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Perhaps the most famous of all Italian Christmas traditions is the Feast of Seven 'Fishes.' Enjoyed on Christmas Eve, the seafood dinner is part of a huge family celebration. Legend has it this tradition originated in Southern Italy when Catholics were expected to fast, hence they ate fish as a substitute for meat.
This unique tradition was later brought to America by the thousands of Italian immigrants who crossed the Atlantic. While some families choose to prepare anywhere from three to 13 seafood dishes on Christmas Eve, the tradition remains very much alive in Italian-American households. If you'd like to give your Christmas Eve dinner an Italian touch, here are some recipes you can try:
This gourmet appetizer features golden croquettes served with polenta chips and colorful dipping sauces.
Lemon, herbs and olive oil are a great dressing for this refreshing Mediterranean seafood salad.
An Italian Christmas wouldn't be complete without a crunchy and delicious fried eel.
This quintessential Italian dish is a great way of enjoying pasta and seafood with a splash of white wine.
A striking main course made with arborio rice simmered with just the right amount of octopus ink.
There's no cheese in this tasty light and healthy lasagna made with shrimp, garlic and herbs.