Prepare for Festa dei Sette Pesci with this Recipe for Linguine and Clams

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Prepare for Festa dei Sette Pesci with this Recipe

Festa dei Sette Pesci or “Feast of the Seven Fishes” is an Italian American tradition with roots in the celebration of Vigilia di Natale which celebrates the long wait for the birth of Jesus on Christmas Eve. Italian families in America gather together the night before Christmas and share an incredible meal of traditional preparations for the fruits of the sea.

Historians aren’t sure exactly when Italian Americans began the seven-course seafood feast, but many conjecture it was a way to stay connected to traditions of the old country like La Vigilia, the Roman Catholic tradition of abstaining from meat on certain days, as well as a strong connection to the sea.


If you want to take part in this little-known tradition, you should know that each family has its own take on the celebration. There is no set way to celebrate. You could have seven courses or more —or fewer. It’s up to you.

Below is a recipe for Linguine with Clams, an elegant addition to your feast on Christmas Eve or any other time of the year.

Linguine Vongole

This dish is simple and classic seafood and pasta that will serve 4 people.



Start by rinsing the clams well under cold running water. Then bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the linguine and stir occasionally until the water returns to a boil. Doris produces bronze dye pasta because it allows the sauce to really absorb for maximum flavor.

While the linguine is cooking, put a large saucepan on medium heat. Warm the olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes until the garlic softens. This should take about 3 minutes. Make sure the garlic doesn’t brown.

Add the clams and wine and cover. Increase the heat to high and cook. The clams will steam open, and you can help it along by shaking the pan every 30-45 seconds. It should only take about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside any unopened clams.

Add butter to the saucepan until melted into the olive oil, garlic, and liquide from the clams.

Now drain the linguine and return it to its cooking pot or large serving dish. Pour the clams and sauce over the linguine and lightly toss. Transfer to individual pasta bowls, dividing the clams evenly. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.


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