In many countries and cultures, Christmas Eve is a special celebration with special food. A typical Calabrian Christmas eve dinner is always based on seafood, and tradition requires that a total of 13 dishes must be served. We will prepare some of the dishes in class, and others will be made ahead, but you will receive recipes and lore for all the dishes on the menu.
We will start with assorted appetizers that will include bottarga from Pizzo, a wonderful delicacy of tuna roe preserved with salt, which I brought back from Calabria. We will follow with pasta; swordfish braised in a sauce of tomatoes, olives and capers; a cauliflower salad; and a salad of escarole.
No Christmas Eve would be complete without the traditional Christmas desserts. It will also include my favorite semifreddo, in which I have incorporate the traditional torrone candy.
Olive Verdi schiacciate (Homemade cracked green olives marinated with garlic,
wild fennel seeds and peperoncino)
Grispelle con Acciughe (Yeasted dough fried with anchovies)
Tartine con Bottarga di Pizzo (Toasted bread topped with bottarga)
Cozze Gratinate (Mussels stuffed with breadcrumbs mixture)
Spaghetti con sugo di Baccala (Spaghetti with salt cod sauce and toasted breadcrumbs)
Pesce Spada alla Ghiotta (Swordfish with olives, capers and tomatoes)
Insalata di baccala e patate (Cod with potatoes, capers, lemon juice and olive oil)
Insalata di Cavolfiore (Cauliflower salad)
Insalata di Scarola (Green salad of escarole)
Cicirata (Deep fried dough coated with honey)
Cannariculi (Deep fried dough shaped like gnocchi)
Mostaccioli con Mandorle (Honey Cookies Filled with Almonds, Cocoa, and Anisette)
Semifreddo al Torrone (Semifreddo with Almond Nougat and Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce)