Tips for an Authentic Feast of 7 Fishes (Slideshow)
December 19, 2013
Take the Italian tradition to your table
I prefer fresh cod to baccala. I think the salad is more vibrant and tasty. After steaming the cod with garlic and vegetables, remove the cod and break it with your hands into pieces. Mix the cod with red onion, a little chopped garlic, Castelvetrano olives, celery, salt, pepper, and chile flakes.
Serve with Cantina Terlano Pinot Bianco 2012, Alto Adige.
Cured Fresh Anchovy
I love to cure anchovy fillets in extra-virgin olive oil and red-wine vinegar, Trapani sea salt, and fresh ground pepper. After 48 hours of curing, the anchovy fillets are ready to go. I serve them with julienne Honeycrisp apple and mache lettuce. It’s the perfect combination of savory, sweet, crisp, and delicious.
Serve with Vie di Romans 2011 Chardonnay, Friuli.
Simple and delicious, this calamari is lightly dusted in flour, salt, and pepper, and fried in hot olive oil. Serve with fresh lemon. I would enjoy a Sicilian white with Calamari Fritti — Firriato Etna Bianco 2012, Sicilia comes to mind when I think of fried calamari.
Click here for the Calamari Fritti recipe.
Linguine with Clam Sauce
Buy enough cockle clams; they make the dish. Make sure you clean the clams well. Sauté the clams with garlic, white wine, and Italian parsley. When you cook the linguine, cook it for 30 seconds less than the directions say. Take linguine out of the water and put it right into the sauté pan and drip some of the pasta water into the pot. How about a vermentino from Sardegna? Try the Samas 2012 from Agricola Punica.
Stuff the tubes with focaccia, pignoli nut, garlic, and capers. Cook in a light tomato sauce until tender. Chianti loves tomato sauce, so try San Felice Chianti Classico 2011, Tuscany.
Branzino al Forno
A great Mediterranean fish. Be sure to ask the fish market take the head and scales off, as well as to butterfly and debone each fish. Sprinkle seasoned breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, olive oil, Italian parsley, and fresh lemon slices inside the fish. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Always drink a crisp, acidic white wine with this dish. I like Benanti Bianco di Caselle 2011, Sicilia.
Lobster Fra Diavolo
Fresh lobsters, the king of all seafood. Try them with Italian tomato, garlic, chile flakes, and olive oil. Wear an apron when eating and remember not to name the lobsters — they become very hard to eat! Lobsters are to eat, not pets. How about a pinot noir, from Les Cretes, Valle d’Aosta? The 2011 vintage is a favorite of mine.