Wednesday, June 4, 2014

June 4: St. Francis Caracciolo

St. Francis Caracciolo


Saint Francis Caracciolo was born in Naples, Italy. When he was young, he came down with a terrible skin disease, but he was miraculously cured when he vowed to devote himself to God. So, he became a priest. Once, Fr. Giovanni Agostino Adorno wrote a letter to another Father Caracciolo about starting a new religious order, but it was delivered to Saint Francis Caracciolo by mistake. Saint Francis decided it was God’s will that he had received the letter instead of the other priest and agreed to help. Even after he was made the order’s leader, he continued to wash dishes, sweeping and so on, just like all the other brothers. He is the patron saint of Italian cooks.


Help your family by doing an extra chore today, just like Saint Francis, such as sweeping or washing dishes. Then, help prepare a delicious Naples-style meal for supper (or have pizza - the original "fast food" of Naples).

Salsicce al Pomodoro

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 45-50 minutes

(Serves 4)

  • 12-16 oz. ziti (or another pasta that you like)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds mild Italian link sausage, divided into individual links
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 28-ounce can Italian-style crushed tomatoes
  • (Optional) Pinch of hot red pepper flakes
  • Grated Romano or Parmesan cheese.
  • Roasted Broccoli (recipe follows, or replace with another green side dish)
  • (Optional) Italian bread

  • 1. Have one of the children prick the links several times with a fork. Heat oil in a deep 10-inch skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Arrange the sausage in the shimmering oil so that they are not touching. Brown the sausages lightly all over. This takes about 10 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary so neither the fat nor the brown bits in the pan burn. Pour or spoon off all the fat in the pan but keep the brown bits.

    2. Pour the can of tomatoes directly into the pan with the sausage. Season with hot pepper flakes, if you like. (You won't need salt.) Turn the heat to low and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes, until the sausages are cooked through and the sauce has thickened.

    3. Meanwhile, boil and drain the pasta according to package directions. Serve each person sausage, a little mound of pasta topped with the sauce and grated cheese, and a green side dish like Roasted Broccoli. 

    Roasted Broccoli

    (Serves 4)

  • 1 head of broccoli, washed and cut into bite-sized pieces. 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese

    1. Heat your oven to 425°. Prepare a large sheet pan (with sides, like a jelly-roll pan) with foil. 

    2. Toss the broccoli with olive oil. Spread in a single layer in the pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

    3. Roast for 20 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon at the 10- and 15-minute marks. When the broccoli is nicely roasted with a few spots of brown here and there, pull it out of the oven and immediately squeeze the lemon over all, followed by the grated cheese. 

    Saint Francis Caracciolo, pray for us!

  • More reading for parents: