Happy New Year to all of you!!
Now, rewind to December 24th, 2013 – Christmas Eve dinner, the so called “La cena della vigilia”.
I am still thinking about what I ate for dinner on that day. Why? Because on Xmas Eve Italians eat seafood ( and I go nuts for “i frutti di mare”). Not only they prepare delicious dishes, but they alternate their Holidays menus. Think about it: we are all stuffed and tired of eating meat based delicacies throughout our celebrations. Italians play it smart, they indulge on spaghetti alle vongole, or a great boiled sea bass, together with other frutti di mare scrumptious treats. However, on Christmas day – like most of us – they eat meat.
It took me years to make a decent Cacio e Pepe, one of Rome’s traditional pasta dishes (the others are Carbonara, Matriciana, and Gricia).
Since Cacio e Pepe has only three main ingredients -Pecorino Romano cheese, black pepper and pasta-, it might seem an easy recipe to make – but it isn’t.
Today I went to the market near home to buy seafood for an appetizer I had to bring for tonight’s Christmas Eve dinner (Vigilia di Natale). According to Italian tradition, you eat seafood on Christmas Eve and meat on Christmas day. Since there is a lot of demand for fish on the 24th of December, you need to order seafood in advance. So I went to the market’s fishmonger and to my surprise they couldn’t find my order so they had to redo it (cleaning and preparing seafood included!!). That meant I had to wait for more than half an hour with little Ambrosina, who was hungry and crying!! To me this was the icing on the cake, or in Italian Christmas tone – as the picture portrays it – confectioners’ sugar on Pandoro (that is my daughter’s Xmas cap!).