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Mario Unclogged: Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve this year is the Feast of the Two Fishes. We are doing my linguine with clams, hot chiles, and pancetta, but I'm subbing my dad's "mole" salami for pancetta to give it a deeper spice component. The main course will be super jumbo stone crab claws from Joe's—yes, served with their mustard sauce—a green salad, and some Guido's garlic bread.

Desserts will be espresso drops and coconut balls (first step, find the coconut's legs) both from Martha Stewart's magazine Everyday Food because my kids find it very accessible and there is a photo for every cookie. I will make a version of Gina DePalma's chocolate hazelnut kisses, and we will surrender early to a deep mug of hot buttered rum from my mom's recipe file, which I'm sharing with you in this post here.

About the author: Mario Batali has created a thriving restaurant empire and has established himself as a top restaurateur. Together with his partner, Joe Bastianich, he operates seven New York City hotspots. Mario splits his time between New York City's Greenwich Village and northern Michigan with his wife, Susan Cahn, of Coach Dairy Goat Farm, and their two sons. More Mario: mariobatali.com.

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