Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

An Italian Feast Day meal

I had a heart-to-heart with myself recently. I had to decide whether or not I was going to keep using this space, because  I was still taking photos of food and making mental notes about recipes, but after a day my mental notes were gone, and sometimes I even lost track of the recipe. Not very organized, I know. But every meal I made would result in the same internal battle about whether or not I want to continue writing in this space.

Ultimately, I decided to keep it up. I love cooking, and I love integrating food into the liturgical year, so that is what I hope to continue doing.

Today is the feast of St. Anthony of Padua. I tend to tie my meals together with the feast day with ethnic food, because it's easy and it's fun. I have to make dinner anyway, so I'm really not adding anything extra to my workload.

Today's saint, St. Anthony of Padua, is one of my favorite saints. My oldest son chose him as his patron, and he is one of the saints I call on most often --"Tony, Tony come around..." That poor man never has a moment's peace. Padua is in Italy and so tonight's feast was Italian. You could use this menu for any Italian saint, however, and there are many.

The pasta dish was one I had pinned a couple months ago to "test drive" for my second son who will be living alone next year. It was so simple and delicious -- clean plates all around.

The vegetable is a seasonal sort of treat. My friend Katie (my egg lady) sent some zucchini and garlic scapes along with my eggs this week. I had never cooked garlic scapes, but they were very tasty, and I'll definitely try them again.

With a loaf of ciabatta garlic bread (purchased), the meal was complete, and so easy.

Skillet Baked Ziti

1 T. olive oil
1 T. minced garlic
1 t. dried red chili flakes
 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
3 T. dried basil
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
3 cups uncooked penne or ziti
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1-2 T. sliced fresh basil leaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

In a 12-inch skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat.
Add garlic and red chili flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. 

Add tomatoes and a pinch of salt; reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, or until tomatoes break down a bit.

Add the broth and dried basil and return to a simmer. Add pasta and cover; cook according to package directions for just firm (12-15 minutes).

Remove lid, season with salt and pepper, and stir in Parmesan. Sprinkle mozzarella over top of pasta.
Bake at 400 degrees until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 8-10 minutes.

Sprinkle with basil and serve hot.

(If you are using a pan that has a plastic handle, cover handle with foil before placing it in the oven)

Source: modified from Serious Eats via College East 101

Zucchini and Garlic Scapes

1 T. coconut oil or unsalted butter
2 medium zucchini washed and sliced about 1/4 inch thick
6 garlic scapes, rinsed and cut in half or three pieces

Heat oil or butter in large skillet over medium high until hot.
Add zucchini and scapes and cook for about 20 minutes, flipping zucchini to brown both sides.
Season with salt and serve hot.


Janice said...

Thank you for keeping the site up. Even though it hasn't been updated regularly the last few months, I still love your commentary and the recipes here and would be devastated if one day , the link simply didn't work, and all that is already here wasn't available to me any more. Just want you to know your decision matters to me. Thanks.


scmom (Barbara) said...

It means a lot that you're still reading!

Sara said...

I feel like such a bad Catholic when I miss the feasts of saints I love (and named one of my kids for)!

I'm making your Lemon Meringue pie this morning for our Father's Day celebration tomorrow. Any ideas for a non-traditional brunch? All the kids will be home for a few hours, including Katie's vegetarian boyfriend. Last time they were here we did all the eggs, bacon, and stuff.

Linda said...

Thank you, St. Anthony!! Barb, my birthday is June 13th and St. Anthony is my guy. I KNEW if I prayed about your reappearing here, he would listen. Welcome back!