Sunday, March 16, 2014

St. Joseph's Day 2014

St. Joseph the patron saint of Italians

St. Joseph’s Day in the Capone home

St. Joseph’s Day, March 10, 2014

I prefer to think of myself as spiritual rather than religious. But I do believe in the power of prayer, so I offer you here the prayer to St. Joseph that my Grandma Capone claimed brought miracles.

O St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the Throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires. O St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord, so that, having engaged here below your Heavenly power, I may offer my Thanksgiving and Homage to the most Loving of Fathers. O St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press him in my name and kiss His fine Head for me, and ask Him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls, pray for us. Amen

Below are three recipes for food that is eaten on St. Joseph’s Day.


We ate these tasty puffs at every St. Joseph’s Table. Some Italians call them St. Joseph’s Sfinge.

1 cup cake flour
½ cup butter
4 eggs
1 cup water
1 tbsp sugar
grated rind of one lemon
1 tbsp brandy
Heat oven to 400º

16 oz ricotta (preferably Italian ricotta)
1/3 cup of chocolate chips chopped fine
½ cup sugar
grated rind from small orange

Mix well and fill puffs

Put water, salt and butter into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Once the butter has melted, add the flour all at once and mix until the dough leaves the side of the pan.
Remove from heat and allow to cool a little before adding the eggs one at a time, blending well after each egg.
Add sugar and lemon peel and mix.
Place a tablespoonful onto a greased cookie sheet at 3-inch intervals
Bake in 400º oven for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 325ºbaking 30 minutes longer.
Cool for 30 minutes while preparing filling
Before filling, cut the top off each puff. Fill and replace the top. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Spaghetti with Bread Crumbs

The bread crumbs sprinkled on top of the spaghetti is said to represent the sawdust that would have covered the floor in St. Joseph’s home.

1 pound spaghetti
2 – 28 oz cans of Italian tomatoes pureed
4 tbsp olive oil
6 garlic cloves chopped fine
1 medium onion cut into quarters
6 basil leaves or 1 tbsp dried basil
1 bulb fresh fennel
1 tsp dried oregano
Pinch of salt
¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
4 cans sardines skinless and boneless
Grandma’s breadcrumbs

Core the fresh fennel and cut into small pieces, discarding the leaves.
Take a piece of cheesecloth and wrap around the fennel, onion and basil forming a ball that will be lowered into the tomatoes. Heat olive oil in stock pot and add garlic. Stir until the garlic has released its flavor into the oil. Add tomatoes and fennel ball. Bring to a boil stirring slowly. Lower heat and simmer slowly uncovered. Add salt and pepper.
Cook slowly for 3 or more hours. Before serving, remove fennel ball and discard. Drain the 4 cans of skinless & boneless sardines
Add sardines to sauce
Stir to break up sardines
Simmer for 15 minutes
Cook spaghetti
Toss with sauce
Sprinkle with bread crumb

Fava Beans

The fava bean is always served in some manner on St. Joseph’s Day because, during the drought that plagued Italy, only the fava bean grew. Italians call it the “Lucky” bean.

1 lb. dried fava beans
1 medium onion chopped
4 cloves garlic chopped fine
3 basil leaves
chopped bunch of Italian parsley, stems removed and heads chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
pinch of salt freshly ground black pepper to taste
Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until the onion turns transparent   Add the basil and parsley and heat through. Add to beans. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve in  bowls.

Bread crumbs

4 cups bread crumbs
¼ cup Italian parsley stems removed and leaves chopped
4 stalks of fresh basil stems removed and leaves chopped
4 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup freshly grated cheese
2 tsp salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

We only made bread crumbs with stale leftover bread. Today I will take a loaf of Italian bread and break it up into pieces. Spray a cookie sheet with olive oil and place it in a preheated oven at 250° until thoroughly dried, 1 ½ - 2 hours.
Crumble with your hands or a food processor.
Put 1 tbsp oil in sauté pan. Heat oil and add 1 cup bread crumbs. Cook, stirring constantly

1 comment:

  1. These recipes look soooooo tasty! Can't wait to start cooking :)