Saint Joseph’s Day Sicilian Celebration


St Joseph


San Giuseppe

The March 19 is the Feast of St. Joseph , the day when, in Italy , we also celebrate all thedads and is the festival that opens the door to the Spring .
The festivities in honor of the Patriarch St. Joseph are widespread in many cities and towns of the Sicilia . the figure of St. Joseph , foster father of Jesus and husband of Maria , is deeply felt and venerated, also demonstrated by the many Sicilians who bear his name. in the memories of most Sicilians is the memory of the picture, the statue or printing of St. Joseph in her arms the Child Jesus , in plain sight in the homes of our grandparents . the Holy Patriarch is loved even today, as a symbol of ‘ honesty , of’ humility , of ‘ love and family , and sacred values absolutely be protected. in Trapani , in many municipalities belonging to the Diocese ofMazara del Vallo , as Campobello di Mazara , Castelvetrano , Santa Ninfa , Salemi , are set up altars to honor the patriarch St. Joseph . in almost all the countries of the Diocese is celebrated rite of the ” Dinner of the Saints “: the Saints knock on the door asking for hospitality; twice they are not accepted. The third opens wide the door and the Saints enter the house, where you will eat dinner. A Salemi you start with dinner on March 19th when we celebrate the religious rite of the ” Dinners San Giuseppe “, last a week, with exhibitions and exhibitions food and wine ; are set up altars decorated with lemons , twigs d ‘ laurel , orangesand the typical ” bread ” manufactured by local women into veritable works of art. The ” bread” in the shape of the symbols of Pentecost , like the fish , the three nails, scale, or make reference to nature; devotees who organize dinner must prepare a meal with 101 dishes , made from vegetables , grains , fish , fruit and sweets of every variety. After dinner there is the rite of the blessing of the ” bread ” which are then distributed to the children, who represent the Holy Family and the many visitors who came to attend the ” Eaten there for Saints .” In Sicily , each holiday has a flat or a traditional sweet and the list would be so vast to enumerate them all to risk of forgetting is always someone. At the Feast of St. Joseph , on the


Sfinci San Giuseppe

St Josephs Day Pastry

tables there was a menu special kind: according tradition imbandire you had a board with various kinds of foods, especially with the bread (symbol of fertility and prosperity) to give refreshment to pilgrims and fugitives; this custom recalls the escape of Mary, Joseph and Jesus to Egypt to escape Herod’s order to kill all the firstborn males. We start from the first course, as the famous pasta with sardines and wild fennel , or the virdi soup of San Giuseppi (legumes and vegetables with leftover pasta of various types) from Palermo, or even the ” ministredda of”Augusta (whose ingredients must be nineteen). the ” maccu “, known throughout the region but especially in the Syracuse area, composed of dried beans , lentils , spinach , onions ,dried chestnuts , oil and … more; He was present in every home and you had to send a sign of hope, family, friends, neighbors and even the poor of the neighborhood. And then thebeccaficu sardines , broccoli and ” sparaceddi ” and many other dishes, not meat, because we are in the period of Lent . Finally the cake, with the preparation of Sfinci of St. Joseph . It is afried sweet typical of Sicily , widespread especially in western areas of the island, originally produced in Palermo , is part of the cultural and traditional heritage of the region.



The origins of sfincia are very old, seem to date back to the Persians, and there are traces both in the Bible and in the Qur’an , although under different names.
As for the ‘ origin of the name , there are several schools of thought: according to some, the name derives from the Latin ” spongia ” (sponge), while others derive from the Arabic ” isfanǧ ” (sponge), a name that was given to the special soft pancakes, irregularly shaped, and, precisely spongy, that Arabs ate covered honey or sugar .
the transformation of the Arab sweet fried sfincia we know is due to the Poor Clares of theMonastery of the Stigmata of St. Francis (the monastery was demolished in 1875, stood on the site where today we admire the Teatro Massimo ), who dedicated the sweet to the Holy of the Meek , St. Joseph .
later, the skill of confectioners Palermo turned the humble sweet delicacy in enriched withricotta cheese and candied fruit that, in recent times, you can enjoy all year round.


Saint Joseph’s Day Pasta



by Daniel Bellino Z








Ragu Neapolitan Sunday Sauce



“Vinnie don’t put to many Onions in The SAUCE” 

Big Paulie (Paul Sorvino) warns Vinnie (Charlie Scorsese) in son Martin Scorsese & Nicholas Pileggi’s GOODFELLAS ...





Gravy? Some call it Sunday Sauce, or Sunday Gravy. Whether you cal it Gravy or Sunday Sauce, this dish eaten every Sunday by a million Italian families across America is the Supreme Dish of Italian-America .. The dish stems from the famed Neapolitan sauce known as Ragu Neapolitan in it’s native city Napoli (Naples) in Italy  … This famous Neapolitan Ragu varies in it’s preparation from neighborhood to neighborhood in Napoli as well as family to family in this capital city of Campania as well as Sicily and all over the United States with Italian-American families in Brooklyn, New York, New Jersey, Boston, Providence RI, Baltimore, New Orleans, and all over the country.

Yes, in America, some families call it Gravy and others Sunday Sauce, Ragu Neapolitan or simply Ragu in Napoli. And in America some families eat the entire sauce with the meats on  a plate with maccherroni (short Pasta) while others do as they do in Naples and eat some of the Sauce without the meat with maccheroni as one course and after the eat the pasta with sauce they’ll have the main course eating a little bit of each type of meat in the ragu along with some greens or boiled potatoes .. No matter how you like to eat the dish with the meats and pasta toghether or in two courses, this dish is always a tasty succulent treat that everyone loves .. Get some nice Italian Wine, put on some Sinatra, and all will be good in your world. Enjoy, be well and God Bless...



Sophia Loren

“Mangia la Pasta”







The meats inside any given Neapolitan Ragu or Sunday Gravy will vary depending upon who is making the sauce and their family’s recipe .. Many Italian-Americans make it with; Suasage, Meatballs, & Braciole, others may make it with just Meatballs & Sausages, and some will make it with Meatballs, Sausages, & Pork Spareribs .. You can also put in chicken thighs, Pig Skin Braciole (Coteca), beef or pork neck and other various meats.



Rigatoni e Ragu





“Always a Prized Item of the Italian-American Table”




by Daniel Bellino Z




Sophia Loren making Neapolitan Ragu

aka Sunday Sauce

aka Gravy

Recipe in Daniel Bellino-Zwicke ‘s SUNDAY SAUCE

available in Paperback and Kindle on



Sinatra N Sunday Sauce


SINATRA & SUNDAY SAUCE ?  Yes, they go together, Francis Albert Sinatra

& Sunday Sauce  ….




Get a copy of Daniel Bellino Z ‘s  SUNDAY SAUCE, pull out your favorite Sinata songs, cook up a batch of Sunday Sauce (Gravy) following the great recipe in Mr. Bellino’s book, put on the records, invite some friends, and have the greatest time imagineable  … eating some Pasta, the SUNDAY SAUCE, sip some Chianti, chat with your friends and listen to the sounds of Sinatra … “What could be better?” Not much I tell you.



FRANK at the table with friends and family …


Frank Sinatra



Sunday Suace and Other Reicpes Inside


A platter of SUNDAY SAUCE