Christmas Eve Seafood Pasta

The Feast of the Seven Fishes is famously part of the Italian-American Christmas Eve celebration. Please note: The celebration can contain more than seven fishes, but definitely not less. It can be something that is obsessed over—the making of seven different dishes for each of the seven fishes. While there are always seven fishes, there is zero chill involved with this tradition.


As I am slightly chiller than most, here's how I do it. I start with fried codfish (baccalà) balls and a codfish salad. Then I serve fried calamari with a few dipping sauces (the recipes are not published anywhere on my site or Instagram, by the way! Some day, I promise!). The remaining five fishes are here in this glorious Christmas Eve Seafood Pasta. For years, I did the feast several different ways, until I finally made my dear friend Julie's grandmother Jules' famous Seafood Pasta recipe. It just made so much sense, and dealt with five fish in one dish! Talk about eFISHency. Over time I have tweaked it a bit and made it my own, but the spirit of Grandmas Jules is still there. I never met her, but I consider Julie and her family as part of my own.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:


Pasta:

¼ to ½ cup olive oil

6 cloves of garlic, smashed

3 sardines (not optional, this is seafood pasta)

2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

2 28 oz cans of San Marzano peeled whole tomatoes

8 oz jar clam juice

1 ½ cups white wine

4 cups chopped flat leaf Italian parsley

1 6 oz can tomato paste

2 lb lobster—either tails or all parts of lobster

1 lb sea scallops

2 dozen shrimp

2 dozen clams

2 tablespoons butter

1 lb fettuccine

Grated parmesan or pecorino cheese


Garlicky bread crumbs:

4 cups cubed sourdough bread

3 cloves garlic, peeled

⅓ cup olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon zest

Salt

Pepper


WHAT YOU'LL DO:


Make it step-by-step with me below!


Seafood is the star of this show, so let's go over what kind we're using in this pasta:


2 lb lobster tails, or whole lobster cut into parts

1 lb sea scallops

2 dozen shrimp

2 dozen clams


I find this exact mixture to be a great ratio and what worked best for me. As always, you are more than welcome to change this up, shift the ratios, remove something or add something. This is very welcomed! Just follow the seafood portion of the recipe when we get there and make your adjustments as needed.


Ok, let's make this pasta! Choose your pot wisely here, and by that I mean choose your largest pot. Over medium heat, add ¼ to ½ cup olive oil, 6 cloves of smashed garlic, 3 sardines (not optional, this is seafood pasta), and 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes. Cook everything until nice and browned.


Add two 28 oz cans of San Marzano peeled whole tomatoes (we will be pureeing these later, so if you can't find whole, you can use another kind here) to your pot. Sauté, stirring over medium for about 15 minutes. As you are cooking, you can use your spoon to break up the tomatoes if you like. This may also happen naturally.


Grab your immersion blender and blend up the tomatoes and garlic until smooth. No immersion blender? Use a regular blender. Or mash them with a spatula. Do not stress—just make it work with what you have!


Your sauce is now smooth, and you'll notice it's changed colors into a brighter orange shade. She's beautiful! Add your 8 oz jar of clam juice, 1 ½ cups white wine, and almost all of your chopped flat leaf Italian parsley into the pot. Stir until combined. Place over medium-low heat and cook, stirring frequently, for about 45 minutes. The sauce will reduce and the alcohol will cook out of the wine as it simmers.


While your sauce cooks, let's make our Garlicky bread crumbs. These are inspired by a Bon Appetit Clam pasta recipe that I am in love with and adapted for this recipe. Start with about 4 cups (I am awful at measuring) cubed sourdough bread. Stick your bread and 3 cloves of garlic into a food processor. Pulse away until you get some lovely garlicky crumbs. I like to keep mine on the chunkier side (duh), but you can make yours finer if you like.


No food processor? You can take a cheese grater and use the largest grate size to grate bread. YES. Grate bread. It works. We love it. Trust me.


Heat up ⅓ cup olive oil in a pan. Add your breadcrumbs and cook over medium, stirring to coat them in oil, until they get fragrant and browned (around 20 minutes). Throw them into a bowl and add 1 tablespoon lemon zest, and salt and pepper. Stir to combine and adjust seasonings to taste! Set aside.


Back to the sauce. She may still be a bit thin, and I add some tomato paste after the 45 minutes if so. Toss in your tomato paste and cook, stirring, until the sauce as thickened to our liking.


Now we add our lobster, scallops, and shrimp! Fully submerge them in the sauce as best as you can. Place the top on your pot and cook on medium heat for about 15-20 minutes. The seafood will cook fast, and you don't want to overcook it! Absolutely gorgeous. Remove pot from heat once everything is cooked.


Grab a bowl and a slotted spoon and literally go fishing into the sauce for your fish. Place it all in the bowl and cover. Now is also a great time to cook your linguine! Get that going in a big pot of very salty water.


Left with only sauce in your pot, add your clams. Place cover on pot and place it back on medium heat. Let cook for 15 - 20 minutes, or until the clams all open. If you have a clam that just will not open, it means it's not edible. Don't force it, just wish her a happy holidays and giver her and her family your best. She's had a tough year!


