Tag Archives: Christmas

Cacciucco Livornese – Fish Stew (Feast of the Seven Fishes)

The idea here is to use 2 pounds total of a variety of fish, so if you cannot find (or don’t like) one of the fishes below, just replace it with something that works for you.  When preparing a variety of dishes, a great time/effort/stress saver, is to include a stew.

Ingredients:

  • 1             Onion (medium, peeled, chopped coarsely, about 3/4 C)
  • 3 TB      Garlic (peeled, chopped coarsely)
  • 1/4 C    Parsley (remove most of the stems)
  • 3 TB      Basil leaves
  • 1/2 C    Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 C    dry white wine
  • 2 C         Lucini Organic Tuscan Plum Tomatoes (chopped coarsely)
  • 2 C         Stock (fish or seafood stock would be optimal, but vegetable and poultry will work as well)
  • 2 TB      Lucini Pinot Noir Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt (sea)
  • 1/2 LB  Squid (cleaned very well, cut into 1-inch rings, octopus or even shucked clams can substitute)
  • 1/2 LB  Swordfish (skin removed, cut into 1-inch cubes)
  • 1/2 LB  Shrimp  (shelled – I use U/20)
  • 1/4 LB  Scallops
  • 1/4 L B Sole (or another firm white fish, cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 2 TB  Lucini Lemon-Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 TB  Lucini Chili-Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 8        slices of Bread (1-inch tick, toasted)

Preparation:

Mince the onion, garlic, parsley and basil together.  Heat the oil in a heavy-duty pot and stir in the minced vegetable mixture.  Cook over low heat until the ingredients soften (about 5 minutes).  Raise the heat to high, pour in the wine and cook until reduced by half.  Lower heat and stir in the tomatoes, stock and salt.  When bubbles just begin to appear on the sides of the pot, add the fish and then cook just until the fish turns opaque or whitish looking and flakes easily with a fork, and the shrimp have turned pink.  Meanwhile, toast several slices of bread and rub them with a garlic-infused oil.

Stir in the chili and lemon oils and correct the salt, pepper and vinegar, if necessary.  Once the fish is done, line the bottoms of your bowls with the toasted bread, ladle the cacciucco over them, and serve.

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Sicilian Shrimp (Gamberoni Siciliana) – Feast of the Seven Fishes

This dish is often served as of the attractions in the Feast of the Seven Fishes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 LB    Shrimp (peeled, de-veined, large shrimp – 20count – are best)
  • 1/4 C  Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1           Red Onion (medium, diced)
  • 1           Bell Pepper (medium, diced)
  • 1/2 jar  Lucini Organic Diced Tomatoes (12-14 ounces)
  • 1 TB     Pine Nuts
  • 1 TB     Raisins (golden are preferrable)
  • 1 TB     Capers (rinsed well)
  • 1/2 C   White Wine (your favorite Sicilian white or Pinot Grigio)
  • 1 tsp    Orange Juice (fresh)
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin (fresh, ground)
  • 2            Bay Leaves
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper (dried)
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper (freshly ground)

Preparation:

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until almost smoking.  Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until softened.  Add the tomatoes, pine nuts, raisins, capers, wine, juice, cumin, bay leaf and red pepper and bring to a boil.  Turn down to simmer and add the shrimp.  Cover and cook the shrimp for 5-7 minutes until cooked through.  Remove from the heat and season with orange juice, salt and pepper to taste.

Adapted from Anna Tosca Lanza

Broccoli Rabe – Broccoli Rapa Strascinati

This Broccoli Rabe preparation is a traditional Italian Christmas side dish.  It is quick & easy to prepare, tasty and colorful.

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Blanch the rabe in lightly salted boiling water for five minutes.  Drain well and squeeze lightly to dry.   Sauté the garlic in the oil for 1 minute then add the rabe and salt to cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes.  Season with the lemon juice, chili-infused oil and anchovies (if you are using them) for the final 2 minutes.  Add lemon juice, chili-infused oil, salt and pepper to taste before serving.

Fig Marmalade (Marmellata di Fichi)

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Wash the figs well then chop them and combine with the sugar in a bowl.  Cover them and let them rest overnight.  The next morning transfer them to a pot and cook over medium heat them over a moderate flame, stirring often until they come to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer, skimming away the foam occasionally, until thick (a drop of liquid on an inclined plate doesn’t run).  Add the olive oil and vinegar and simmer for 5 more minutes.  Transfer the marmalade to sterile jars, seal them, sterilize them, and when they have cooled transfer them to your pantry.

Caramelized Pears with Parmigiano

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Cut each pear into 8 equal pieces.  Toss the pears and sugar together gently in a bowl.

Pour the olive oil into a large sauté pan over medium heat.  Add the pears and cook over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar just begins to caramelize (turns to an amber color). Do not let the sugar turn brown.  Add the cherry balsamic, salt and orange zest.  Cook 2 to 3 minutes longer or until the sauce starts to reduce.

Transfer the pears to serving dishes and top with the sauce, parmigiano and chopped mint.