Today is St. Joseph’s day. In Italy, they treat it like father’s day (naturally, as San Giuseppe is the patron saint of fatherhood). In my family, this day was another excuse to eat together. My sister tells me that during World War II, my Great-Grandmother made a deal with San Giuseppe that she would celebrate his day every year if all her boys came back safely. I think my sister mixed that up with the Mother of Grace Club, but all the boys came back nevertheless.
I figured I would share the recipe for St. Joseph’s Day Beista (that’s Sicilian dialect for “Pasta”).
1 Cans of Chick Peas
1 Can of cannellini beans (although fava beans are more traditional)
2 Heads of fresh fennel — just the tops above the bulbs
1 Head of Cauliflower
1 Stalk of Broccoli
5 Cloves of Garlic
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of pepper
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 Pound of Pasta – preferably broad home-made wide noodles. If you can’t make your own noodles, egg noodles, ditalini, or orzo will do.
1/2 pound ground parmesan cheese
Directions: Wicked easy.
Boil the Pasta until it is done and set aside.
Fill a large pot with a little water with the oil. Chop up the Cauliflower, Broccoli, Garlic, Fennel (saving the bulbs to eat later) and toss in the pot. Boil them. When they have boiled for a few minutes, throw in the can of Chick Peas and the pasta. Make sure there is enough water so that the concoction is a soup, not a pasta with a sauce.
Serve and eat with parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top. I always use tons of cheese myself. So much that I would always get yelled at.
Feel free to tinker with the ratios. I tend to like it to be heavy on the cauliflower, but light on the broccoli.
Note: San Giuseppe is also the patron saint of home buyers and home sellers. So, maybe there should be a whole lotta people out there who give the old Italian Pagan/Catholic thing a try before our home values tank even more.