Today, March 19, is the feast day of San Giuseppe (St. Joseph), who is not only the patron saint of families but, in the Sicilian tradition, is associated with a number of celebratory dishes, the most famous of which is zeppole, balls of fried dough which may or may not be filled with cream.
At his two Mineola restaurants, Maxxels (526 Jericho Tpke., 516-294-3604) and pastaVino (149 Mineola Blvd., 516-294-1715), Carmelo Sapuppo (born in Regalbuto, Sicily) is serving zeppole topped with pastry cream as well as pasta con sarde, the Sicilian “national” dish consisting of bucatini pasta, sardines, pine nuts, raisins and fennel. Sapuppo is also serving a family favorite, pappardelle di Giuseppe, sauced with anchovies, raisins, tomato and bread crumbs, and then lightly browned in the oven.
At Da Angelo (815 Willis Ave., Albertson, 516-741-8694), Angelo Giangrande is serving pasta con sarde—which I have personally enjoyed in years past. Pasta con sarde will also grace the menus of Casa Rustica (175 W Main St, Smithtown, 631-265-9265) and La Volpe (611 Montauk Hwy. Center Moriches, 631-874-3819) where it is known as bucatini chi sardi.
St. Joseph, left, with an angel, the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus in Caravaggio’s “Rest on the Flight into Egypt,” from Rome’s Galleria Doria Pamphilij.