Celebrate one of the most-beloved saints of modern times with “Farfalle a la Pio,” an easy and humble Italian sausage and pasta dish.
by Ryan Langr
St. Padre Pio: A Saint with “Super Powers”
St. Padre Pio is perhaps one of the most-beloved saints of modern times, so we’re celebrating his feast day Sept. 23 with a humble Italian pasta your family is sure to love to eat while you discuss the Capuchin Franciscan saint.
When I first heard about St. Padre Pio, I was in college and just starting to take charge of my spiritual life. If I’m being honest, what attracted me to him wasn’t his deep humility or his quiet acceptance of the stigmata. It was his “super powers.” The man could bilocate, levitate and read souls!
But more on that later, let’s make some pasta!
This pasta recipe is very easy, and my family loved it. As a busy parent trying to get dinner on the table in a timely manner, the thing I loved most about it was I didn’t have to make an extra sauce to serve with it. Just pour everything together, serve, and it is absolutely delicious.
Farfalle Pasta (bow tie): 12 ounces
Bell Peppers: 1 red, 1 green (My wife doesn’t like peppers, so I substituted flakes for some spice.)
Shallot: 1 diced
Olive oil: 4 tablespoons (I use more when needed.)
Plum tomatoes (roma are best): 5
Beef broth: 1 cup (Add a little more per your preference.)
parmesan cheese: 1 cup grated
Make and Bake
Put a pan on medium heat, and set the pot for pasta on to boil. Dice the shallot, tomatoes and peppers. Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the pan and dump in the shallots and peppers. Stir occasionally until the shallots are caramelized.
Add another teaspoon of olive oil to the pasta water along with a pinch of salt. Add the pasta. When the pasta is done (about 8 minutes), drain immediately and add to a large serving bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cover with a towel.
When onions are caramelized, add the Italian sausage. Break apart in the pan and stir frequently. Once the sausage is about half done (after about 5 minutes), add beef broth and diced tomatoes. Cook for another 5 to 7 minutes or until the sausage is cooked through.
Add parmesan to the pasta and cover with sausage mixture. Toss thoroughly until the cheese is melted. Add a little more olive oil if desired.
Saints and Superheroes
My 2-year-old daughter has made my heart melt many times, but lately one of them has been her calling me “super daddy.” What parent wouldn’t love that? She sometimes calls herself “super Mena” (short for Philomena), and I’m happy that she sees the potential in herself to be something great.
It doesn’t take a pop culture expert to realize our society is rather obsessed with superheroes. From movies to comic books, Halloween costumes to make-believe, kids from 2 to 99 are obsessed with being something more than human. It is a desire given to us by our Creator in the deepest depths of our hearts.
My daughter is too young to contemplate the finer characteristics that made St. Padre Pio a saint, but there is one thing she can latch onto even at an early age –Catholicism has superheroes too. A lot of them, in fact.
St. Padre Pio was a superhero for our modern faith. He was given gifts to more fully bring about the Kingdom of God, and he used them with humility, charity and kindness. Born in a southern Italian farming family, St. Padre Pio became well known after he had a vision of Jesus and received the stigmata, bleeding wounds similar to those inflicted on Jesus during his crucifixion. He went through years of skepticism, which he accepted humbly, but eventually was given permission to say Mass and hear confessions. Which he did … for hours and hours.
Catholics flocked to him, and here is where some of the legendary anecdotes of his healing powers come in. He was beatified by St. John Paul II in 2002 and is loved by many around the world. Given his example, I’m going to teach my daughter that to be great she doesn’t have to be bitten by a spider, have a lot of money, or bathe in radioactive waste. She only has to follow the will of God.
Dear God, you generously blessed your servant,
St. Pio of Pietrelcina,
with the gifts of the Spirit.
You marked his body with the five wounds
of Christ crucified, as a powerful witness
to the saving passion and death of your son.
Endowed with the gift of discernment,
St. Pio labored endlessly in the confessional
for the salvation of souls.
With reverence and intense devotion
in the celebration of Mass,
he invited countless men and women
to a greater union with Jesus Christ
in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.
Through the intercession of St. Pio of Pietrelcina,
I confidently beseech you to grant me
the grace of (here state your petition).
Glory be to the Father …
(three times). Amen.