The FEAST of The 7 FISH Italian Christmas – Recipes

Mangia Italia



The FEAST of The 7 FISH

My Aunt Helen used to make the famous Italian Christmas Eve Dinner, “The Feast of 7 Fishes,” The 7 Fish of the Seven Sacraments. I know she made it because I
used to hear her talking about it when I was a little kid. Although I shared
many wonderful meals with my dear Aunt Helen, I never had the pleasure of
having the famous Christmas Eve Dinner “La Vigilia” Feast of 7 FishFeast of 7 Fish with her. We always had Christmas Eve dinner with the immediate family and Aunt Helen had the Christmas Eve with her brother and sister and other family
members. Aunt Helen was born in Salerno, Italy and was my Uncle Franks (1 of my Mother’s 3 brothers) better half. So for our Christmas Dinner my mother would
make an Antipasto of Salami, Provolone, Peppers, and Olives, followed by Baked
Ziti and a Baked Ham studded with cloves and Pineapple rings.
The first time I ever had the mystical dinner was about 12 years ago with my cousin
Joe, his family and my girlfriend Duyen. We had been talking about this famous
Italian Feast a few weeks previous, and were thinking of making it.  Joe told me he wanted to have  the Christmas  Eve  Meal of  The Feast of The 7  Fishes, known
in Italy as  La Viglia (The Vigil) or “La Festa Dei Sette Pesci,” which is also known in Italian-America as The Feast of The 7 Fish, that signify the 7 Sacraments. Now, how’s all that for a mouthful?
This Dinner, La Vigilia originated in Southern Italy, especially in and around the
environs of Napoli. The Feast of The 7 Fish is a Southern Italian tradition that does not exist in the rest of Italy, it is of the South. La Viglia, or “The Feast of the  Seven Fishes” as it isknown to Italian-Americans commemorates the waiting (Vigil) of the Baby Jesus to be Born at Midnight and the Seven Fish represent the Seven Sacraments of  the Roman Catholic Church. Some also that the Seven Fish might signify the 7 Days of Creation, or The Seven Deadly Sins, but most believe the 7 Fish pertain to the Seven Sacraments.
So Joe asked me if I wanted to make this festive and all important dinner, to
perform the ceremony. He didn’t need to ask twice. I had never made it before
and was dying to do so. For a long time I had yearned to partake  in  this celebrated old  Southern  Italian Ritual, and this was my  chance. Naturally I was excited, so was Joe.

The anticipation of the Great Feast to come was of happy expectations and excitement.
And what for the menu? I know Aunt Helen made Bacala, Shrimp Oreganata, Mussels, Baked Clams, Calamari, Octopus, and eel, all much Loved Southern Italian (especially Napoli and Sicily) Creatures of the Sea. We decided which fish we wanted and how  to  cook each one.  Much thought and planning went into the menu and its execution.  Joe wanted; Langoustines, Lobster, and Bacala. Alexandra asked if I would make Stuffed Calamari. We also decided on Shrimp Cocktail, Baked Clams Oreganata, and Cozze al Posillipo. The menu was set. Duyen helped me with the Calamari which we stuffed with Shrimp, parsley, breadcrumbs, and Peas. We braised the Calamari with tomato, White Wine, and herbs, and if I must say so myself, the Calamari came out superbly.  The Stuffed Calamari were a lot of work to make, but well worth the effort as they were a huge hit with all. The Macari boys, Joey, Edward, and Tommy, as well as sister Gabriella,  Alex, Duyen,  Jose  and Sergio from Barcelona were all in
attendance.
The Mussels Posillipo were cooked with garlic, white wine, parsley, and tomato. The sauce is great to dip your bread into. This dish was one of my mother’s favorites back in the days when few Americans other than those  of
Italian  origins ever ate these wonderful little bivalves. Now-a-days every-body does. As a young boy I remember my mother sending me to Bella Pizza in East Rutherford to get an order of them for her. She always gave me a few and I have Loved them ever since.
Joe helped me to cook the Langoustines. They are hard to find and I had to order a
ten-pound box from Silvano in order to get them.  The best way to cook langoustines is to split them in half and sauté them on each side in olive oil with a little butter and garlic. We served the Langoustines the same way as Silvano does as we feel his recipe is the best and everybody loves them that way.  The Langoustines are served with a salad of thinly shaved fennel and celery dressed in olive oil and lemon with some split cherry tomatoes. Absolutely delicious!!!
The Lobsters we prepared the best way possible, the New England way, steamed and served simply with drawn butter and lemon wedges. There’s nothing better on
Earth, well except for Sunday Sauce of course.
Well, that Christmas Eve Dinner The Feast of Seven Fishes was quite a wonderful
experience. It was a huge success but quite a bit too much work and actually, too much food, everyone was kind of full already by the fifth fish. The following year we decided on incorporating the Seven Fish into three courses instead of seven separate  ones  as it’s just too much,  too much to eat and too much to cook, a lot of work, and who needs to  work that hard on Christmas.  It was a good decision. We
still had 7 different fish, which is a must. Serving these 7 Fish in three courses was a good idea as it is much more manageable that way, both to cook and to eat.
On this Feast of The 7 Fish in “3 Courses” we decided to make the Stuffed
Calamari, which I would not have  chosen again  because it  was  a lot of work, but it was Alex and Joe’s favorite and they said that it was a must. This was our Antipasto Course. 

