The classic Italian feast of the seven fishes is a hit parade of seafood dishes served on Christmas Eve. But if you’re willing to play fast and loose with the details, it’s a stellar option for any winter evening. Here, our untraditional but no less delicious menu that comes together in a flash.
Frutti di Mare Linguine
Briny shellfish and tender squid balance out sweet shrimp and buttery scallops, and the sauce comes together in a single pot.
Escarole Salad with Lemon-and-Anchovy Dressing
Serve a hearty escarole salad with lemon zest and slivered olives on the side (or afterward, European-style). For those tallying at home, this meal has only six varieties of seafood, including the anchovies in the salad dressing. But no matter: What you lose in fish and fuss, you gain in relaxed time with family.
Ending a pasta dinner with a cake or cookie plate might feel like carbo-loading. For a welcome contrast, offer a cool, creamy confection, like these espresso-infused budini. The amaretto macaroons lining the bottom of each pudding retain a bit of crunch when soaked in brandy, and best of all, they can be made in advance and chilled. Before serving, add a dollop of mascarpone and a flurry of shaved chocolate.