Fish dinner Italian style to celebrate

In Italy we say:”Chi mangia solo muore solo” which translates to “Who eats alone dies alone“. It is more fun eating together and food tastes even better if you are sharing it with people you like and feel good with.

Recently my sister Laura graduated in Media and she is now working in hectic Milan. To celebrate we went to a fish restaurant and we invited a few relatives and friends.

In Italy when you graduate you wear a laurel wreath on your head, a tradition that has remote origins dating back to Roman times.

During Roman times those who distinguished themselves in specific fields like poets, victorious generals and emperors were crowned with a circular ornament made of interlocking twigs of Bay Laurel on their head during the festive celebration and religious festivals

So here she is, Laura really proud wearing her wreath.

laura's graduation

As a fish-obsessed family of course we could not choose anything different to a fish restaurant and I photographed some of the dishes.

Our starter was a platter of prawns, shrimps, crayfish tails with swordfish carpaccio. This goes well with Italian Breadsticks (grissini).

fish starter antipasto

We had barbecued scallops cooked in their shells. You get this often in fish restaurants in Italy. I think they are the best shellfish you can possibly choose: they are sweet, juicy, tender and meaty and their flavour is fab when they are barbecued. Italians love to cook fish in this way.

scallops

Lunch went well, there was lots of chatting and laughing going on.

laura's party laura's graduation lunch

A seafood, saffron and ginger risotto was served and it was very creamy and delicate indeed. I always keep saffron in my cupboard and I add a few stems to risottos as it improves their flavour a great deal.

seafood risotto

A platter of grilled squid tasted divine and it was really tender.

Incredibly, all the food I always crave was there!

grilled squid

I enjoyed mopping the juices with bread after eating this fab pot of mussels..

 

mussels

And after a melon sorbet which I found quite interesting we had the celebratory cake: a classic puff pastry cake with lots and lots of chocolate mousse and creme patisserie made by the chef at the restaurant just a couple of hours before the meal, topped off with a chocolate mortar board (hat)!. You could tell the cake was fresh by the crunchiness of the puff pastry.

I had two generous slices of this..yum!

Laura's graduation cake

 

graduation cake

In Italy there is a tradition of handing out “confetti” or almond sweeties to guests. They can be pink or blue for a christening, white for weddings, silver or gold for silver and golden anniversaries and red for master degrees.

Red is the colour of a degree graduation. So Laura handed out hers in a cute hat looking box.

Well done Laura!

laurea laura

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7 Responses to Fish dinner Italian style to celebrate

  1. Louise

    Congratulations to your sister, Laura, Alida!!! I LOVE that your family celebrates in the Italian tradition. We no longer do that in our family, although we did when my father was alive. I miss it.
    What a feast your family enjoyed!

    Thank you so much for sharing…

  2. la cucina di Molly

    Augurissimi a tua sorella per il traguardo raggiunto! Ottimo il menù a base di pesce e grazie per aver condiviso con noi questo giorno di festa! Un abbraccio!

  3. Dottie Sauchelli Balin

    Dear Alida,
    Congratulations to Laura! Your post and photos are spectacular! What a treasure of memories to have in your family. The food must have been out of this world. It is right up my alley, especially the mussels. I love that you all were together for this really special time in Laura’s life. That is what family is all about. I also remember the Jordan Almonds..we always had them at weddings, anniversaries, Communions, etc. I love the red color. That puff pastry cake looks fabulous..I don’t blame you to have had a second serving. Good Luck to Laura in her new adventure in Milan. Thank you for sharing your family traditions with us…Have a good day dear friend!
    Dottie 🙂

    • Alida

      I was sure you knew about confetti. They are so Italian and the tradition is still there, people still love them and expect them especially at weddings.Ciao cara x

  4. Catherine

    Dear Alida, What a beautiful celebration for your sister. Congratulations to all!
    It is so beautiful to gather with family for these happy occasions.
    I am sure it was wonderful. xo Catherine

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