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Italian Christmas Eve Pasta with Seafood
Fettuccine with Lobster Cream Sauce
Fettuccine with Lobster Cream Sauce
Fettuccine with Lobster Cream Sauce
Shrimp in Garlic, Lemon, and Butter Sauce (Shrimp Scampi)
Lasagna della Vigilia - Christmas Eve Lasagna from the Piedmont
Fettuccine with Lobster Cream Sauce

(Serves 2)

This is a wonderfully rich dish so the serving size is small.  You will only need one lobster tail for 2 servings.  The lobster shell is used to infuse the cream sauce with more of the lobster's flavor. It may seem like an unusual technique but the resulting sauce is comparable to the velvety texture of a lobster bisque.


1 (10-12 ounce) lobster tail
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
1 plum tomato, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 large garlic clove, sliced
2 fresh thyme springs
2 fresh parsley springs
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
5-6 ounces fettuccine
Salt and pepper
Chopped parsley for garnish
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)


Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil.  Add the lobster tail and simmer 7-10 minutes until slightly undercooked.  Remove the tail from water and set aside until cool enough to handle.  Remove the meat, cut it into bite size pieces, cover, and refrigerate.  With kitchen scissors, cut the remaining shell into 10-12 pieces.

Heat the oil in a wide saucepan over high heat.  Add the reserved lobster shells and saute for 3 minutes.  Reduce the heat to low.  Add the tomato paste and stir for 1 minute.  Add the tomato, wine, vinegar, garlic, thyme, and parsley.  Add the cream, bring to a boil, and boil for 2 minutes.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Strain into a bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much sauce as possible.  Discard contents of strainer.  Transfer sauce to a saucepan. Gently rewarm over low heat.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than the recommended time.
Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce along with the reserved lobster meat.
Cook 2 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Divide pasta between 2 serving plates.  Garnish with chopped parsley.  Serve with Parmesan cheese, if desired
Shrimp with Garlic, Lemon, and Butter Sauce
"Shrimp Scampi"

(Serves 4)
Shrimp Scampi is an Italian-American dish that is popular in many Italian restaurants in the US.  It is not an traditional Italian recipe but it is still very good.


2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt and pepper
5 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons lemon juice
8 ounces clam juice or chicken broth
1 pound linguine or spaghetti
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons each of butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and add them to the skillet.  Saute the shrimp until they turn pink, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Transfer the shrimp to a plate. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the skillet and saute for 1 minute. Add the lemon juice and clam juice to the skillet and bring to a boil.  Simmer the liquid for 2-3 minutes, just to reduce a little.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than the recommended time.
Reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta and add it to the sauce in the skillet.

Add the remaining butter to the skillet along with 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water. Return the shrimp to the skillet and add the parsley.
Cook just enough to reheat the shrimp. Season with salt and pepper.  If the pasta seems too dry, add the remaining reserved cooking water. Serve.

Note: If you would like to add spinach to the dish, add about 1/2 cup of chopped fresh spinach to the skillet after adding the lemon juice and clam juice. Allow it to wilt in the sauce. Then omit adding the chopped parsley.
Lasagna della Vigilia
Christmas Eve Lasagna from the Piedmont
(Serves 6)

This dish isn't at all like the many-layered lasagna that most of us are familiar with.  The lasagna noodles should be about 6" long.  If you are using dried noodles, break them in half.  Just be sure to mash the anchovies to a paste and be generous with the pepper.


1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 ounces anchovy fillets in olive oil, drained and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound lasagna noodles, broken in half
1 cup Parmesan cheese
Freshly grated ground pepper, to taste


In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat.  Add the anchovies and garlic.  Cook about 5 minutes.  Use a wooden spoon to mash the anchovies as thoroughly as you can.

Cook the lasagna noodles in boiling salted water and drain.  Toss the pasta in a bowl with 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Transfer the pasta to the anchovy sauce, grind pepper on top and toss well.  Serve, passing remaining cheese to sprinkle on top.
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