Tonawanda News — This popular recipe serves eight, with 439 calories each.
Spring begins March 20, but on the day before, on the 19th, St. Joseph’s Day brings Italian-American communities to the table, quite literally.
“St. Joseph’s Table,” is a feast that includes all manner of breads, vegetables, egg dishes, pasta and desserts. Legend has it, during a medieval drought and famine, Sicilians prayed to St. Joseph, the patron of workers and the guardian of family. When the famine subsided, they attributed it to the saint and promised to honor him each year with a feast.
My Sicilian relatives serve “St. Joseph’s pasta,” a spaghetti with meatless red sauce — often with anchovies or sardines — topped with bread crumbs (to represent sawdust, a nod to the saint’s connection with the working man).
Fava beans, associated with good luck because they survived that Sicilian drought, often are given away in dried form to bring good fortune. Elaborate breads are shaped into biblical symbols such as fish and Joseph’s staff.
As for dessert, celebrations generally include zeppole or sfinci, fried-dough confections that are filled with ricotta, fruit or cream, or just drizzled with honey. Our recipe, which we published in the Gazette back in 2008, is still requested, and is yours here for clipping and making!
Sfingi di San Giuseppe (St. Joseph’s Day cream puffs)
1/2 cup butterdash of salt
1 cup water
1 cup pastry flour
1 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
Combine butter, salt and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Add flour all at one time and mix well until dough leaves the sides of the pan.
Remove from stove and cool a little.
Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Add sugar, orange and lemon peel and mix thoroughly.