Tuttorosso Blog

At Tuttorosso, our blog is your go-to hub for all things Italian! Discover a myriad of articles ranging from tantalizing recipes featuring our premium tomatoes to cooking hacks that unlock the full flavor potential of these Italian-inspired gems. Explore diverse topics, including step-by-step guides to crafting the perfect paella, exploring the nuances of tomato varieties, and even delving into the art preparing the perfect holiday recipes that feature San Marzano Style Tomatoes.

Dive into a world where the essence of authentic tomatoes blends seamlessly with centuries-old Italian recipes, all at your fingertips. Our blog is your companion on a flavorful journey, offering insights, tips, and the passion for tomatoes that defines Tuttorosso. Join us and discover how our Italian-inspired tomatoes can elevate every dish to a culinary masterpiece.

User N. | Dec 21, 2023 | 0 Comments
Comments 0 Comments

The Feast of the Seven Fishes - History & Recipe Ideas

The Feast of the Seven Fishes, a cherished Italian-American tradition, is celebrated on Christmas Eve. This grand seafood feast, rooted in Southern Italy, has gained immense popularity in the United States, especially among Italian-American communities. Some feasts strive for seven distinct dishes, while others consider any seafood appropriate.

We'll look back on Chef Daniela Savone's own family tradition of The Feast of Seven Fishes and her Nonna's delicious Zuppa di Pesce.

Zuppa di Pesce from Chef Daniela Savone

Just in time for the holidays and your holiday table, Chef Daniela Savone shares her family recipe enjoyed every Christmas Eve. We hope you find it as delicious as we did!

While most kids can't wait to open presents on Christmas, having grown up in an Italian household I was actually more excited to dig into a big bowl of my Nonna's 'Zuppa di Pesce' on Christmas Eve. I still to this day look forward to one of the most iconic Italian American traditions, 'Feast of the Seven Fishes.' A large meatless meal, deeply rooted in the Roman Catholic Church, where families gather to feast on a bounty of seafood to reflect "la vigilia," the birth of baby Jesus. Italian American families began preparing the feast back in the early 1900's as a way to feel close to home. Many southern Italians flocked to America and brought their tradition with them making it a popular Italian American celebration today.

Traditionally the feast involves seven different kinds of fish prepared seven different ways, which is said to represent the seven sacraments. The seven different fish can take many forms, but my Nonna always ensured to include all seven in her 'Zuppa di Pesce.' The whole traditional feast in one big pot! It boasts about a pound of each fish served with a bed of linguini pasta. There is a complex simplicity in the pungency of white wine, the freshness of the herbs layered with the delicate flavor of the fresh fish. It is the best of both worlds, a delicious meal and one that honors tradition. But the secret to making a good Zuppa is making a great sauce base made with Tuttorosso Tomatoes and then timing the cooking of the seafood, as to not overcook it. Christmas Eve gatherings have continued to evolve over time since my Nonna passed away, but this is one tradition we make sure to keep alive. My sisters and I spend all day in the kitchen alongside my mom cleaning pounds and pounds of fresh seafood, reminiscing, laughing and telling stories.

My Nonna's Seven Fish Zuppa di Pesce is a 'stew' of clams, mussels, shrimp, calamari, cod, scallops, and anchovies, served in a broth of white wine, garlic, saffron, and tomato sauce with a touch of spice. It can be served alongside a thick piece of crusty Italian bread or with a big bowl of pasta. Just be sure to wear an extra-large napkin tucked in around your neckline so you don't stain your shirt. Nothing says Christmas to me more than the sight and sound of my family gathered around the table with their faces in their big bowls of Zuppa slurping up all that flavorful goodness. You can eliminate or add your seafood of choice but be sure to always use what's fresh and readily available. And remember the most important ingredient of all; love, family, and tradition. This year try Chef Savone’s delicious recipe for Seven Fish Zuppa di Pesce for an exquisite holiday meal.

Here's some tips for making your own Feast of the Seven Fishes.

Cooking the Feast: Step-by-Step Guide

Preparing for the Feast of the Seven Fishes involves careful planning and execution. If you are making seven different dishes, each one requires attention to detail and, if possible, adherence to traditional cooking methods. The key is to balance the flavors and textures of the different seafood while ensuring each dish stands out.

