Sicilian Spaghetti with Breadcrumbs…and my favorite meal of the year

Christmas Eve is by far my favorite meal of the year. For as long as I can remember, we have pretty much eaten mostly the same few dishes (all seafood) every single Christmas Eve and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s a feast I tell you.

I didn’t really ‘know’ this until I was older, but apparently, our Christmas Eve feast is called Feast of the 7 Fishes. For all I knew, growing up, it was just what we did, what we ate on Christmas Eve…I didn’t realize it was such a cultural thing until later on. What I love, especially in food blogging world, is seeing other people celebrating Christmas Eve the same way…similar food, similar traditions. It’s pretty cool.

These pictures on this post were taken a few years back, I can’t believe I am just now blogging about it now. I am shocked it took this long…and that my kids looked like this that year…my babies!!

Sammy was huge into Transformers this year…

Gosh, I just love the belly on that baby girl…

And my sweet grandparents…one of my favorite pictures of them.

Amore!!

And of course the food…

Here we have simple shrimp cooked in lemon and wine …

 Fish Oreganata (this was my contribution a couple years back)

Steamed Mussels with wine and tomatoes (similar to Paula’s recipe here)

Chilled Seafood Salad… (similar to Gina’s Chilled Calamari Salad here)


All seafood…a total feast I tell you.

My absolute favorite is the spaghetti….and the bacala (salted cod fish). I’m going to tell you how we make our spaghetti with breadcrumbs, but I’m going to have to get back to you on the bacala because I need to actually write it down this year while my Nonno is putting it together. It’s basically a stew type dish, baked in the oven…salted cod (rinsed many times), tomatoes, celery, onions, potatoes and olives…baked until bubbly and cooked through. Oh so good with crusty Italian bread sopping up the juices. My mouth is watering thinking of it.

Before going in the oven…

And this spaghetti. We call it Pasta e Muddica. I love saying it and my Nonna always has to correct me because I kinda goof it up sometimes. I love this spaghetti and have NO idea why I don’t make it ever on my own. Why do I eat something I love so much only one night a year? I don’t understand…

The recipe is one of those ‘recipes’ that you just follow lightly, there are no measurements, the ingredients are super simple and just perfect in my opinion.

Sicilian Spaghetti with Breadcrumbs (Pasta e Muddica)

1lb spaghetti
2 – 2 1/2 cups breadcrumbs (homemade would be best for this recipe, but store bought are definitely okay)
1 tin anchovies, coarsely chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
olive oil
Parmesan cheese
red hot pepper flakes (optional)

Cook your spaghetti according to directions, preferably al dente. When cooked, drain and place in large serving bowl, or back in pot. Drizzle a good amount of oil over spaghetti to prevent from sticking.

You will serve your spaghetti in bowls, with additional olive oil and topped with breadcrumb mixture (that can be made ahead of time or while spaghetti is cooking).

To make breadcrumb mixture:

Heat a dry pan over medium-high heat. Add breadcrumbs to hot pan and toast up breadcrumbs till golden brown, careful not to burn.
In a small saucepan, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and add chopped anchovies and garlic. Saute anchovies and garlic for a couple of minutes until anchovies start to melt into the oil and garlic starts to become fragrant. At this time add your breadcrumbs to the anchovies and garlic, with an additional couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Stir together till it becomes crumbly.

Serve your pasta hot into bowls, drizzled with a little olive oil and your breadcrumb topping. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese (and red hot pepper flakes if you desire).

Buon appetito!

I shared a few more recipes that I found around the web on Family Kitchen this week in a post about our Italian Christmas Eve Tradition and the Feast of the 7 Fishes…check it out here.

Also on Family Kitchen, a few great roundups if you are still need recipes and ideas for your holiday entertaining:

10 Goat Cheese Appetizers

8 Festive Latke Recipes

Grown Up Jello Shots for your Holiday Parties

12 Puff Pastry Appetizers for Holiday Entertaining

   

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26 Responses to “Sicilian Spaghetti with Breadcrumbs…and my favorite meal of the year”

  1. Bev Weidner posted December 22, 2011 at 10:30 am

    I loooooooove that type of pasta! (and rest of the feast, mind you, help me, hold me) I’m making this first thing next year!

    Merry Christmas, Aggie! xoxoxo.

