Candele Pasta

I’ve been dying to check out this pasta ever since I saw Marianne Esposito cook it on one of her Ciao Italia programs. It’s called candele because it’s supposed to resemble the candles used in religious processions. Gotta love those Italians…

It’s an interesting pasta in that it is two feet long – but you break it before cooking! That’s totally unheard of in Italian cooking! But… I trust Marianne…

Candele Pasta

I used an eggplant pasta sauce I had in the freezer, but I’m going to share Marianne’s recipe because that’s what I was going to make before deciding to use what I already had…

It’s also the recipe that took me to the Eataly website and had me spending $80.00 on various pastas and other fun foods.

Melanzana con Pasta Candele

from Marianne Esposito – Ciao Italia

  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 anchovies in olive oil, chopped, or more to taste
  • 1 pound Italian purple eggplant or Japanese eggplant, diced
  • 2 tablespoons capers in brine, drained
  • 8 green olives, chopped, cerignola preferred
  • One 28-ounce can DOP whole San Marzano tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 pound candle pasta, broken into 2-inch pieces
  • Grated Pecorino Romano cheese for sprinkling

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the onion; cook until the onion begins to wilt; then add the garlic and cook a minute longer. Stir in the tomato paste and coat the ingredients well. Add the anchovies and mix in. Add the eggplant, capers and green olives and cook a couple of minutes.

Use your hands to squeeze the tomatoes over the eggplant. Stir the mixture well. Cover and cook about 20 minutes or until the eggplant is soft; add salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm.

Break the candle pasta into about 2 inch pieces. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water and add to the eggplant sauce.

Drain pasta and transfer to eggplant in sauté pan; stir well. Serve with grated Pecorino Romano cheese.

If you cannot find candle pasta in your local grocery store, check the internet for suppliers. is one that offered it when the show was produced.

And, because I’ve been jonesin’ for some good sourdough, I made some sourdough rolls!

Sourdough rolls

It’s been a while since I baked rolls. These will make some great sandwiches during the week.

The recipe is a spin on Martha’s Crusty French Rolls recipe that I make now and again. I switched out flours, used my sourdough starter in the ‘fridge, and, generally, just winged it as far as actual measurements go – but they came out great.

A successful Sunday supper!