Italy. It commemorates the wait for the birth of the baby Jesus. Get ready to stock up on olive oil!
1. Fried Calamari
- 1/2 to 1 pound calamari sliced into rings
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Enough vegetable oil to fill bottom of heavy skillet to 1/2"
- Clean the calamari and refrigerate.
- Mix the flour, paprika and cayenne.
- Heat the oil to 375 degrees.
- Toss a handful of calamari at a time with flour, and shake off the excess.
- Fry the calamari for three to four minutes.
- Drain the calamari on paper towels.
2. Scungilli Salad
- 29 ounces scungilli (conch)
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1 cup sliced black olives
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Drain and clean the scungilli.
- Remove any cartilage from the scungilli, then thinly slice.
- Toss all ingredients in a large bowl.
- Refrigerate, then serve chilled.
3. Fried Baccala
- 2 pounds dried baccala (cod)
- Flour for breading, seasoned with salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup olive oil.
- Soak the baccala in water in the refrigerator for three days. Change the water three times per day.
- Drain the baccala.
- Dredge the baccala with flour.
- Heat the oil on medium-high in a skillet.
- Fry the baccala for two minutes on each side.
4. Linguine alla Vongole
- 1 pound linguine
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves chopped garlic
- 2 pounds minced clams
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- One pinch red pepper flakes
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Grated parmigiano-reggiano to taste
- Ground black pepper to taste
- Sauté the garlic in oil over medium-high heat, until the garlic starts to sizzle.
- Stir in the parsley and red pepper.
- Stir in the liquid from the clams. Cover it, and cook over low heat for four minutes.
- Add the clams and wine. Stir occasionally for one minute.
- Remove the sauté from the heat.
- Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil, add a tablespoon salt and drop in the pasta all at once, stirring until the strands are submerged.
- Cook the pasta to molto al dente.
- Drain the pasta.
- Return the clams to medium heat, add the pasta, and cook the pasta to al dente.
- Stir in the butter and serve hot.
5. Mussel Soup
- 4 pounds fresh mussels
- 1/2 cup olive oil; 2 garlic cloves
- 1 red pepper, seeded
- 1 cup tomatoes
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Scrub the mussels.
- Rinse the mussels carefully under running water.
- In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and red pepper. Sauté the mixture over medium heat until the garlic starts to brown.
- Add the tomatoes and wine.
- Cook the mixture for five minutes.
- Add the mussels and salt, cover it, and cook for five minutes over medium-high heat.
- Add the parsley and stir.