Sunday, December 2, 2018

Italian Christmas Feast7FISH

Mangia Italia





The Feast of The 7 Fish
My Aunt Helen used to make the famous Italian Christmas Eve Dinner, “The Feast of 7 Fishes,” The 7 Fish of the Seven Sacraments. I know she made it because I used to hear her talking about it when I was a little kid. Although I shared many wonderful meals with my dear Aunt Helen, I never had the pleasure of having the famous Christmas Eve Dinner “La Vigilia” Feast of 7 FishFeast of 7 Fish with her. We always had Christmas Eve dinner with the immediate family and Aunt Helen had the Christmas Eve with her brother and sister and other family members. Aunt Helen was born in Salerno, Italy and was my Uncle Franks (1 of my Mother’s 3 brothers) better half. So for our Christmas Dinner my mother would make an Antipasto of Salami, Provolone, Peppers, and Olives, followed by Baked Ziti and a Baked Ham studded with cloves and Pineapple rings.
The first time I ever had the mystical dinner was about 12 years ago with my cousin Joe, his family and my girlfriend Duyen. We had been talking about this famous Italian Feast a few weeks previous, and were thinking of making it.  Joe told me he wanted to have  the Christmas  Eve  Meal of  The Feast of The 7  Fishes, known in Italy as  La Viglia (The Vigil) or “La Festa Dei Sette Pesci,” which is also known in Italian-America as The Feast of The 7 Fish, that signify the 7 Sacraments. Now, how’s all that for a mouthful?
This Dinner, La Vigilia originated in Southern Italy, especially in and around the environs of Napoli. The Feast of The 7 Fish is a Southern Italian tradition that does not exist in the rest of Italy, it is of the South. La Viglia, or “The Feast of the  Seven Fishes” as it isknown to Italian-Americans commemorates the waiting (Vigil) of the Baby Jesus to be Born at Midnight and the Seven Fish represent the Seven Sacraments of  the Roman Catholic Church. Some also that the Seven Fish might signify the 7 Days of Creation, or The Seven Deadly Sins, but most believe the 7 Fish pertain to the Seven Sacraments.
So Joe asked me if I wanted to make this festive and all important dinner, to perform the ceremony. He didn’t need to ask twice. I had never made it before and was dying to do so. For a long time I had yearned to partake  in  this celebrated old  Southern  Italian Ritual, and this was my  chance. Naturally I was excited, so was Joe.
The anticipation of the Great Feast to come was of happy expectations and excitement.
And what for the menu? I know Aunt Helen made Bacala, Shrimp Oreganata, Mussels, Baked Clams, Calamari, Octopus, and eel, all much Loved Southern Italian (especially Napoli and Sicily) Creatures of the Sea. We decided which fish we wanted and how  to  cook each one.  Much thought and planning went into the menu and its execution.  Joe wanted; Langoustines, Lobster, and Bacala. Alexandra asked if I would make Stuffed Calamari. We also decided on Shrimp Cocktail, Baked Clams Oreganata, and Cozze al Posillipo. The menu was set. Duyen helped me with the Calamari which we stuffed with Shrimp, parsley, breadcrumbs, and Peas. We braised the Calamari with tomato, White Wine, and herbs, and if I must say so myself, the Calamari came out superbly.  The Stuffed Calamari were a lot of work to make, but well worth the effort as they were a huge hit with all. The Macari boys, Joey, Edward, and Tommy, as well as sister Gabriella,  Alex, Duyen,  Jose  and Sergio from Barcelona were all in attendance.
