Reginette "little queen" Pasta for Our Lady's Queenship

Several past Catholic Cuisine posts have shared ideas for pasta meals based on the symbolism of the pasta shape. There are hundreds of kinds of Italian pastas, and each one has its own special name and each pasta name actually means something.


Mafaldine or malfada, also known as reginette or reginelle (Italian for "little queens") is a type of ribbon-shaped pasta. Mafaldine were named in honor of Princess Mafalda of Savoy which is why they are also called "little queens." The pasta is flat and wide, usually about ½ inch in width, with wavy edges on both sides. The delicately fluted edges remind one of a crown. It is prepared similarly to other ribbon-based pasta such as linguine and fettuccine. On this feast of the Queenship of Mary (August 22) a pasta shape referencing a queen is perfect. It would also be a great pasta to serve up on any of the queen saints' feast days, such as St. Margaret of Scotland, St. Elizabeth of Hungary or St. Helena.

A variety of sauces could be served with this pasta. I chose a sun-dried tomato pesto which highlights the fresh bounty of basil from my August garden. Since August - the month of the Assumption and the one dedicated to the Immaculate Heart - is such a Marian month and is tied to herb harvest in her honor, it was fitting.


Reginette with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

Ingredients:
10 sun-dried tomatoes
1 tbsp pine nuts
2 tbsp grated parmesan
10 basil leaves
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 oz pasta

Directions:
In a blender, place the tomatoes, pine nuts, cheese, basil leaves and oil and blend at maximum power. Cook the pasta until al dente in boiling salted water, drain and stir in the pesto.

NOTE: Reginette/Reginelle pasta is not one of the most common shapes of pasta available in grocery stores. But I did find it available from Kroger as part of their HemisFares pasta brand. It is also available online and is specialty stores.

Our Lady, Queen of Heaven, Pray for us!

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Assumption Day and First Fruits


August 15, the feast of the Assumption, is a harvest feast day and associated with "first fruits". We are reminded that Mary goes before us in Faith and also as a first fruit of the Resurrection, of which all the faithful will experience at the end of time (1 Corinthians 15:20-21). In many Catholic counties Assumption Day marks the period for invoking blessings on various "fruits" or fruiting plants - - particularly vineyards/grapes, fruit trees, grains, and herbs.

One idea is to serve "First Fruits" shortcake and topped with whipped cream - symbolizing the clouds of the sky in scenes depicting Mary being raised into heaven. You can use a variety of fruits on packaged shortcake cups.

A very simple idea along the same lines is a fresh fruit tray with whipped cream for dipping.


Grapes are especially associated with the feast of the Assumption. Armenian communities all over the world bless grapes on Assumption Day. Great trays are piled high with ripe grapes and carried to church, where they receive the blessings of the priest. Since grapes so often have this prominence in Assumption feasting we will often have this refreshing grape enhanced salad on this feast day.


Silverglade Spinach Salad
Ingredients:
6 cups spinach, rinsed and stemmed
6 ounces cheese, shredded or cut into julienne strips (Cheddar or Jack or combo)
2 cups seedless grapes, halved
Dressing:
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons brown sugar
4 slices bacon, fried crisp, drained, & crumbled
2 green onions, sliced thin

Directions:
To prepare dressing, whisk together vinegar, oil. mustard, and brown sugar. Stir in bacon pieces and onion. Refrigerate. In a large bowl combine spinach, cheeses, and grapes. Toss with dressing. 

O Clement, O Loving, O Sweet Virgin Mary, Pray for us. 
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