The Feast the Seven Fishes is an Italian American tradition that we’ve been doing in my family for over 70 years. It is absolutely my favorite night of  the year. I usually have about 50 people for a sit down seven course fish dinner. It’s a lot of work, but the joy it gives me to do this far outweighs the effort. Growing up I could remember helping my grandfather prepare the fish.  I would help him clean it, and assist in the preparation. The time spent with him was invaluable to me.   These days my aunts and I all collaborate on the cooking as we get up in the wee hours of Christmas Eve to start the meal. 

Today, I am excited to share with you the fourth course of my nonno’s  feast of the seven fishes, shrimp oreganata.

Shrimp Oreganata

20 Jumbo Shrimp Deveined and Butterflied

¾ Cups Plain Bread Crumbs

¾ Cups Pecorino Romano Cheese Grated

2 Tbsp. Chopped Garlic

2 Tbsp. Chopped Parsley

1 Tsp. Salt 

Zest 3 Lemons

3 ½ Tbsp. Olive Oil plus extra to coat the pan


¼ Cup White Wine

1/3 Cup Lemon Juice

½ Cup Clam Juice

½ Tsp. Salt

½ Stick Butter

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil 

Preheat the oven to 375 Degrees.  Coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil.  In a bowl combine the bread crumbs, grated cheese, chopped garlic, chopped parsley, salt and lemon zest.  Mix well and add olive oil.

Hope the bottom of your glass bottom Pyrex dish with some olive oil. If you do not have a Pyrex you can use a shallow baking pan. Arrange the shrimp in the pan with the tails up. Fill the butterflied portion of the shrimp with about 1 tsp of bread crumb mixture.

In a measuring cup combine white wine, lemon juice, clam juice and salt and olive oil.  Pour half of the mixture slowly around the perimeter of each shrimp, coating the bottom of the pan.  Put a small pat of butter on each shrimp.

Cover with aluminum foil and put shrimp in the oven for about 25 minutes or until they start to turn pink.  Remove foil and cook for about another 10 minutes or until shrimp is cooked thru.  Please note if the sauce in the bottom of the pan begins to evaporate use the remaining sauce and recoat the bottom of the pan.  You can even put shrimp under the broiler to make the bread crumbs extra crispy. 

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