Make Carpenter’s Pasta for St Joseph’s Feast Day!
Every month Grazia Barletta prepares a recipe from the history of the Church in her Cape Town kitchen, and shares it with our readers in text and photos taken exclusively for The Southern Cross by the chef herself.
This month Grazia cooked: St Joseph’s Day Pasta
This month’s dish, St Joseph’s Day Pasta, is also called ‘Sawdust Pasta” or “Carpenter’s Pasta”, and it’s a great way to honour St Joseph, especially on his feast day on March 19 and in this Year of St Joseph. Since he was a carpenter by trade, it is fitting to serve pasta that resembles sawdust — but, of course, tastes much better! To get the sawdust effect, breadcrumbs are sautéed in butter. It is also a very simple, inexpensive, quick meal to make — and a delicious meatless meal to eat during Lent.
According to legend, there was a famine in Sicily many centuries ago. The village prayed to St Joseph and asked for his intercession before God. Prayers were answered, ending the dreadful famine. A special feast of thanksgiving was held in St Joseph’s honour. In many Italian homes and churches, it is a tradition on St Joseph’s feast day to set out food for the homeless and hungry.
Preparation: 10 min • Cooking: 15 min • Servings: 4
1 packet linguine or spaghetti
3 tbsp butter
5 tbsp olive oil
1 ½ cups panko breadcrumbs (light and flaky-textured, compared to regular breadcrumbs, these absorbs less oil)
3 tsp crushed garlic
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups halved Rosa tomatoes
1 tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp cayenne pepper or to taste
salt to taste
4 anchovy fillets (optional )
1. Boil pasta until al dente.
2. While the pasta is cooking, heat butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan. Add the breadcrumbs, mix to coat, and cook until toasted and lightly brown. Transfer breadcrumbs to a plate and set aside.
3. In the same frying pan over medium-high heat, add remaining olive oil. Add the garlic and onion and let cook for a few minutes until translucent. Add the tomatoes and black and cayenne pepper. Salt to taste. Cook for 4 more minutes or until the tomatoes are soft. Add some pasta water if too dry. Add the anchovies, if you choose to include them, at this point.
4. Add the hot cooked pasta right from the pot to the pan and toss to coat. Add the buttered breadcrumbs on top of each serving or on top of the pasta in a large serving platter.
5. Enjoy with a prayer to St Joseph!
This article was published in the March issue of The Southern Cross magazine
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