Over the last several years I have had the pleasure of attending and eating several Italian “seven fish dinners.” Not all on the same night of course 🙂
The Italian seven fish dinner is a traditional Christmas eve feast served in many variations in many Italian and sometimes non-Italian households. You can read about its history at the reliable Wikipedia here.
But I can tell you personally that there is often more than seven dishes and each household does it a little differently. One year I attended one that contained pasta with anchovy cream sauce as one course and stuffed lobsters tails as another course, among the many other courses.
I have also attended dinners with more rustic dishes including baked haddock and seafood Newburgh.
Recently we have started going to some extended family on my husband’s side for Christmas eve. It is a big Italian Medford, MA family with lots of other food besides the traditional seven fish dinner, a Yankee swap and of course pastries from Boston’s North End bakeries.
There was a spiral ham, antipasti salad and baked stuffed ziti among the seven fish dishes. The seven dishes….Medford style!
1. Fried Smelts
2. Lobster Fra Diavolo
3. Baked Stuffed Shrimp
4. Clams Casino
5. Boiled Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce
7. Scallops Wrapped in Bacon.