Festa dei Sette Pesci (The Feast of the Seven Fishes)

What's a lapsed half-Catholic to do on a Christmas Eve better than attend a Feast of the Seven Fishes?!


My friends Jim and Kandi invited me to join the crowd of 30 or so at their house this year on La Vigilia (Christmas Eve) for their yearly bash.

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The southern Italian tradition has some origin in the whole 'no meat on Fridays' thing, but has gotten out of hand and now commemorates the 'Vigilia di Natale.'

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Though the number seven is referenced, some families might serve 10 or as many as 13 dishes commemorating either the sacraments, stations of the cross, or the apostles + Jesus.

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Traditional fancy items might include  Baccal√† (Salted Cod), Fried Smelts and Anguilla Livernese (Eel with Olives, Chiles, and Capers).

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^ As a bonus, we get Jim's red sauce and his famous meatballs – he'll have some sauce leftover for Christmas Lasagna.

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Even the kids were diggin' it. Buon Natale!