  1. Plan Your Menu

    Start by selecting a mix of seafood dishes, aiming for variety in flavors and textures. Traditional choices include dishes like calamari, octopus, clams, and shrimp. Favorite dishes include cioppino, baked fish in tomato sauce, stews, and shrimp salads. For a most successful event, consider the number of guests and their preferences when planning the menu.

  2. Source Quality Seafood

    Visit a trusted fishmonger to source the freshest seafood. Look for sustainably caught fish and shellfish, ensuring they are of the highest quality for your feast. Cod, salmon, shrimp, clams, scallops, mussels, sardines, anchovies, octopus, and calamari are found frequently on the menu.

    Traditionally, the feast involves seven different kinds of fish prepared in seven different ways, which is said to represent the seven sacraments. The seven different fish can take many forms; Chef Savone continues the tradition of her Nonna's stew and includes anchovies, calamari, clams, cod, mussels, scallops, and shrimp, served in a broth of white wine, garlic, saffron, and tomato sauce with a touch of spice.

  3. Prepare the Seafood

    Clean and prep the seafood. The octopus will need to be cut into smaller pieces. Calamari should be cut into rings. Remove shells or skins of shrimp as needed. Scaling, trimming, gutting, and filleting may also be necessary. This can be time-consuming. Planning ahead is crucial.

  4. Cook in Stages

    Start with dishes that can be prepared ahead of time or require longer cooking times. Soups and stews are good examples. Keep dishes warm in the oven if necessary.

  5. Assemble Complex Dishes

    Prepare more complex or delicate dishes, such as seafood pies or pasta with clams, closer to serving time to ensure they are fresh and flavorful and don't become watery.

  6. Final Touches

    Right before serving, add finishing touches to each dish. This could include garnishing with fresh herbs, a squeeze of lemon, or a drizzle of quality olive oil.

  7. Serve and Enjoy

Presentation is everything. Now's the time to use your best dishes and serving ware. Arrange the dishes so each one is presented in a pleasing manner yet accessible for guests. You've worked had creating a mouthwatering feast. The presentation should be equally inviting to the eye, showcasing the variety of the feast. Final step: Enjoy this delectable dinner with your guests!

Pairing and Serving Suggestions

Pair your main dishes with complementary side dishes and flavor-enhancing beverages. Complementing the Feast of Seven Fishes with appropriate side dishes and wine pairings is essential for a complete culinary experience. A few suggestions for sides include:

Adding a selection of white and red wines will enhance the dining experience. Usually, white or delicate fish goes with a lighter white wine, while stronger fish entrees do well with a full-bodied red. For non-alcoholic drinks, sparkling waters, tart pomegranate juice, and non-alcoholic Sauvignon Blanc make for excellent alcohol-free alternatives.

Tuttorosso Tomatoes in Your Feast

Incorporating Tuttorosso tomatoes into the Feast of Seven Fishes will bring a touch of richness and authenticity to your sides and entrees. As the best-selling Italian-inspired canned tomatoes, each are picked at the peak of freshness and will make flavorful tomato-based dishes. Tuttorosso tomatoes can be used in various seafood recipes, from sauces accompanying pasta and fish to stews and broths that form the base of many seafood preparations.

From Italian Shores to The Supper Table: The Legacy of the Feast of Seven Fishes

The Feast of Seven Fishes is more than just a meal. It's about traditions, family bonds, and lasting memories. We hope you have a wonderful feast this year and wish you the best of luck in creating your time-tested recipes and new favorites. We believe your dishes will be a masterpiece of seafood and culinary skill. Add Tuttorosso tomatoes for an extra layer of richness that adds freshness and authenticity to every bite.

For more delicious recipes from Chef Daniela Savone, visit her Instagram page!

Required *

Write a review

We would love to hear from you! Ratings and comments are an important tool for cooks who visit our site. Share your experience with this recipe including any cooking tips and other suggestions. You can also rate the recipe by rating it on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. (All reviews will be reviewed and approved prior to posting on the site.)

First Name *
Last Name *
Rating *
Review *
New code
Our Favorite Fan Mail