Holiday Seafood Feast – #SundaySupper

By November 1, 2015 Blog, Italy, Main course, Recipes 17 Comments
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Beautiful, isn’t it?  My family calls it the Holiday Seafood Feast but I call it La Grande Zuppa del Costiera Amalfitana  (The Grand Soup of the Amalfi Coast), in honor on Salvatore, Marilu and the staff at Il Ritrovo who taught me this stunning recipe.

VD8The Holidays are approaching quickly. It’s November and we are just a few short weeks from Thanksgiving. I have been thinking about the holidays and how to make it as stress free as possible. Organization is key. It is also essential to find ways to include all of the family favorites without me spending so much time in the kitchen.

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The Sunday Supper Movement is doing a feature on Easy Holiday Entertaining. I saw the call for recipes and I thought it would be fun to take this opportunity to poll the family. The unanimous answer was our Holiday Seafood Stew.

Somewhere we picked up the Italian tradition of a sea food feast on Christmas Eve. I’m really not sure where it came from since the Maloney family is of Irish and German Heritage but hey, we’re American so anything is possible.

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In my quest to simplify when I grew up and was the mistress of my own kitchen I paired it down to a one dish. It was originally made with seven types of seafood but it got to the point I would use whatever looked good at the seafood counter.

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The dish evolved when I began an annual trek to the Amalfi Coast. When I spend a few weeks living and working amongst my Italian family, I am amazed at the simplicity of the food they prepare. The holiday seafood feast has developed into my rendition of one of the most elegant dishes at Il Ritrovo, their restaurant in the hills above Positano: La Grande Zuppa del Costiera Amalfitana (The Grand Soup of the Amalfi Coast). Sadly, I’ve not been there on Christmas to see their traditions but I have adopted their signature dish to celebrate our Holiday.

La Grande Zuppa del Costiera Amalfitana - #Sunday Suppers
 
Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves, Finely Chopped
  • 2 Cups Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half or quarters
  • 2 Tablespoon plus 2 Teaspoons Finely Chopped Parsley, divided
  • ½ - 1 Teaspoon Crushed Red Chile flakes
  • 1½ to 2 Cups White Wine
  • ½ - 1 Cup Water (or more Wine...)
  • Salt, White Pepper
  • 4 Red Snapper, Sea bass or other mild white Fish Fillets, about ½ lb
  • 8-12 Shrimp, cleaned & deveined
  • 8-12 Clams/Mussels or both
  • 1 lb Calamari &/or Octopus cleaned and sliced
Instructions
  1. In a large Paella pan with a lid or something similar, combine the olive oil and garlic and sauté until the garlic turns golden, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, chile flakes, white wine and water and season with salt. Bring the mixture to a boil. Turn the heat down, carefully add the fish fillets to the pan, and then turn them to coat with the cooking liquid. Cover with the lid and cook for 5 minutes then add the remaining seafood. Cover the pan and simmer until the shrimp turn pink and the clams open. Season with salt, garnish with remaining parsley. Serve immediately in shallow bowls that have been warmed or right from the pan. Grilled or toasted bread sgoes great with this!
Notes
You be the judge of how much sauce to have. We like lots to sop up with crusty bread.

This recipe serves 4. Feel free to divide the recipe into smaller pans. I do because my pans are small. This also makes a great dish for a romantic dinner, cut the portions in half and it serves two perfectly!
When I met my husband and blended our family’s my tradition was interrupted. Christmas Eve is the time his family gathers for the season. We have a buffet and sing Christmas carols with the Heidler’s. It’s really nice and it was no problem to move this holiday dinner to another day. We always have it during the holidays, usually a few times since it’s one of our most requested dishes. It’s a favorite anytime of year.

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The dish is easily revised to serve two as you see here, or can be doubled to serve 8.  The only thing you may have to do is find a pan big enough!  This dish takes less than hour to prepare, even if you have to shell the shrimp. Add a salad for the first course, some crusty bread, a bottle of wine and you have a party.

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