Zeppole di San Giuseppe (St. Joseph’s Day Traditional Italian Pastries)



Zeppole di San Giuseppe (St. Joseph’s Day Traditional Italian Pastries) – a delicious custard filled dessert, and it looks easy to make. At least I hope so, I will try to make this on the weekend.

March 19 is also celebrated in Italy as Father’s Day, and in our Catholic Calendar, it is a Feast Day for us as we celebrate Saint Joseph. Back in the early part of the 19th century, Pasquale Pintauro, a Neapolitan baker, is credited with creating Zeppole pastries.

They are custard-filled pastries topped with cherry. There are many recipes on how to make this, but I like this one which is baked and not fried.

Saint Joseph’s Zeppole


For the zeppole
1 cup water
1 cup all-purpose or ‘00’ flour
¾ stick butter, cut into small pieces 
4 large eggs
1 pinch salt
1 tsp. sugar 

For the custard:
2¼ cup milk
1 cup sugar
6 large egg yolks
1 tsp. maizena (cornstarch)
1 vanilla bean

For the decoration
Amarena cherries or candied cherries
powdered sugar


Start by preparing the custard. Heat the milk in a saucepan with the vanilla bean opened halfway. 
Separately, beat the egg yolks with the sugar in a bowl and add the cornstarch. Remove the vanilla bean from the milk and slowly pour it over the egg mixture, stirring constantly until the custard is thickened. Let the custard cool in a bowl covered with plastic wrap.

Next, prepare the choux pastry dough. Place butter pieces in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, and pour in the water. Add the salt and 1 tsp. sugar and bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon.

As soon as the water is boiling, remove the pot from the heat and pour in the sifted flour in one go, stirring quickly with a whisk and then continuing with a wooden spoon. A ball will form. Keep stirring for around 10 minutes, until a white patina forms on the bottom of the pan.

Pour the mixture into a bowl and let it cool. Then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing the mixture well. When the dough is smooth and uniform, place it in a piping bag with a star-shaped nozzle and press it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Form circles around 3″ in diameter, overlapping the pastry twice. 

Preheat the ventilated oven to 375°F and bake the zeppole for 25-30 minutes until golden brown on the surface. Do the toothpick test: if it emerges from the dough dry, the pastries are ready. Transfer them out of the oven and let them cool.

Once cold, cut them in half, stuff them with cream in the middle and on top and garnish with sour or candied cherries.

God Bless and Happy Baking 💖


My friend Joanne read my blog reminder to pray the Saint Joseph Novena, and she texted me back with a traditional pasta dish her family makes to celebrate St. Joseph’s feast day. Joanne swears it’s delicious!

This is new for me (breadcrumbs and raisins in pasta), and I will definitely make it for my family.

Repost from: https://www.shelovesbiscotti.com/saint-josephs-day-spaghetti-recipe/

a close up of Saint Josephs Day Spaghetti.

St. Joseph’s Spaghetti, aka Spaghetti di San Giuseppe, is a pasta dish recipe traditionally served on March 19th and Christmas Eve. A plate of spaghetti which has been coated with a mixture of olive oil, toasted breadcrumbs, walnuts, garlic, golden raisins and parsley. 

A large serving bowl of Saint Josephs Day Spaghetti Recipe


Think about this for a minute: a plate of carbs (pasta), served with more carbs (toasted breadcrumbs). The breadcrumbs in this recipe are very symbolic – they are meant to represent sawdust (since Saint Joseph was a carpenter), and cheese (since this was a poor man’s dish).

This is a classic example of cucina povera -which literally means “cooking of the poor”.


  • Olive oil: Extra virgin if available.
  • Garlic: Feel free to use more than the stated amount.
  • Coarse breadcrumbs: Homemade if possible.
  • Walnuts: Chopped finely.
  • Parsley: Provides a wonderful contrast in color as well as a clean bright flavor.
  • Golden raisins: A wonderful burst of sweetness.
  • Spaghetti: The pasta of choice when making this dish. Look for spaghetti no 5.
  • Orange rind: Optional, but provides a citrus undertone.

Optional ingredient: Anchovies

As far as accessories are concerned, you will need a large pot to cook the pasta as well as a colander. Also required is a wooden board and a sharp knife to properly chop up the garlic, walnuts and parsley.  Finally a large skillet and a wooden spoon to stir fry a few of the ingredients.


In a large skillet, saute the garlic in the olive oil for a few minutes. If using anchovies, add a couple of them at this point.

Add the breadcrumbs and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and continue to saute. Add the walnuts, raisins and parsley and saute this mixture until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and toasty.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti according to your package label.

Add one cup of pasta water to the bread mixture if it appears dry.

Once the spaghetti is cooked, simply combine the two by layering in a large bowl.

This pasta dish can be served hot or at room temperature.

Course: Main

Cuisine: Italian

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 6 servings

Calories: 903kcal

Author: Maria Vannelli RD


  • 8 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 cups unseasoned coarse breadcrumbs
  • 2 cups finely chopped walnuts about 200 grams
  • 4 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
  • 3/4 cup of golden raisins plumped (about 100 grams)
  • 1 pound spaghetti 454 grams (1 package)
  • salt to taste
  • pepper and crushed red pepper flakes to taste
  • Orange peel optional


  • In a large skillet, over medium heat, heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Sauté the garlic until fragrant, 1-2 minutes (do not brown).
  • Reduce heat to medium low and add the breadcrumbs.
  • Add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil and combine. Stir together for about 2 minutes (breadcrumbs will get slightly toasted and should absorb the oil).
  • Add the chopped walnuts and stir fry for another 2 minutes.
  • Add raisins and parsley. Stir to combine for 1-2 minutes. Set aside. Add up to 1 cup of the cooking water (from the pasta) if the mixture appears to dry.OPTIONAL: Add orange peel and combine with the raisins and parley.
  • Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.
  • Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente.
  • Drain the pasta and reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water. Drizzle 2 more tablespoons of olive oil.
  • In a large serving dish, alternate layers of pasta and bread mixture (top with bread mixture). Note: Remove orange rind if used in the mixture.
  • Garnish with parsley and drizzle remaining olive oil.

God Bless and Happy Cooking 💖