St. Joseph’s Spaghetti (Pasta con Sarde)

st joseph spaghettiMarch 19th has always been a special day of celebration for our family for that’s the day we celebrate the Feast of San Giuseppe (St. Joseph). This feast honors Joseph, husband of the Virgin Mary and earthly father to Jesus.  Considered by Sicilians as the Patron Saint of their region, St. Joseph is said to have saved Sicily’s residents during one of their many devastating droughts. It is believed that the residents prayed to St. Joseph for rain. Their prayers were answered when the rain came. Their spring crops were spared from being destroyed, which prevented a widespread famine for Sicily. It is believed that this is the reason the celebration is held in March.

We celebrate every year because Joseph is the namesake of several of our family members, starting with our grandfather, father, son/nephew and 2  grandsons (Joseph as their middle name).

The menu for a St. Joseph celebration is rooted in the Sicilian tradition and because the holiday falls during Lent, meat is not eaten during the celebration, hence the sardine sauce. We can remember Grandma Tessie cooking spaghetti with a combination of sardines, onions, fennels, & raisins for the sauce topped with toasted breadcrumbs, known as the “poor man’s Parmigiano”, representing the sawdust left behind after a day’s work in his carpenter’s shop. She cooked this meal (which we grew to love) every March 19 until she was 97. At that last celebration, she asked who would carry on this tradition when she was gone. I told her not to worry, that I would. For the past 16 years, I have been making the Pasta con Sarde just as Grandma did, which is especially enjoyed by our Dad. The focus of the meal is on the Pasta con Sarde but we also enjoy the St. Joseph’s pastries. I always get them from Patsy’s & Son Italian Bakery in Lindenhurst, New York. They are the best I ever tasted and I’m a bit of a cannoli cream snob! If you find yourself on Long Island, do stop in to try their cannolis & cassata cake.

patsy store front

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 cups prepared Basic Tomato Sauce
  • 3 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 Tablespoons EVOO
  • Pecorino Romano grated cheese for garnish
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, lightly toasted
  • 1 lb thin spaghetti (slightly thicker than angel hair/capellini)

Instructions

  1. Sauté crushed garlic in EVOO in a large pot until golden. (Do not burn)
  2. Add the can of Cuoco Condimento per Pasta con Sarde.
  3. Stir well and simmer about 5 minutes.
  4. Pour 4 cups of prepared Basic Tomato Sauce to the sardine mixture breaking up the large pieces of sardines. Simmer about 30 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, toast the breadcrumbs in oven or stovetop,  but do not burn. Set aside in a serving dish.
  6. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt & a drop of EVOO.
  7. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  8. Warm a large serving bowl or platter then put the cooked pasta in it.
  9. Take some of the sauce mixture to coat the pasta & toss well.
  10. Add pasta to individual dishes and top with extra sauce, breadcrumbs & grated cheese.

Note: Our family likes to add a spoonful of ricotta cheese on top (optional).

Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below or Tag @twinsinthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #twiinsinthekitchen.

 

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Gluten-Free Corn & Crab Chowder

Heavenly is the only way to describe this fabulous, hearty corn & crab chowder. My good friend, Nancy Baker, cooked this today for our bridge club gathering. Everyone loved it and Nancy was kind enough to share her recipe with me for our blog.  Thank you, Nancy! ❤

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon EVOO
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 potatoes, peeled & diced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded & diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon Old Bay® Seasoning Blend
  • 3 Tablespoons Bob’s Red Mill® Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour (regular flour if gluten-free not needed)
  • 2 cups chicken stock or broth (vegetable broth can be substituted)
  • 1-quart whole milk
  • 3 cups corn kernels, drained well or frozen can be used
  • 8 oz. lump crab meat, cooked
  • gluten-free crackers (oyster crackers if gluten-free not needed)
  • sliced scallions for garnish
  • hot pepper sauce

Instructions

  1. Chop vegetables and set aside.
  2. Add EVOO & butter into a large deep pot over medium heat.
  3. Add the vegetables & bay leaf.
  4. Add salt, pepper & Old Bay® Seasoning.
  5. Sauté vegetables 5 minutes, then sprinkle in flour. Cook mixture for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  6. Stir in broth & combine.
  7. Stir in milk & combine.
  8. Bring soup to a boil, add corn & crab meat. Lower heat to simmer for 5 minutes.
  9. Remove bay leaf.
  10. Ladle soup into soup bowls and top with gluten-free cracker, hot sauce & sliced scallions.
  11. If serving buffet style, keep chowder warm in a crockpot on warmest setting.

Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below or Tag @twinsinthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #twiinsinthekitchen.

chowder_crock_pot

 

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