Spaghetti di San Giuseppe
St. Joseph’s Day, March 19th, is the feast day of Saint Joseph. We have been celebrating St. Joseph’s Day since before I was born. Originally, my Grandmother used to have a St. Joseph’s table for the family. The priest would come by and bless all the food. The children would have a procession. Then they would go outside and watch the parade.
Later, my Aunt Rosie would have a St. Joseph’s Day Table in her home. The doors were opened for the family and some neighbors to come and eat and leave a donation for the church.
After she passed, some of our cousins took over until their house was robbed one year. Sad, that it had to end that way. My parents and I attended a few St. Joseph’s Tables held by various churches in the area after that, but it wasn’t the same. Some would serve meat, which was not appropriate. So, I started to make things at home for my parents. This recipe is one that I used to make for them after we didn’t have a St. Joseph’s table to go to anymore.
St. Joseph’s Day is celebrated as a meatless feast day. Fish is ok, but no meat. There are plenty of artisan decorative breads, pastas, some fried vegetables, cakes and fruits, especially oranges. Soup such as Pasta Fagioli (Pasta and Beans) may be served as a first course. There was always a statue of St. Joseph.
Spaghetti di San Giuseppe is a pasta dish that is typically served on this feast day. I have seen this recipe made with different pastas including lasagna noodles. As I am writing this, the hoarding at the stores has already started. Luckily, I had some pasta leftover so I will be using this, but I typically make this with regular spaghetti.
Different regions of Italy and Sicily add other ingredients such as diced tomatoes or chestnuts instead of walnuts. The one item that is always added are the breadcrumbs. The breadcrumbs are meant to represent sawdust in honor of St. Joseph’s profession as a carpenter. It’s a great pasta dish. Nutty, fruity and delicious! Beautifully aromatic with the orange zest.
I can’t wait for you to try my Spaghetti di San Giuseppe recipe! Please comment below and let me know what you think. If you made it, post your wonderful creation on Instagram and tag me. Don’t forget to subscribe and you will be emailed each time I post a new recipe.
Spaghetti di San Giuseppe
Spaghetti di San Giuseppe (St. Joseph’s Spaghetti) - A pasta dish traditionally served on St. Joseph's Day, March 19th. It is nutty, fruity and delicious.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced
- 3/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1 orange, zest only
- 1 pound cooked and drained spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
- Step 1 In a large skillet, lightly saute the sliced garlic with the anchovy paste (optional) in the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Do not brown the garlic as it will become burnt and bitter.
- Step 2 Add the Italian breadcrumbs and stir until lightly golden brown. Add another 2-4 tablespoons of olive oil if needed.
- Step 3 Add the finely chopped walnuts, golden raisins and orange zest. Stir to mix thoroughly.
- Step 4 Add the cooked and drained spaghetti with about 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Mix the spaghetti with the breadcrumb mixture
- Step 5 Season with freshly chopped parsley, freshly ground pepper, kosher salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.
- Step 6 Serve immediately.