Dungeness does a Christmas Eve tradition proud
What they did encounter was plenty of Dungeness crab, so they created a new tradition with the crustacean: two-part cracked crab and pasta in a homemade tomato sauce redolent of garlic and basil. That was in 1890. The dish doesn’t miss a December 24 appearance on the Centioli table to this day.
The celebration starts with flutes of Moscato d’Asti ― a fruity, slightly sweet, spritzy wine (Italians drink it on Christmas morning too) ― with home-canned vegetable antipasti and garlic-and anchovy-laced bagna cauda for dipping raw veggies and crusty bread. With the delicious mess of crab and pasta, the Centiolis serve spinach or broccolini sautéed with garlic and pour a Brunello or a Cabernet. Gelato and scalidi ― Italian fried cookies ― follow.
When it comes to food for feasts, you don’t exactly have to make do on the West Coast.