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Saint Joseph's Pasta, or Pasta di San Giuseppe


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


  • 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


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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