Thursday, April 24, 2008

San Marco Pasta and Animal Cakes

I love all the ideas for St. Mark's feast day! Since Jessica had commented that so many of the recipes from Cooking with the Saints were complex, I thought I should put in a plug for this one recipe for St. Mark's Feast Day. I tried it two years ago, and mentioned it on my blog. This makes a lot of pasta and vegetables, so next time I would definitely cut back. If you're abstaining from meat, I'd either save this for Saturday or skip the chicken and make it a vegetarian feast. But it's really, really delicious!

Pasta San Marco

San Marco Sauce
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 lb. chicken meat, skinned, boned, and cubed
1 medium onion, diced
2 large carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
1 cup chicken stock
3 1/2 cups canned plum tomatoes
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. rosemary (I omitted)
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
cornstarch (optional, for thickening)

1 1/2 lb. fettuccine (we use Tinkyada rice pasta because of food allergies)
1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 medium green pepper, cut in julienne strips
1 medium red pepper, cut in julienne strips
2 cups broccoli florets (approx. 2 broccoli crowns)
1-2 medium zucchini, sliced
1-2 medium yellow squash, sliced
3 Tbsp. olive oil

Preheat large, heavy skillet with tight-fitting lid, or large heavy pot with lid, over moderate high heat and add oil. Add chicken to pan when oil is fragrant and sauté, stirring and turning frequently for 5 minutes until browned on all sides. Add onions, carrots, and celery and sauté until onion becomes translucent. Add garlic and sauté for half a minute. Add chicken stock and loosen ingredients off the bottom of pan. Add final ingredients, stir and put on gentle simmer and cover for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The chicken should be tender, but not soft. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta. When finished, add olive oil and toss to prevent it from sticking.

Prepare the vegetables, julienne strips for the peppers, small florets for the broccoli, 1/4 inch thick slices and halved for the yellow squash and zucchini. Add olive oil to a heavy saucepan and sauté the vegetables until just crisp-tender.

Mix together pasta, sautéed vegetables and sauce in large bowl and serve promptly.

This should feed about 8 people.
I don't limit myself to the actual feast day for celebrating with food. Sometimes we can't always do it all in one day, but if it's an important feast day, or if it's enjoyed by my son, we spread out the celebration and discussion. And even my favorite cookbook author, Florence Berger mentioned how she saves a recipe for later in the year.

The lion cupcakes are so cute! To continue the lion theme or finding other animal cakes for other feasts (and perhaps a retro adventure), first see Helen McLoughlin's Lion Cake from her book, My Nameday, Come for Dessert. It wasn't until much later that I realized that the ideas for her cut-up cakes came from Baker's Coconut little booklets, such as this one, Animal Cut-Up Cakes. I love the idea of cutting up a cake to make unique creations (very frugal and creative), but I'll hold back on the coconut.

Tradition has said that the young man in St. Mark's Gospel that flees from the Garden when Jesus was arrested was actually St. Mark. Now how to incorporate clothing in the dinner menu? ;-) Pin It

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for all the wonderful information!!

    I just might have to give that recipe a try. It looks (as shown in Cooking with the Saints) and sounds delicious! Maybe on Saturday since we have the Risi e Bisi planned for tomorrow.

    Also, those Animal Cut-up cakes are darling!!