Anytime I speak about the Feast of Seven Fishes, it gives me great joy and brings back 40 years of fond memories.
The Feast of Seven Fishes evolved from the Catholic Church’s prohibition of the consumption of meat on Christmas Eve. And a day of abstinence has morphed into one of my favorite Italian feasts. What did the church expect when they put a bunch of Italians together celebrating a holiday with wine and great food?
While today’s feast may consist of seven fish courses, it is likely to have been 10, 12, or even 14 courses during biblical times. Historians believe the number seven was chosen because it is the number most repeated in the bible.
If you’re invited to a Christmas Eve celebrating the Feast of Seven Fishes, go! It will be an evening you will never forget. And if you decide to host one, I’ve got a number of dishes and tips for cooking them so you can have a successful, varietal, and enjoyable meal.
From my favorite cod salad to ideas on how to serve calamari, I can give you a few tips on how to serve the best feast anyone could ask for. Using the practices in my two New Jersey restaurants, Undici Taverna Rustica in Rumson and Basil T’s Brewery and Italian Grill in Red Bank, and by following these menu ideas and recipes, I can show you how to have a completely delicious Christmas Eve from the sea.
To see my ultimate Christmas Eve menu for "Festa Dei Sette Pesci," click through the slideshow!