Many people around the world will celebrate the Feast of St. Joseph, or La Festa di San Giuseppe, today. The holiday's roots date back to the middle ages, when Sicily underwent a major drought that threatened a massive famine. The locals prayed to their patron saint to bring them relief in the form of rain. In exchange, they promised to honor St. Joseph (the husband of the Virgin Mary) with a proper feast. Sure enough, he answered their prayers and thus started Italian national holiday and the tradition of "La Festa di San Giuseppe" celebrated with family gatherings and traditional dishes. Two of the most common dishes for La Festa di San Giuseppe are "Pasta con le Sarde (pasta with sardines) and Zeppole or Sfinci (depending on the region)
Growing up, St Joseph's Day was always a little extra special in our house since my dads name is Giuseppe and there were always 2 staples: Sfinci and Pasta con le Sarde
-Zeppole or Sfinge — dough fritters covered in sugar — are also traditionally eaten on this day. Depending on where they are consumed, they can be be simple fried doughnut holes, custard or jelly-filled, or the equivalent of cream puffs made from choux pastry, similar to the French profiterole.
The pastries may be fried or baked and are sometimes
filled with a sweetened ricotta, pastry cream, or custard.