Alexandra and her mom helped me,  so the amount of work was cut down
and  divided into three, “A good thing.”
The stuffed calamari took care of two of the seven the shrimp that were stuffed
into the squid.
The second course (Primi) of Linguine Frutti de Mare consumed four of the Seven
Fish required for the meal.  It consisted of Mussels, Clams, Lobster, and Scallops cooked with garlic, oil, herbs, and just a touch of tomato.
The seventh and final fish was fresh Cod that I roasted and served with a sweet and
sour onion sauce (Bacala Fresca Agro Dolce). Everybody went bananas for it especially cousin Joe who raved at each and every dish I put down.  It’s a pleasure cooking for Joe as his for eating and for the Italian American way of life, the food, the wine, the rituals. Joe truly Loves and savors the experience, so I always love
to cook for him, Alexandra, their children, or just about anyone for who savors
the experience so well. This goes the same for my cousin  Anthony Bellino his wife Debbie and  their three girls Chrissy, Danna, and Allison,  along  with all my
close friends and family.
It makes cooking a joy rather than a chore. When cooking for family or friends,
you give two of life’s great gifts,  a tasty  Home-Cooked meal combined with a
little bit of Love.  Scratch that. “A whole lotta Love!”
If you don’t want to go so crazy, with 7 Fish as it’s quite an undertaking, you should try to do an odd numbers; 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, or 11. Three (3) is a Nice Number and Represents the Holy Trinity of The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Buon Natale!

LEARN HOW to MAKE
The FEAST of The SEVEN FISHES
ITALIAN CHRISTMAS DINNER
“La VIGILIA”
In THE FEAST of THE 7 FISH
by Daniel Bellino “Z”







SOPHIA LOREN

And JAYNE MANSFIELD

ROMANOFF’S

HOLLYWOOD  1957


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Italian Wedding Cookies Recipe for Christmas

RussianTEAcakesCookies.jpg

These Cookies go by Several Names

ITALIANor MEXIACAN WEDDING COOKIES and RUSSIAN TEA CAKES or COOKIES


RECIPE :

ITALIAN WEDDING COOKIES 

1-1/2 cups Unsalted Butter 
3/4 cup Confectioners’ Sugar 
1/2 teaspoon Salt 
3/4 cup ALMONDS  (Finely Chopped) 
2-1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract 
3 cups Sifted All-Purpose Flour 

1/3 cup Confectioners’ Sugar For Rolling

Preheat oven to 325° F. 


Cream butter or margarine in a bowl, gradually add confectioners”” sugar and salt. Beat until light and fluffy. 

Add nuts and vanilla. 

Blend in flour gradually and mix well.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 1/2 hours.