  2. Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray posted December 22, 2011 at 10:31 am

    That spaghetti looks divine. I’m coming to your place! Merry Christmas to you and your family, Aggie! Thanks for the kind words on my Facebook page. Feeling is mutual :) xoxo!

  3. vanillasugarblog posted December 22, 2011 at 11:04 am

    this is my favorite too! i ADORE crispy breadcrumbs in my pasta. And I do not eat a lot of pasta–the older I get I just pack on the weight with pasta sadly.
    Is that grandma of the infamous “camp grandma”?
    Merry Christmas Aggs!!

  4. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga posted December 22, 2011 at 11:14 am

    love the family pics!

    and of course the spaghetti looks fab, too.

    Merry Xmas to you all!

  5. Erica posted December 22, 2011 at 11:43 am

    What a fabulous tradition! The shrimp looks amazing! What is it about little kids with belly thats so darn cute? LOVE Kaylin’s belly. Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Jersey Girl Cooks posted December 22, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Sounds like a delcious feast! I would love to do the seven fishes but my son and husband are not big fish people. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  7. Kim {Recipes To Run On} posted December 22, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Well Aggie, I’ll be down for dinner. :) Looks wonderful. Meals with memories and traditions behind them are the best! Love the pictures of your family (I see Amber in there too). Merry Christmas my Friend!!!

  8. fittingbackin posted December 22, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    The spaghetti looks amazing! I’ve never cooked with anchovies but may have to to take this – beautiful photos!

  9. traci posted December 22, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    delicious! have a very happy holidays!

  10. Heather (Heather's Dish) posted December 22, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    i am DROOLING. i need more pasta in my life!

  11. Magic of Spice posted December 22, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    What a feast, I can see why it is your favorite meal of the year…and the spaghetti is similar to something I have every Christmas eve with friends :)
    Happy Holidays

  12. J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) posted December 22, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    The spaghetti looks amazing! I’m Italian, and yep, just like you, I never knew there was a name for the Feast of 7 Fishes. Growing up, every Christmas Eve was always fish and shellfish, pasta, etc., but that was just normal to me; it never had a label. Your dinners look SO similar to mine, especially the squid salad which is one of my favorites! I just love it. Just a little more than a day to go… can’t wait!

    Merry Christmas!! Enjoy your feast :D

  13. Deborah posted December 23, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Can I come over for Christmas Eve? :) It all looks amazing!!

  14. Curt posted December 23, 2011 at 10:35 am

    That spaghetti sounds delicious! Especially with the breadcrumbs.

  15. Tickled Red posted December 23, 2011 at 10:45 am

    I am so excited for Christmas Eve!! The Feast of Seven Fishes just sort wraps each year up nicely doesn’t it. Love your spaghetti, I may have to make that for everyone this year :D

  16. Sandy @ RE posted December 23, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Love how you shared this post, Aggie. Food looks divine and I love the family shot of everyone at the table. Merry Christmas, friend!

  17. Jeanette posted December 23, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    I love seeing what everyone eats for Christmas Eve – thanks for sharing your feast! Happy Holidays!

  18. Maria posted December 23, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Merry Christmas to you and your family! Love and miss you!

  19. Cassie posted December 23, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Love the crunchy of the breadcrumbs. Yum!

  20. Asmita posted December 23, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    That is quite a feast! The pasta is making me so hungry. Yummy!

  21. foodwanderings posted December 24, 2011 at 12:13 am

    Aggie, Love reading about everyone’s traditions! You got such a great family and adorable kids. Merry Christmas!

  22. Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} posted December 24, 2011 at 6:23 am

    I;m on my way to your Christmas eve dinner! I LOVE breadcrumbs pasta and yours looks great!
    Merry Christmas Aggie!

  23. Barbara @ Barbara Bakes posted December 24, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Such a fabulous tradition – great fun, family and fun. Merry Christmas! You have a wonderful family!

  24. Marla posted December 24, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Aggie, it is so fun to look at these photos even from a few years ago. The feast of the seven fishes – I have never experienced that but would LOVE to someday. Happy Holidays to you and your family.

  25. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl posted December 3, 2012 at 10:32 am

    I love this post. Rich’s family in Boston has a HUGE Feast of the 7 Fishes and I’m always sad when we miss it. I think you’ve inspired me to bring it to Michigan!

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