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Savoring the Season

What I remember most about the Christmas dinner I hosted more than twenty years ago is the company of friends who gathered. Too broke to travel home to our parents, we sat around a low table in front of a fire and enjoyed a small feast. Soak up your family and friends, as well as a wonderful meal, this holiday season by using award-winning chef Tory Miller’s recipe for seafood fra diavolo. This simple yet elegant version of fra diavolo from the executive chef and co-owner of L’Etoile and Graze is inspired by the Italian Christmas tradition Feast of the Seven Fishes. The zesty pasta dish features fresh seafood, showcases our local winter vegetables and is guaranteed to add a little spice to your festivities. Prep the ingredients ahead; then you’ll have plenty of time to create your own holiday memories.

RECIPE: Seafood fra diavolo


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 oz pancetta, diced 12 mussels 8 small shrimp 1 cup sun-dried roma tomatoes packed in oil, finely chopped or ground; or 2 cups tomato/marinara sauce 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 cup chicken stock (to thin sun-dried tomatoes) 5–6 oz fish fillets, cut up 1 Maine lobster, cooked and meat diced 1 1/2–2 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes 1 cup romanesco or cauliflower, cut into small spears, browned in a pan with butter (remove from butter after it is browned and discard butter) 1 cup blanched kale, chopped 8–10 oz pasta, cooked al dente (Chef Tory uses fresh papardelle) 1/2 cup diced black olives 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley


Heat a large sauté pan on medium-high heat and add olive oil. Render pancetta in the oil. Add the following ingredients one a time: mussels (cook 30 seconds), then shrimp (cook 1 minute). Add tomatoes or sauce and garlic; add stock if necessary to thin sauce. Add fish pieces, cooked lobster and red pepper flakes; cook another minute. Add romanesco or cauliflower, kale and cooked pasta and simmer 30 seconds. Finish with olives, olive oil and parsley. Serve immediately.

Otehlia Cassidy is a Madison writer and cook with a passion for local foods and culinary adventures. Read her blog, , and find more recipes .

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