I hope you had a nice St. Anthony's Day.
St. Anthony is the Staccato household patron saint. The main reason is that my husband, Anthony, was born on St. Anthony's day, June 13th. This is something that would be obvious to many Italians. It's how my mother got to be named Udenzia, poor lady. I managed to escape the cycle, because I was breach and my mother's first child, so she was in a state of shock and she was on a lot of drugs which they give you if you really raise hell (recommended). So, while she was hallucinating, I was named Connie instead of Frances. Okay with me.
I've noticed that it's not a hard-and-fast rule, though. There aren't many guys out there named "Blessed Waldo", which is what you get if you're a New Year's baby and your father is really hungover.
The other reason that St. Anthony is our patron saint is that he's done us a few favors. His superpower is finding things. You want something found, you say:
St. Anthony, St. Anthony
Please look around.
Something's been lost
And cannot be found.
Then St. Anthony finds you what you were looking for. I'm convinced that he's the reason my son Nino found a job in Boston, after narrowly escaping a job offer in Memphis, and if you've ever had a cannoli from Mike's in Boston, you know why St. Anthony is worthy of our devotion.
We celebrate June 13th. A prayer of thanks to the good saint for rescuing me from a future of chicken fried steak. And some birthday treats for my husband. He got his usual calzone (recipe here), and I also made him a nice pesto out of my very own basil plants. Lucky bastard.
Don't eat this if you're planning to kiss anyone but your own children.
Toast about a half a cup of pine nuts in the oven. Just a few minutes, and watch them, or they'll burn. In a blender or a food processor put the pine nuts, 2 cups (packed) of fresh basil leaves, 2 cloves of raw garlic, a half a cup of grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, and a half a cup of olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Blend.
You can toss the pesto with pasta or use it for a pizza, but why? All you need is some good Italian bread, some cheese, a sliced tomato, and some wine. Maybe a little vintage Dino crooning on your stereo for ambience.
You've found the perfect summer dinner. Thank you, St. Anthony.