Christmas is just about over now, but I can still feel the holiday spirit growing in my body. Oh, wait…no, that would be fat. Yes, we overdid it, but that’s all in the holiday spirit. Here’s what we ate on Christmas Eve here in Naples.
Since no one had eaten all day, we started snacking on some stuff while cooking. A slice of casatiello here, a piece of calamari there-just to tide us over. Casatiello, for those wondering, is an artery busting concoction made of ham, 3 different kinds of cheeses, mortadella, salami, and two different kinds of cicoli (a.k.a. traditional pork fat yumminess). All rolled in bread made with lard and a generous portion of black pepper. Well, if you don’t eat it at the holidays, when can you?
For our first dish, we had the traditional Neapolitan Christmas Eve dish: spaghetti con le vongole. Pasta cooked in a delicious clam broth with tomatoes-so simple, but it tastes so good!
From there, we moved on to the seconds. There was my favorite, insalata di mare. This dish made of all sorts of fresh seafood is a total pain in the arse to make, but the results are worth it! Super fresh calamari, sepia, octopi, mussels, shrimp and clams are dressed in lemon and olive oil-my idea of heaven. There was also a version made with mayonnaise as well this year! Then, we had bacala with lemon and olive oil and whole sea bass cooked in the oven.
While I love to try new things, there are two traditional dishes that I just can’t bare to try. The first is insalata russa, or Russian salad. This would consist of tiny pieces of boiled potatoes, green beans, artichokes, peas, carrots and mixed pickles all dressed up with mayonnaise. I’m sure it’s great, but I just can’t stomach that. The next, and perhaps even worse is the insalata di rinforzo. Cauliflower, anchovy, pickled peppers and olives. I’ll pass, thank you very much. (By the way, this is a dish that even a lot of Neapolitans pass up!!!)
And so, that was our Christmas Eve meal!
KIDDING! You think a meal could end without dessert? C’mon folks! Join me tomorrow for a full run down of all of the most AMAZING, DECADENT, DELICIOUS Neapolitan desserts we ate!