1. Food

Saint Joseph's Pasta, or Pasta di San Giuseppe

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San Giuseppe is extremely popular in southern Italy, not just because he's Jesus's father (though that's part of the reason), but also because he was a resourceful guy who knew how to weather trouble, as is shown by his clearing out as Herod's soldiers prepared to go after the Innocent. As a result there are a great many South Italian dishes made to honor him, including these spaghetti with bread crumbs and spices from Trapani. To serve 4 you'll need:

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • A scant pound (400 g) spaghetti
  • 1/2 pound (200 g) breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • A small bunch parsley, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • Salt

Preparation:

Set pasta water to boil, and when it does salt it and cook the pasta. In the meantime, combine the breadcrumbs, parsley, cinnamon, and sugar with 2 tablespoons of the oil and mix well. Drain the pasta, stir the remaining oil into it, and season it with the breadcrumb mixture. Serve at once.

Note: I have friends from further north (on the continent) who do a savory version of this, seasoning the breadcrumbs with salt, pepper, and a little grated cheese, and omitting the sugar and cinnamon, both of which are likely of Arab origin.

Yield: 4 servings Pasta di San Giuseppe.

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