La Vigilia di Natale
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, all that jazz, I am late with all of it. We spent the holidays with my in-laws in Liguria and cut off from the modern world. A blessing, though we were attached to our phones, we weren’t staring at screens for a week and I think our eyes and brains are thanking us for it.
I, like most of the world after the holidays, need a diet and you will see why after looking through these pictures of our Christmas Eve feast.
I have read a lot about the feast of the seven fishes that Italian Americans prepare for Christmas Eve, and when I mentioned it to my mother-in-law, she looked perplexed, not realizing that she too had prepared seven different fish for that evening’s feast. An interesting coincidence.
Our feast started out with baccala fritters; four different types of smoked fish, salmon, swordfish, herring and tuna; anchovies and pizza di scarola. I could have been happy with the platter of baccala fritters placed in front of me, but tasted everything. We then went to the primo, spaghetti e vongole, which is a Christmas Eve tradition in Naples. Our last dish was beautifully fresh Orata served with scarola legata, one of my favorite Neapolitan dishes. A head of escarole, stuffed with olives, capers, pine nuts and anchovies and tied up with string. Heaven, I need to learn how to make this from my mother-in-law, keep the tradition going.
Our dessert was an adorable chocolate Panettone with a candy cresh carved in and Santa on top. No one had the nerve to eat Santa.
One Year Ago: Risotto with Salmon, Chanterelles and Chives