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.

 

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Back to top

 

Barbara’s Pasta with Chicken & Broccoli

When Barbara was raising her family this was one of their favorite pasta dishes. Her youngest son always requests this delicious meal every time he visits from California and even asks her to cook this dish while visiting him. It’s a quick and easy meal.

Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 lb chicken tenders, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 16-ounce bag frozen broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth to cook broccoli
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth,
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Oregano, dried
  • 6 Tablespoons butter, divided into thirds
  • 2 Tablespoons EVOO + additional as needed
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or frozen cubes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 box Pasta ( we used Farfalle, use any pasta of your choice)
  • reserve 1/2 cup cooked pasta water
  • Pecorino Romano cheese, grated for topping

Instructions

  1. In a large pot bring salted water to a boil to cook pasta.
  2. When water boils lower heat just to keep water hot until ready to add the pasta.
  3. Cook broccoli in chicken broth in a covered microwave-safe dish 6-7 minutes in a microwave. (make sure covering is vented).
  4. In a large skillet or flat-bottomed wok add 1/3 the butter & EVOO until heated. Add the onions and sauté until translucent and softened, Add garlic and cook 1 minute.
  5. Remove onion mixture and set aside.
  6. Add additional 1/3 butter and EVOO to skillet. On med-high heat add chicken pieces & lightly brown quickly on both sides, being careful not to overcook.
  7. Bring pasta water back to a boil and cook according to package directions.
  8. Reduce skillet heat and add onion mixture back to the skillet, sprinkle the dried oregano onto the chicken and onions, continue cooking for 3-4 minutes.
  9. Add the cooked broccoli and chicken broth to skillet and stir well.
  10. Add salt and pepper to taste,  simmer another 3 minutes add the remaining  2 Tablespoons of butter to melt into the mixture.
  11. Add cooked pasta to chicken mixture and toss well. If needed add reserved pasta water a little at a time until the desired consistency.
  12. Sprinkle with Pecorino Romano cheese and serve.

Note: Sauté mushrooms in butter for a variation as shown in the last photo below.

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.

Back to top

 

Teresa’s Chicken Caccitore

If you’re looking for a real crowd pleaser with a little kick, look no further! This chicken dish is full of flavor and can be served with your favorite pasta or rice.

This is a gluten-free recipe; however, you can substitute regular flour and chicken broth if gluten isn’t a worry.

Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 6 chicken thighs, skin on (with or without the bone)
  • Basic Tomato Sauce (use the full recipe)
  • 1½ lbs. Barilla pasta of your choice
  • Bob’s Red Mills® Gluten Free all-purpose flour (regular all purpose flour may be substituted)
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning (we use Morton & Bassett)
  • salt & pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons EVOO
  • 8 ounces baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, sliced lengthwise
  • 4-6 frozen Dorot® garlic cubes (regular garlic cloves, minced, may be substituted)
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced lengthwise
  • 3/4 – 1 cup dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 3/4 – 1 cup low sodium Progresso ® chicken broth (gluten-free)
  • 3 Tablespoons drained capers
  • 1½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

Instructions

  1. Season chicken with Italian seasoning, salt & pepper.
  2. Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour.
  3. In a large skillet, add EVOO over medium-high heat.
  4. Add chicken and cook until golden brown on each side.
  5. Transfer cooked chicken to a plate and set aside.
  6. Add peppers, onions, mushrooms, and garlic to the skillet (add EVOO to skillet if necessary). Saute until sweated and tender.
  7. Add wine & chicken broth. Simmer until reduced by half.
  8. Add capers and tomato sauce, stir well. Cook about 5 minutes on low.
  9. Add the chicken back to the skillet. Cook on medium low for 15-20 minutes until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
  10. Place cooked pasta on a large serving platter & top with chicken and sauce. Garnish with fresh chopped basil and grated Pecorino Romano cheese (we use Cello from Costco).

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.

Picture coming soon!

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Back to top

 

Rigatoni with Sausage, Eggplant & Fennel

Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (we use Cento or 28-ounces prepared Basic Tomato Sauce )
  • 2 medium eggplants, cubed
  • coarse salt to sprinkle over cubed eggplant to drain excess water
  • 1 large fennel bulb, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (we use Dorot frozen crushed cubes)
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 4 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon EVOO
  • 1 lb rigatoni pasta (we use Barilla)
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (we use Cello from Costco)
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta (we use Galbani Classic)
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • pinch of pink Himalayan salt
  • 2 pinches of Italian seasoning (we use Morton & Bassett)
  • fresh basil leaves for garnish

Instructions

  • Add cubed eggplant to a colander along with a generous amount of course salt & drain for 30 minutes.
  • Heat EVOO in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add pancetta and cook 4-5 minutes until browned & crispy, stirring occasionally. Add sausage to skillet & cook 7-8 minutes until golden brown. Remove the sausage & pancetta with a slotted spoon. Set aside in large bowl.
  • Set aside 3 Tablespoons of the oil & fat from the skillet and discard the rest.
  • Add fennel & onions to skillet along with a pinch of salt & pepper to taste. Cook for 5 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Add eggplant to fennel & onions and cook an additional 5 minutes.
  • Add the sausage & pancetta mixture back to the skillet.
  • Add crushed tomatoes, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Simmer for 40 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.
  • While mixture is simmering, cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water then drain pasta in a colander.
  • Add the pasta and the 1/2 cup pasta water to the skillet then cook 1 additional minute to incorporate. Stir in the 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese.
  • Add the pasta to a large serving bowl and top with spoonfuls of ricotta cheese and basil leaves.

This is a fabulous dish for a gathering of good friends accompanied by a simple salad, crusty Italian bread and a glass of dry red wine.

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.

 

 

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


Back to top