Shape into balls using about 1 teaspoon for each cookie. 


Place on ungreased cookie sheets, and bake for 10 minutes. Do not brown.
Cool slightly. 

Roll in the extra Confectioners Sugar.



Enjoy !

 

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bc44e-feast7fish


The FEAST of The 7 FISH

ITALIAN CHRISTMAS

Recipes



SOPHIA LOREN with PIZZA

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Sunday Sauce Pacino Sneaker

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SUNDAY SAUCE  The SNEAKER
 
by Bellino
 
With AL PACINO
 
“GET YOURS TODAY” !!!
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The SUNDAY SAUCE SNEAKER by Bellino
 
 
Sunday Sauce The Sneaker by Bellino. This cool Limited Edition Sneaker was created bt Best Selling Italian Cookbook Writer – Daniel Bellino Z, created from his book cover design of his best selling Italian Cookbook SUNDAY SAUCE. Check out Michael Corleone (AL PACINO) and Clemenza making Sunday Sauce Italian Gravy with Sasuage, Meatballs and Braciole. If you Love The Godafather, Pacino, Coppola, Sunday Sauce, Pasta and Italian Food, you are sure to Love these awesome Sneakers created by Bellino. “Get yours today” !
GIFT IDEAS : CHristmas, Hanukkah, Birthdays and all occasions.
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POSITANO !!!
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“The SNEAKER”
 
by Bellino
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SUNDAY SAUCE
 
The BOOK THAT STARTED IT ALL

Orecchiette Pasta Recipes of Bari

 


The Streets of Bari

ITALY

Making Orecchiette 

Le ORECCHIETTE 

BARI, ITALY




PASTA GRANNIES

Making Orecchiette 


BARI




BARI, Italy — The grandmothers set up shop early. Out of ground-floor kitchens that opened directly onto the street, they came out singing old songs, sweeping the stone floor and scattering their homemade orecchiette, the city’s renowned ear-shaped pasta, on the mesh screens of wooden trays.

As the pasta dried in the sun along with the sweatpants, T-shirts and bath towels draped from the balconies above, Nunzia Caputo, 61, sat making more with her mother. A local man popped by to buy a kilo, which Ms. Caputo weighed out on an old-fashioned scale.

“Here it’s always fresh,” she said, in a kitchen cluttered with simmering pots of sauce, sacks of semola flour and a muted television. “If nobody buys them, we eat all of them. And this happens,” she said, pointing at her belly.


The orecchiette makers of via dell’Arco Basso in the southern coastal town of Bari have drawn cruise ship tourists, and contributed to Lonely Planet naming Bari one of Europe’s top 10 destinations.

They also inspired Dolce & Gabbana to film a cosmetics ad (“Pasta, Amore e Emotioneyes”) in which Sylvester Stallone’s adult daughters strut down the street in black negligees, dance with the grandmas and sift orecchiette through their fingers.



SYLVESTER STALLONE & ORECCHIETTE


Sistine & Sophia Stallone

Bari, Italy

Orecchiette alla Pugliese pasta Recipe from Puglia. Easy and delicious! The video above is of the local women of old Bari, or Bari Vecchia, making their own orecchiette in a setting which must have seen much of the same for centuries.  


ORECCHIETTE alla PUGLIESE

Ingredients :

1 pound imported Orecchiette Pasta 

2 Green Peppers

1 cup  Tomato Puree

1 bunch of fresh Basil

Olive Oil

Grated Pecorino Cheese

Salt, Black Pepper, to taste

Red Pepper Flakes to taste

making it

Slice the pepper thinly and fry in a pan for 10 minutes with the olive oil.

Add the tomato, basil, salt, pepper and cook for 5 minutes.

Prepare the pasta until it is ‘al dente’.

Drain and thrown it into the pan with the other ingredients.

Mix with the pecorino cheese and serve immediately






RECIPES From MY SICILIAN NONNA




BARI VECCHIA

DOLCE & GABBANA





BARI VECCHIA

PUGLIA, ITALY