One of the best things about my family is that we’re all “mutts.” My siblings and I have Lithuanian, German, English, Scotch-Irish, and Italian blood flowing through our veins. As a result, we’ve been exposed to an assortment of traditions that my ancestors have passed down from generation to generation. My Sicilian grandmother, however, made her proud Italian heritage a fundamental part of her grandchildren’s lives—especially during Christmas time.
Before attending our Catholic mass at midnight, the entire Stockdale clan gathers around the table on Christmas Eve for a meatless meal. In my grandmother’s honor, we eat seafood marinara—a simple yet delicious meal that can be prepared and cooked in minimal time.
With pasta accompanied by traditional antipasti (without the meat), fresh Italian bread, and bottles and bottles of wine (I prefer white), a Christmas Eve spent with the Stockdales is one filled with endless laughter, love, and scrumptious eats.
—Charlotte Stockdale, public relations director of Baked Magazine. Follow Charlotte on Twitter @CStockdale1.
- 12 cups crushed Italian tomatoes
- Olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped garlic
- 4 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil
- 6 Tbsp. chopped parsley (optional)
- 2 lb. pasta (Linguine or spaghetti is good)
- 1 lb. shrimp
- 1 lb. squid
- 1-2 lb. mussels
- 1 lb. scallops
- Heat oil in pan. Add garlic and cook briefly.
- Add tomatoes, fresh basil, and parsley.
- Cook, stirring frequently, until sauce is reduced by about ⅓ (approximately 30 to 40 minutes).
- While the sauce is cooking, peel the shrimp, rinse the mussels, and rinse the scallops. Clean the squid and cut into rings.
- Bring water in the separate pasta pot to a boil. Place pasta in boiling water at the same time that you begin to add seafood to the sauce.
- When sauce is ready, add squid, then scallops, then mussels, then shrimp.
- Cook until mussels have opened and shrimp turn pink.