Southern Italian Christmas Eve Dinner gone Vegetarian!!

Many Italian-American families celebrate Christmas Eve with the Feast of the Seven Fishes (festa dei sette pesci). It is believed to have originated in Southern Italy and is a feast that consists of seven different seafood dishes. My family along with many other families in the area prepare a crab sauce over linguine as the main course. While growing up Nonni (my mother’s mother) and my Aunt Mary prepared this dish for us. It was amazing. The past few years my cousin Cheryl has been cooking Christmas Eve dinner, and it has been equally as tasty! About two years ago I  gave up seafood and became a full-fledged vegetarian! This year Cheryl and I joined forces to create a Vegetarian Crab Sauce using seaweed! Recipe #1 is below. I liked it. It was especially good a few days after it was cooked over cheese ravioli!! Next year I think I can do even better!


Italian Christmas Eve Sauce Veggie Style Recipe


  • Alaria – 1/2 Oz.
  • Arame – 1/4 Cup
  • Dulse Flakes – 1/4 Cup
  • Kombu – 1/2 Oz.
  • Garlic –  2 Tablespoons finely chopped
  • Olive Oil – 3 Tablespoons of Extra Light Tasting
  • Parsley – 1/4 Cup Dried
  • Red Pepper – 1 Tablespoon Crushed
  • Tomato Paste – 1 small can
  • Crushed Tomatoes – 1 large can
  • Chopped Tomatoes – 1 small can
  • Agave – 1 Tablespoon
  • Water – 3 Cups


  1. Wash and dry Alaria and Kombu
  2. Let Arame sit in water for 5 minutes and then rinse
  3. Mix 1 cup of water, Arame and Alaria in a pot.
  4. Bring Arame and Alaria mixture to a boil
  5. Simmer for 20 minutes
  6. Remove from heat and blend until smooth
  7. Set Arame and Alaria blended mixture aside
  8. Add Olive Oil to clean pot and heat on medium
  9. Add Garlic and sauté for 2 minutes
  10. Add Arame and Alaria mixture and sauté for 2 minutes
  11. Add Parsley, Red Pepper, Tomato Paste, Dulse, Crushed Tomatoes and 2 cups of water
  12. Cut Kombu into strips
  13. Add Kombu to sauce mixture
  14. Cook Sauce on low for 7 hours
  15. Let sauce sit overnight (Sauce is best if it sits a few days in the refrigerator and then is reheated)
  16. Add Chopped Tomatoes and Agave
  17. Cook sauce 6 more hours
  18. Serve over linguine, mini raviolis or pasta of choice

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