The Mussels Posillipo were cooked with garlic, white wine, parsley, and tomato. The sauce is great to dip your bread into. This dish was one of my mother’s favorites back in the days when few Americans other than those  of Italian  origins ever ate these wonderful little bivalves. Now-a-days every-body does. As a young boy I remember my mother sending me to Bella Pizza in East Rutherford to get an order of them for her. She always gave me a few and I have Loved them ever since.
Joe helped me to cook the Langoustines. They are hard to find and I had to order a ten-pound box from Silvano in order to get them.  The best way to cook langoustines is to split them in half and sauté them on each side in olive oil with a little butter and garlic. We served the Langoustines the same way as Silvano does as we feel his recipe is the best and everybody loves them that way.  The Langoustines are served with a salad of thinly shaved fennel and celery dressed in olive oil and lemon with some split cherry tomatoes. Absolutely delicious!!!
The Lobsters we prepared the best way possible, the New England way, steamed and served simply with drawn butter and lemon wedges. There’s nothing better on Earth, well except for Sunday Sauce of course.
Well, that Christmas Eve Dinner The Feast of Seven Fishes was quite a wonderful experience. It was a huge success but quite a bit too much work and actually, too much food, everyone was kind of full already by the fifth fish. The following year we decided on incorporating the Seven Fish into three courses instead of seven separate  ones  as it’s just too much,  too much to eat and too much to cook, a lot of work, and who needs to  work that hard on Christmas.  It was a good decision. We still had 7 different fish, which is a must. Serving these 7 Fish in three courses was a good idea as it is much more manageable that way, both to cook and to eat.
On this Feast of The 7 Fish in “3 Courses” we decided to make the Stuffed Calamari, which I would not have  chosen again  because it  was  a lot of work, but it was Alex and Joe’s favorite and they said that it was a must. This was our Antipasto Course. 
Alexandra and her mom helped me,  so the amount of work was cut down and  divided into three, “A good thing.”
The stuffed calamari took care of two of the seven the shrimp that were stuffed into the squid.
The second course (Primi) of Linguine Frutti de Mare consumed four of the Seven Fish required for the meal.  It consisted of Mussels, Clams, Lobster, and Scallops cooked with garlic, oil, herbs, and just a touch of tomato.
The seventh and final fish was fresh Cod that I roasted and served with a sweet and sour onion sauce (Bacala Fresca Agro Dolce). Everybody went bananas for it especially cousin Joe who raved at each and every dish I put down.  It’s a pleasure cooking for Joe as his for eating and for the Italian American way of life, the food, the wine, the rituals. Joe truly Loves and savors the experience, so I always love to cook for him, Alexandra, their children, or just about anyone for who savors the experience so well. This goes the same for my cousin  Anthony Bellino his wife Debbie and  their three girls Chrissy, Danna, and Allison,  along  with all my close friends and family.
It makes cooking a joy rather than a chore. When cooking for family or friends, you give two of life’s great gifts,  a tasty  Home-Cooked meal combined with a little bit of Love.  Scratch that. “A whole lotta Love!”
If you don’t want to go so crazy, with 7 Fish as it’s quite an undertaking, you should try to do an odd numbers; 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, or 11. Three (3) is a Nice Number and Represents the Holy Trinity of The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Buon Natale!

