St. Joseph’s Day Pasta

Today I am sharing with you this easy St. Joseph’s Day Pasta recipe. St. Joseph’s Day is on March 19th and it is in celebration of St. Joseph (San Giuseppe).

St. Joseph's Day Pasta

Now, let me tell you about the magic in this pasta. We start with mafaldine pasta, those beautiful ribbons that cradle the sauce just right. But it’s the simple yet profound combination of anchovies, garlic, and breadcrumbs that truly makes this dish sing.

You see, my friends, they’re not just any breadcrumbs. No, they represent the sawdust of St. Joseph, for he was a carpenter, a craftsman of wood. So as we sprinkle these breadcrumbs over our pasta, we honor his memory and craftsmanship with each bite.

St. Joseph's Day Pasta

St. Joseph’s Day Pasta

Pasquale Sciarappa
This simple yet flavorful pasta dish combines the robust flavors of anchovies, garlic, and breadcrumbs, creating a savory delight.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4


  • 12 oz. Mafaldine Pasta or spaghetti
  • 6 Anchovy Fillets packed in oil, drained
  • 1/2 cup Breadcrumbs preferably homemade
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1/2 tsp. Hot Pepper Flakes adjust to taste
  • Salt to taste


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Add the mafaldine pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Remember to stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Once cooked, drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Set the pasta aside.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat.
  • Gradually add the breadcrumbs to the skillet, stirring continuously to coat them evenly with the oil. Toast the breadcrumbs for 3-4 minutes until they turn golden brown. Adjust the heat as needed to prevent burning.
  • Remove from heat and transfer crumbs into a bowl and set aside. Wipe the skillet clean.
  • In the wiped down skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add the anchovy fillets to the skillet, breaking them apart with a wooden spoon.
  • Cook the anchovies in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes until they start to dissolve and infuse the oil with their flavor.
  • Add the minced garlic and hot pepper flakes to the skillet. Sauté for about 1 minute until the garlic becomes fragrant, being careful not to let it brown.
  • Pour 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water and half of the toasted breadcrumbs into the skillet and mix together until combined.
  • Add the cooked mafaldine to the skillet and gently toss the pasta with the anchovy breadcrumb mixture until well combined, ensuring that the pasta is evenly coated with the flavorful mixture.
  • If the pasta seems too dry, add some more of the reserved pasta cooking water gradually until you reach your desired consistency. Season the pasta with salt to taste, keeping in mind that the anchovies already contribute saltiness to the dish.
  • Transfer to serving plates or a large serving dish. Garnish with remaining toasted breadcrumbs, additional hot pepper flakes and/or pecorino cheese for additional flavor.


Keyword anchovies, breadcrumbs, comfort food, italian cuisine, Mafaldine, San Giuseppe, St. Joseph’s Day, St. Joseph’s Day Pasta
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