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The Feast of Seven Fishes (and Pastas)

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Even though neither of us grew up in an Italian-American family, we both have adopted the celebration of the Feast of Seven Fishes as one of our holiday traditions. Called “Il Cenone or La Vigilia,”  the emphasis on fish comes from the Catholic religion’s centuries-old rule against eating meat on Fridays to honor the sacrifice of Jesus. The number “seven” refers to the seven sacraments, although there are varying opinions on why this specific number matters.

To our delight, we attended a dinner hosted by Santa Margherita USA with wine writer, Anthony Giglio, at Aunt Jake’s in Soho. It was a small group of industry friends, and Anthony kept us engaged with amusing stories about growing in a very traditional Italian-American family. We always enjoy seeing Anthony and his entire family at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, and this dinner was a wonderful way to catch up in a more intimate setting.

The dinner was abundant with the appropriate number of fish dishes and almost as many pastas, all paired with different wines. While we know the Feast of Seven Fishes has nothing to do with the “seven deadly sins,” this meal was sinfully delicious! Our special thanks go out to Lisa Friedman at Santa Margherita and to Anthony Giglio for putting us in the holiday spirit.


Whether your holiday feast centers around fish, meat, game or vegetables, we hope you enjoy it pleasure. And, save room for dessert!

Happy Holidays! Happy New Year!