For those that miss eating seafood antipasti on Abruzzo’s Adriatic coast particularly on the Trabocchi coastline, we give you Pia’s recipe for Cozze Balls (Mussel Balls), Fossacesia’s easy-to-make alternative to stuffed mussels!
La Vigilia: 7 Fishes and Seafood Recipes from Abruzzo
In Abruzzo, the Christmas Eve (La Vigilia di Natale) dinner is more important than that of Christmas Day. Menus at home & in restaurants in Abruzzo will be meat-free and build on some delicious fish, seafood, and then a little more excellent fish and seafood!
The Feast of the 7 Fishes, 7 being the number of virtues and sacraments is popular in restaurants and these dinners are probably one of the most expensive to go out for in the year. However, in homes, it is not usually quite as extensive Most of my neighbours have 3 fish dishes, some Baccalà fritters, seafood, and a final fish dish. So any number goes as long it has some sort of symbology within the Catholic Church, 3 being the Trinity.
We used to have a fish van that would visit the village every Friday and on Christmas Eve, sadly he is no longer with us and today most people buy from the local well-stocked supermarket that does buy locally from the fish ports of Giulianova and Rosetto degli Abruzzi.
Here are 7 fish and seafood recipes that we have picked up along the way!
The Abruzzesi adore their baked fish,(Pesce al Cartoccio), and it varies in each of the 3 provinces that nudge its Adriatic coast
Maria’s Stuffed Mussels are delicious & deny Italian purists the ability to disdainfully say “ma no no no we don’t eat fish and cheese together”
Saffron batter – a decadent, glorious way to celebrate Epiphany or something a little flashy to take your mind off your bank balance
Brodetto Vastese the winding barter fish soup that like James Bond’s martini you shake not stir
Succulent sweet squid in a thick tomato sauce served on a bed of creamy grilled polenta – juxtaposed textures make for unlikely but perfect bedfellows
Squid, one of the Adriatic’s most beautiful, elegant yet predacious creatures; mournful enough to make you really think twice about eating it