Once your clams are all open, place the rest of your seafood back into the pot. Quickly warm it through if needed. Do not cook it long, as you don't want anything to over cook.


Throw your cooked pasta into a bowl. Add the rest of your parsley, about half of your breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons of butter, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. Stir until combined.


Put your pasta in your serving bowl, and artfully arrange some of your seafood on top. Add some breadcrumbs and grated cheese on top as well. I could cry at how beautiful this looks! Your guests are gonna be so happy!


Serve the rest of your seafood in a bowl on the table, as well as your sauce. Oh, and don't forget extra cheese!


This is, dare I say, a feast! Nonna is so proud of you!


Insider tip: The sauce gets better the day after, so leftovers are welcomed. Enjoy!


Make it step-by-step with me below!

1. Seafood is the star of this show, so let's go over what kind we're using in this pasta:


2 lb lobster tails, or whole lobster cut into parts

1 lb sea scallops

2 dozen shrimp

2 dozen clams


I find this exact mixture to be a great ratio and what worked best for me. As always, you are more than welcome to change this up, shift the ratios, remove something or add something. This is very welcomed! Just follow the seafood portion of the recipe when we get there and make your adjustments as needed.

2. Choose your pot wisely here, and by that I mean choose your largest pot. Over medium heat, add ¼ to ½ cup olive oil, 6 cloves of smashed garlic, 3 sardines (not optional, this is seafood pasta), and 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes.

3. Cook everything until nice and browned.

4. Add two 28 oz cans of San Marzano peeled whole tomatoes (we will be pureeing these later, so if you can't find whole, you can use another kind here) to your pot. Sauté, stirring over medium for about 15 minutes.

5. As you are cooking, you can use your spoon to break up the tomatoes if you like. This may also happen naturally.

6. Grab your immersion blender and blend up the tomatoes and garlic until smooth.


No immersion blender? Use a regular blender. Or mash them with a spatula. Do not stress—just make it work with what you have!

7. Your sauce is now smooth, and you'll notice it's changed colors into a brighter orange shade. She's beautiful!

8. Add your 8 oz jar of clam juice, 1 ½ cups white wine, and almost all of your chopped flat leaf Italian parsley into the pot.

9. Stir until combined. Place over medium-low heat and cook, stirring frequently, for about 45 minutes. The sauce will reduce and the alcohol will cook out of the wine as it simmers.

10. While your sauce cooks, let's make our Garlicky bread crumbs. These are inspired by a Bon Appetit Clam pasta recipe that I am in love with and adapted for this recipe. Start with about 4 cups (I am awful at measuring) cubed sourdough bread.

11. Stick your bread and 3 cloves of garlic into a food processor.

12. Pulse away until you get some lovely garlicky crumbs. I like to keep mine on the chunkier side (duh), but you can make yours finer if you like.


No food processor? You can take a cheese grater and use the largest grate size to grate bread. YES. Grate bread. It works. We love it. Trust me.

13. Heat up ⅓ cup olive oil in a pan.

14. Add your breadcrumbs and cook over medium, stirring to coat them in oil, until they get fragrant and browned (around 20 minutes).

15. There you go!

16. Throw them into a bowl and add 1 tablespoon lemon zest, and salt and pepper.

17. Stir to combine and adjust seasonings to taste! Set aside.

18. Back to the sauce. She may still be a bit thin, but that can be fixed with a little tomato paste.

19. Toss in your tomato paste and cook, stirring, until the sauce as thickened to our liking.

20. There is our thicc girl. We love her!

21. Now we add our lobster, scallops, and shrimp! Fully submerge them in the sauce as best as you can (not pictured above).

22. Place the top on your pot and cook on medium heat for about 15-20 minutes. The seafood will cook fast, and you don't want to overcook it!

23. Absolutely gorgeous. Remove pot from heat once everything is cooked.

24. Grab a bowl and a spoon (slotted or otherwise), and literally go fishing for your fish! Place it all in the bowl and set aside.

25. Left with only sauce in your pot, add your clams.


Now is also a great time to cook your linguine! Get that going in a big pot of very salty water.

26. Place cover on pot of sauce and clams and place it back on medium heat. Let cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the clams all open. If you have a clam that just will not open, it means it's not edible. Don't force it, just wish her a happy holidays and give her and her family your best. She's had a tough year!

27. Look at those clams!

28. Place the rest of your seafood back into the pot. Quickly warm it through if needed. Do not cook it long, as you don't want anything to over cook.

28. Throw your cooked pasta into a bowl.

29. Add the rest of your parsley, about half of your breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons of butter, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.

30. Stir until combined.

31. Put your pasta in your serving bowl, and artfully arrange some of your seafood on top.

32. Add some breadcrumbs and grated cheese on top as well. I could cry at how beautiful this looks! Your guests are gonna be so happy!

33. Serve the rest of your seafood in a bowl on the table, as well as your sauce. Oh, and don't forget extra cheese!


This is, dare I say, a feast! Nonna is so proud of you!


Insider tip: The sauce gets better the day after, so leftovers are welcomed. Get ready to reel in all the compliments from this dish, and enjoy!

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