TODAY   |  December 23, 2013

Celebrate ‘Feast of 7 Fishes’ with Italian recipes

As many Italians around the world prepare to abstain from red meat on Christmas Eve in honor of “The Feast of Seven Fishes,” chef Scott Conant presents a few recipe ideas, including a delicious fritto misto di pesce with fried lemons and herbs.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> on christmas eves italians all over the world will celebrate the labor of mary. here we call it the feast of the seven fishes .

>> how long did you practice that? here to help you get a jump on the feast, scott conan. great to see you.

>> happy holidays .

>> how do you approach the feast of seven fishes? does it matter the seafood we use?

>> it doesn't matter the seafood. there's a still staples that we always had to have. always had to have some kind of seafood pasta which we're going to do today and it doesn't matter the number. they say seven but it could be nine or ten.

>> could be more but not less.

>> seven is the baseline.

>> it depends. it depends the mood your aunt or grandmother are in when cooking.

>> so we have spaghetti. garlic, olive oil . we'll add shrimp to this. that's the most important part and then just -- it's the most simple pasta in the world. it really is all about getting it correct. a little bit of a toasted garlic. crushed red pepper , extra virgin olive oil and we cook it just like this. this is the final product.

>> fantastic.

>> add a little bit of parsely that's chopped.

>> that's an easy one. that you can do in a minute. it's basically cooking the pasta is the hardest part.

>> that's the toughest part. this is mixed, fried, different things. so in this case we have calamari and shrimp, a bunch of vegetables, artichoke, eggplant, we take it and put in milk first. it adds sweetness but most importantly a great coating once we dredge it in flour afterwards.

>> the oil is really hot right now.

>> the oil is smoking hot.

>> right.

>> this is the fun part.

>> step away.

>> so my aunt used to make a great fried octopus as well which was wonderful. so here. add that inside there and we'll throw herbs in.

>> oh, i love the fried herbs.

>> a little bit of fried lemon, garlic slices inside there as well. beautiful.

>> and you do the same thing with the vegetables too afterwards?

>> exactly. we'll put it all together and let it go like this. look at how great this is.

>> that happened pretty quickly there too.

>> look at that. gorgeous. of course the importance of a towel on the bottom of your tray to capture all the residual oil being leaked off.

>> is that something you can do as an appetizer.

>> can you find it readily at the grocery store?

>> it may have to be special order. here we have seven different types. we have that with the vegetables and all of that stuff. this is tomatoes and capers and white wine . this is a seafood salad which is obligatory as well. this is lobster. we have anchovies inside and of course cod with a sauce and mushrooms and things like that.

>> will you do this over the christmas holiday or are you just doing it for us?

>> my work is done.

>> fantastic.

>> this is great stuff. good to see you. happy holidays .