LEARN HOW to MAKE


The FEAST of The SEVEN FISHES

ITALIAN CHRISTMAS DINNER


"La VIGILIA"




In THE FEAST of THE 7 FISH

by Daniel Bellino "Z"







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Saturday, September 15, 2018

Jamie Oliver Basilicata





Nonna Teresa straightens Jamie out

This is Hilarious !








Nonna Teresa Makes homemade Maccheroni

wth Jamie Oliver and Gennaro Cataldo

BASILICATA 

ITALY





Jamie and Teresa Laugh It Up !







GRANDMA BELLINO'S




Saturday, September 1, 2018

Italian Gravy or Sauce ?

 


SIMMERING The GRAVY

Or is It SAUCE ???



This is a Great Debate, and there is really No Right or Wrong, either term is correct, it all depends what geographic location that yoru family is from in America or the Old Country of Italia. Whether your family is from Napoli, Sicily, Calabria, or live in New York, Chicago, Boston, or Philly, the most important thing of all is not what you call it, Sauce or Gravy, but how the product taste, it has to be beyond good. 

Amother factor that varies, is what you and your family put into your Sauce. The most popular is a Sauce (Gravy) made with Sauasge, Meatballs, and Braciole (Braciola). Some families, like mine love to put Ribs in their Sauce, some put Pig Skin Braciole, some Lamb or Pork Neck, and some families even put chicken into their Gravy, which I myself do every now and then, especially if the local grocerry store has Chicken Thighs on sale. And speaking of sales, we always stock up on Maccheroni (Pasta) and Tomatoes whenever they are on sale as well.

For recipes on How to Make SUNDAY SAUCE  alla CLEMENZA from the Francis Ford Coppola  film The Godfather , how to make Dolly Sinatra Meatballs and Spaghetti Sauce, the Bellino Family Sunday Sauce, and Mamma DiMaggio's Sunday Gravy, get a copy of  Daniel Bellino "Z" s SUNDAY SAUCE , When Italian-Americans Cook.








Sunday Gravy


Another Family Recipe






RECIPES for SUNDAY SAUCE

aka GRAVY

alla CLEMENZA

alla SINATRA

alla BELLINO

alla DiMAGGIO



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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Maccheroni Pork Ragu all Rosa

 

Rosa

Ferricelli with Pork Ragu




Rosa

Making homemade Ferricelli

Maccheroni with Pork Ragu




FERRICELLI

Homemade Maccheroni







Grandma Bellino's Cookbook

Reccipes from My SICILIAN NONNA
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Monday, August 13, 2018

Lasagna Carnevale with Meatballs all Napoletana







LASAGNA CARNEVALE


Napoletana




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Sagna al Forno

aka

LASAGNA CARNEVALE

NAPOLETANA









LASAGNA CARNEVELE

NAPOLETANA

With Little MEATBALLS










LASAGNA CARNEVALE



With Little MEATBALLS




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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Worlds Healthiest Vegetable Soup Recipe

 
The WORLD'S HEALTHIEST SOUP
 
 
 
Recipe :
 
The WORLDS HEALTHIEST SOUP
 
 
Ingredients :
 
8 tablespoons Olive Oil
 
1 Organic Red Oniom, peeled and diced
 
1 small head Organic Green  Cabbage 
 
2 Organic Sweet Potatoes
 
1 Organ Yellow Turnip, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 " dice
 
6 Organic Carrots, peeled and sliced into half-moons
 
5 cloves organic Garlic, peeled and slice
 
1 and 1/2 gallons Spring Water
 
2 large Organic Tomatoes, seeded and chopped
 
2 sprigs fresh organic Thyme
 
2 Bay Leaves
3 cups Organic Kale, washed and chopped
 
 
PlaceOlive Oil, Onion,s and Carrots in a large stainless steel pot and cook on low heat for 7 minutes. Add Garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
 
Add all remaining ingredients except the KALE and bring to the boil. Cook at a hard boil for 12 minutes.
 
Lower heat to a medium simmer and cook for 40 minutes. 
Add the Kale and cook at a medium simmer for 10 minutes. Turn heat off, the soup is done.
 
Eat a bowl of soup right away and enjoy the healthy benifits of this soup.
 
Let the soup cool and place in airtight containers, and place in the regrigerator, then enjoy this soup fro the next five days for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
 
Just place in a small pot or pan. Bring to the boil. Lower to medium heat and cook for about 6 minutes, then serve.
 
Healthy Vegetable Soup in just 6 minutes time. What's Better Than That?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
GRANDMA BELLINO'S COOKBOOK
 
RECIPES From My SICILIAN NONNA
 
HEALTHY EASY to MAKE SOUPS
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Chef Don Alfonso Napoli Rigatoni

Baked Rigatoni with Ricotta
 
 
and Mozzarella
 
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CHEF DON ALFONSO
 
of DON ALFONSO 1890
 
Goes to his Freinds Ristorante in NAPOLI
 
And Eats RIGATONI al FORNO
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RIGATONI al FORNO
 
 
 
 
 
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SEGRETO ITALIANO
 
SECRET ITALIAN RECIPES
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