Holiday recipes: Ken Rosato's feast of seven fishes

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Ken Rosato's holiday recipe is the feast of the seven fishes.

Italians traditionally abstain from eating meat on Christmas Eve. Instead, they feast on a meal called La Festa delle Sette Pesci (The Feast of the Seven Fishes). Technically, you can serve any seven types of fish or seafood, cooked any way, in separate courses or together like I have presented here.

See the recipe below.

-4 tablespoons olive oil
-6 to 8 cloves of garlic, minced
-4 shallots, diced
-2 small onions, diced
-1 fennel bulb, sliced
-2 teaspoons fine sea salt
-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
-1 bay leaf
-1 28 ounce can of whole San Marzano tomatoes
-1 six ounce can of tomato paste
-6 cups seafood stock
-1 cup white wine
- pound of each of seven of your favorite types of fish/shellfish/seafood
(I like to choose from lobster, crab, shrimp, scallops, calamari, scungilli, clams or mussels.. but you can also add chunks of firm-fleshed fish like cod or haddock

If you are using shellfish, make sure to scrub their shells under running water. If you have shrimp, remove them from their shells and devein them under running water. If scallops, remove their adductor muscles (if still attached) and give them a rinse. For the calamari, remove the cuttle bone, give them a rinse and chop into rings. If firm fish, make sure it is scaled and rinsed. If crab, cut in half down the middle; if large, break off legs. If lobster, cut in half down the middle, break off claws and break off tail.

Saute' the fennel, onion, and shallots in the oil over medium-high heat. Add the salt and lightly brown for about ten minutes. Add your garlic and the red pepper and just cook until you begin to smell the garlic - DO NOT BURN YOUR GARLIC! Add the tomato paste and tomatoes, the bay leaf, the stock and the wine and heat to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 40 minutes.

Time to add your seafood. Raise your heat to medium. Start with the items that take longest to cook: shellfish. So, lobster and crab first.. then wait 5 minutes. Then clams and mussels.. wait 5 minutes more. Then firm fish.. 5 minutes more. Finally, your scungilli and calamari and cook 10 minutes. Done!

Serve over cooked linguine or ladle into bowls with some good, crusty - or garlic - bread.

Check out the video above to see how Ken makes his the feast of the seven fishes.

Click here for more holiday recipes from the Eyewitness News team!

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