Every holiday, we serve the same dishes that are delicious but become predictable and boring after a while. You know what we’re talking about; there’s only so many times we can eat a stuffed turkey with mashed potatoes, corn, and little tiny onions before we begin to question our own sanity.
We need something new, something different. By doing this, you will create special memories that everyone will remember. In 23 years from now, uncle Joey will say, “Hey, do you remember that one Christmas your aunt Clara made the most delicious creamy seafood risotto as an appetizer? That was the same year, my nephew proposed to his girlfriend – or when my brother divorced his wife.”
That’s what you want, not some vague recollection about a turkey or perhaps a rabbit. So, do you want change? You can begin this journey by channeling your Italian spirit and do what the Romans do.
Here are the 10 best Italian seafood dishes to serve this holiday:
1. Ligurian Seafood Stew
Seafood typically emits a foul smell – not this one. When your guests arrive humble, they will immediately ask, “What is that wonderful smell?” You can respond that it is homemade mussel broth, se bass, clams, herb pesto, and seafood meatballs (chorizo, scallops, and shrimp. That’s right. It’s a Ligurian seafood stew with peas, snap peas, and potatoes.
2. Clam Risotto
Have you noticed the juice from fresh clams? You shouldn’t dump this down the drain. Instead, this liquid can be used for your cooking – just ensure that the water is strained through a paper towel; you’ll not want any of nature’s elements. Your risotto will be unique because it will have been cooked with fresh clam juice, not chopped claims in a container at the supermarket.
3. Dungeness Crab Cioppino
Typically served on Christmas Eve, this seafood stew blends broth with basil and tomatoes, complementing it with clams, crab, and shrimp. Once December 24 rolls around, you will be salivating for the prepared cioppino.
4. Swordfish Piccata
Swordfish is delicious on its own. But do you know what amplifies it even more? Ham. Indeed, ham goes well with everything, but there is something unique and charming about wrapping serrano ham around the swordfish during cooking. It’s likely because it keeps the seafood moist and flavourful.
5. Roasted Red Mullet Fillet
Nothing screams “autumn holiday” than a roasted red mullet fillet. Considered a wholesome rustic dish, this meal consists of roasted red mullet, potatoes, capers, olives, fennel, and parsley. It will keep you nice warm before you brave the cold weather.
6. Rigatoni with Sea Bass and Tomatoes
Sure, there is nothing special by serving rigatoni for the holidays. You may even get a few snarls from friends and family for uttering “rigatoni” in a conversation about holiday meals. But they don’t understand that the rigatoni works quite well when it is matched with sea bass and juicy tomato sauce.
Rice, fregola, or couscous. Whatever you choose, your paella-style dish will still taste incredible because one of these three items will soak up the cooking liquid from the chorizo, seafood, and tomatoes that are stewing. This can and should be the main course at any holiday gathering, but you can also have this as a side dish.
8. Trofie Pasta
A holiday in warm weather screams for trofie pasta, if only for the vibrant colours that make up this dish. Trofie, a hand-coiled pasta, is cooked in white wine and complemented by black bean sauce, chilies, and cockles. It looks divine and tastes like heaven.
9. Creamy Seafood Risotto
Who doesn’t like risotto? Seriously! Everyone has tried at least one variant of risotto, but what about a creamy risotto during a holiday dinner? That’s something that appeases our hunger and desire for something tasty.
10. Polenta with Rock Shrimp Ragout
You don’t need to venture to the coastal villages of Italy to satisfy your palate with this dish. While the seafood is really fresh, you can still put together this meal for a holiday gathering.
A very soft polenta with rock shrimp ragout is delicious. You just need to make the shrimp soft – anything thick is frowned upon in Trieste. Your guests will love this taste of Italy.
The holidays are finally here! Thanksgiving or Christmas, Easter or Victoria Day – everyone gets to enjoy some time off and celebrate the day or the season with friends and family. Hopefully this time will be spent at the kitchen table, and not on Skype or in front of the television.
And what better way to spend it at the kitchen table than by eating heavenly Italian seafood dishes? Yes, that’s right: seafood. Skip the turkey, hang up the rabbit, and bring on the seafood. Even if you don’t want to cook these Italian seafood recipes by yourself, you still can stop by the local Italian restaurant and order an authentic seafood dish. By the end of it all, you’ll be glad you did.