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Italian Christmas Eve -  La Vigilia di Natale
In Italian, Christmas Eve is "La Vigilia," the eve.  Many Italians also refer to it as The Eve of the Seven Fishes. 
Traditionally the dinner is meatless and fish dishes dominate.  Every region, city, and country town in Italy has
ritual foods that are served.  Many people prepare Christmas Eve dinners with a required number of courses
that range from 7 to 9.  The number seven represents the seven sacraments and nine for the Trinity multiplied
by three.  Over the years the number of courses served by most Italian families has decreased, but fish still
remains the main feature of the meal.  If you are serving several courses, choose a well-balanced selection of
dishes using a variety of different fish and shellfish  - an appetizer, a soup, a salad, a fried fish, a baked,
grilled, or stewed fish, and a pasta dish.  For a simpler meal, prepare just one course and serve with a crusty
Italian bread and a mixed green salad.
Roasted Shrimp with Bloody Mary Cocktail Sauce
The shrimp are roasted and chilled and served with a Bloody Mary Cocktail Sauce.  The shrimp may also be served hooked around the rim of a martini glass with the sauce and celery in the center of the glass.
Polenta Cakes with Salmon and Caviar
Mini pancakes made with polenta and topped with creme fraiche, smoked salmon, and caviar.  You don't need to use an expensive caviar for this recipe; you can usually find black lumpfish caviar in the canned fish area of your supermarket.
Seafood Salad - Insalata di Mar
This Italian seafood salad is filled with the flavors of the sea. The chilled seafood is combined with a lemon juice and olive oil dressing and served over a crispy mixed green salad.
Scungilli Salad
The word scungilli is the Neapolitan dialect word for conch, which is sconsiglio.  Scungilli has a pleasant briny flavor and a dense, meaty texture.
Stuffed Calamari
Stuffed calamari is a favorite Italian dish for Christmas Eve.
We have a variety of stuffing recipes for you to choose from.
Baked Stuffed Mussels
Mussels baked with a flavorful breadcrumb topping.
This dish may be served as a main course or apperizer.
Linguine with Marechiaro Sauce
Marechiaro is a location in Naples.  The word literally means 'clear sea.'   This recipe is very similar to linguine with a red clam sauce but it
adds a little more heat.
Seafood Lasagna
Seafood Lasagna is a rich and creamy lasagna filled with shrimp, scallops,and crab.  It is a wonderful special occasion dish.
Salmon Ravioli with White Wine and Butter Sauce
This delicious ravioli recipe has a filling of cooked salmon,
shallots, and cheese, with just a hint of lemon flavor.
Steamed Lobster
Lobster always says "special occasion". 
Here is a collection of some favorite lobster recipes
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Whipped Baccala
Christmas Eve Appetizers
Calamari Salad
Baccala with Tomatoes and Potatoes
Christmas Eve Soups and Risotto
Christmas Eve Seafood Soup
Zuppa di Pesce
Seafood Stew
Seafood Risotto
Risotto with Shrimp and Champagne
Whipped Baccala
Baked Stuffed Shrimp
Bagna Cauda
Clams Oregano Dip
Crisp Sardine Twists
Christmas Eve Salads
Calamari Salad
Mixed Seafood Salad (Insalata di Frutti di Mare)
Shrimp and Orange Salad
Baccala Salad
Octopus Salad (Insalata di Polpo)
Tuna and Beans
Christmas Eve Main Course
Fried Eel
Fried Baccala
Fried Calamari
Squid Braised with Tomatoes and Greens
Stewed Fresh Cod
Baccala with Tomatoes and Potatoes
Christmas Eve Pasta
Fettuccine with Lobster Cream Sauce
Shrimp in Garlic, Lemon, and Butter Sauce
Lasagna della Vigilia
Grouper with Shrimp and Almonds
Italian Seafood Recipes
A collection of recipes including calamari, scungilli, clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops, lobster, and more.
Italian Seafood Recipes  >>
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ITALIAN
CHRISTMAS EVE
Recipes, stories, and
history of The Eve of
Seven Fishes.
Panettone - Traditional Italian Christmas Bread from Milan
Panettone
Pandoro: The traditional Christmas bread from Verona
Pandoro