With the holidays around the corner, I’ve been thinking of festive dinners from past Christmases and New Year’s. We usually spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my family but my husband likes to cook a special meal at home for New Year’s Eve, which is actually a day known for feasting in Italy. The most memorable New Year’s in recent years was the one we spent with his parents in Liguria. It was the first time he had spent the holidays with his family in years. Together with his parents, aunt and a few family friends, we enjoyed a homecooked feast that included baccala, squid ink pasta with seafood, baked fish wrapped in pancetta, fresh egg nog and other delicacies.
Even if we’re not in Italy, we try to continue the food tradition for New Year’s and/or Christmas depending on our schedules. One year, my husband made a Ligurian specialty called Cappon Magro. This is an elaborate holiday recipe that includes a rich variety of seafood (white fish, shrimp, lobster, oysters or mussels) and vegetables (french beans, cauliflower, carrots, potatoes, artichokes, green olives and beets) plus eggs and a parsley-capers green sauce. As you can tell from the long list of ingredients, it’s a recipe only made for special occasions.
Lining Up The Cappon Magro Ingredients:
The Finished Cappon Magro
Another favorite of mine is cotechino with lentils. The lentils resemble little coins and signal prosperity for the New Year. The cotechino is a specialty pork sausage from Modena, Italy that is simply delicious.