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Video: Scottos share Italian family feast for Christmas Eve

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    >>> say it smells amazing would be a gross understatement. i'm happy you're all here.

    >> thank you.

    >> before there was a restaurant, this has always been your family's christmas eve dinner.

    >> all these foods we're making today i made in my home. and when we opened the restaurant, i took it all with me to the restaurant.

    >> i love that.

    >> they're all traditional dishes. this is the fish salad, and this is our rock shrimp with taglini. i have in here some charlottes and garlic. i'm putting some zucchini.

    >> a little squash.

    >> yes. and then i want some shrimp.

    >> a and this is lobster here, too.

    >> this is crab meat .

    >> sorry.

    >> it's okay. clearly i need another lesson with you. erica, can i have -- i now have to put in some wine.

    >> as you're doing this, what is it about the feast of the seven fishes on christmas eve ?

    >> seven with the italians or in the catholic faith , it's very important. there's seven days, seven apostles, everything is a seven. so it's a very important number. why there's only seven fish, i don't know.

    >> let's talk about the sooum pech chie.

    >> we're going to add italianwise, a little fennel and shallots on top of that. we'll add tomatoes.

    >> tomatoes, wine.

    >> i'll add oregano, red pepper for a little spice. we'll add a little shell stock and white wine . let that reduce, probably 15, 20 minutes . then we'll add our vegetables in.

    >> calamari, mussels, shrimp.

    >> let's not overlook dessert you guys.

    >> so here we are making cannoli. this is a classic sicilian dessert.

    >> what's the cheese? i've always wondered that?

    >> we have ricotta in the pot. we'll add mascarpone. these are two classic italian cheeses.

    >> i knew i shouldn't use swiss.

    >> no.

    >> some sugar. orange and lemon zest . of course, the trick with anything in baking is the vanilla. i'm going to ask you girls to stuff -- you can buy your shells.

TODAY recipes
updated 12/22/2013 11:42:14 AM ET 2013-12-22T16:42:14

Recipe: Marinated seafood salad

  • For marinade
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 11/2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 3 garlic cloves, cleaned, diced fine
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 pound lobster meat, cut large dice (optional pre packaged cooked lobster meat)
  • 1 pound medium size shrimp, cleaned and deveined, cut large dice
  • 1 pound calamari, cleaned and cut into rings
  • 2 pounds fresh cod filets, cut into 2 x 2-inch squares
  • 1/2 cup julienned carrots
  • 1/2 cup julienned onions
  • 1/2 cup julienned celery
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • For citrus vinaigrette
  • 2 cups extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for garnish
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup pulp free orange juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 4 oranges, pith and peel removed, segmented

For marinade:

1. In a large pot, place the white wine, peppercorns, garlic cloves, lemon juice, and 3 quarts of water. Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat then lower the heat so that the liquid is at a simmer. Add the lobster and shrimp and simmer for 5 minutes, or until tender, remove and set aside. In the same pot, add calamari and cod to the liquid, cook 3 to 4 minutes over a low simmer, then remove.

2. Place seafood in covered bowl and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.

3. Combine chilled seafood, julienned vegetables, and citrus vinaigrette; gently toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with orange segments and serve.

For citrus vinaigrette:

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon and orange juices, garlic, and parsley then add the orange segments.

Serving Size

8 servings

Recipe: Tagliolini with rock shrimp, crab, zucchini, yellow squash, and toasted bread crumbs

  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 zucchini, skin on, cut julienne
  • 1 yellow squash, skin on, cut julienne
  • 1/2 pound Rock shrimp, cleaned and diced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 cups clam juice
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 pound Tagliolini pasta, cooked according to package directions until al dente
  • 1/2 pound jumbo lump crabmeat
  • 4 tablespoons toasted breadcrumbs (prepare your own or purchase breadcrumbs)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a sauté pan over medium heat, cook the shallot, garlic, zucchini and yellow squash in the olive oil until vegetables are soft. Add the shrimp and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the shrimp is pink.

2. Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Add 1½ cups clam juice, butter, cooked pasta, and toss. If it seems dry, feel free to add more clam juice.

3. Fold in crabmeat, top with toasted breadcrumbs, red pepper flakes, fresh basil and serve.

Serving Size

4 to 6 servings

Recipe: Zuppa di Pesce

  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 stalk of celery, finely diced
  • 2 leeks, cleaned and finely diced
  • 1 fennel bulb, finely diced
  • 1 quart canned Italian plum tomatoes chopped with juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon spicy red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup clam juice (1 cup extra if needed)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh garlic, chopped
  • 1 pound filet of sea bass cut in 4 pieces
  • 12 head-on shrimp peeled and cleaned
  • 20 clams (Manila)
  • 12 cleaned mussels
  • 1 pound calamari cleaned and cut in slices
  • 2 cups canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, sauté the carrot, onion, celery, leek, fennel, and tomatoes in ½ cup olive oil. Add the red pepper and oregano.

2. Add the white wine and reduce to half over medium heat. Add the clam juice and cook over medium to low heat for 15 to 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

3. In a large pot over low heat, sauté the garlic in ½ cup olive oil for 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Pan sear the fish and seafood at the same time and sauté for 2 minutes until golden brown on each side. Add the sauce and beans, and cook for about 15 minutes over low heat. Add extra clam juice if necessary if it seems too dense. Garnish with basil and serve.

Serving Size

6 servings

Recipe: Homemade cannoli with pistachio nuts, ctrus mascarpone cream, and chocolate chips

  • 21/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 21/2 cups mascarpone
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ounce freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 ounce freshly grated orange zest
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped
  • 18 cannoli shells (store bought)
  • Confectioners' sugar for dusting

1. Combine ricotta, mascarpone, sugar, vanilla; lemon and orange zests; beat until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips.

2. After filling the cannoli shells, dip the ends in chopped pistachios nuts, and dust the top of the cannolis with confectioners' sugar.

Serving Size

18 cannoli

Recipe: Struffoli with honey

  • 6 eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup rye whiskey
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups Canola oil
  • 4 cups honey
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts

1. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, salt, and rye with a wooden spoon until blended.

2. Pour the flour onto a pastry board and make a well in the center. Pour in the egg mixture and knead the dough until all the egg mixture is absorbed.

3. Cover the dough and let stand for 20 minutes.

4. In a large pot, heat 3 inches of canola oil to 350°F. Break off a palm-size piece of the dough and, using your hands, roll into a cylinder about the thickness of a pencil. Cut off ½-inch pieces and deep fry in the hot oil until golden brown. Repeat with the remaining dough. Set aside on paper towels to drain the oil.

5. When all the pieces are fried, combine the honey, lemon juice, and chopped walnuts in large pot. Set over medium heat and heat until the mixture boils.

6. Pour the melted honey mixture over the Struffoli and stir to coat. Pile high on a platter and serve.

Serving Size

6 servings

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