CNN's Alisyn Camerota shares her linguine in white clam sauce recipe. Watch how to make it

What do you cook for a holiday dinner when you're busy but still want meaning and flavor? CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota's linguine in white clam sauce, that's what. Camerota hails from an Italian American family -- some from southern Italy -- who would cook the dish as one component of the Feast of the Seven Fishes every Christmas Eve, she said. This cultural -- yet unofficial -- tradition honored by some Italian American families might stem from the homesickness of 19th and 20th century Italian immigrants who combined seafood and classic Italian dishes, according to Sydney Dominick, gallery experience presenter at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.
Paola Sergi, an archivist at the Italian Cultural Institute in New York, never witnessed the tradition while growing up in Genoa (in northern Italy), but learned of the feast when she came to the United States and married someone from a southern Italian family who celebrated the tradition. "It's almost like a fasting, like a Lent fasting -- you're not supposed to eat any meat," Sergi said. This part of the custom might also have roots in Roman Catholic Italians' fast from meat (but not fish) before taking communion during Midnight Mass on Christmas Day, the feast day, according to the Denver Public Library. There hasn't been any consensus on which seven fish should be served at this banquet.
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