ASK FATHER: Appurtenant pasta for a Pentecost repast – REPOSTED

From a reader…


Since Pentecost is known for tongues as of flame descending upon the faithful, is there an traditional linguini dish often served on this feast day?

Good for you for asking in advance.  As of this writing, Pentecost is some three weeks away.

Firstly, let’s clarify that the plural is linguine, which in Italian means “little tongues”.   You don’t usually see the singular of spaghetti (uno spaghetto) or of linguine (una linguina – “una lingua”).  This is all feminine, so let go of that “liguini”.

Pentecost brings to mind imagery of tongues of fire.   Hence, linguine and some sort of treatment which is spicy hot.

One classic way to use this shaped pasta is linguine all’astice, that is linguine with lobster and/or other mud critters.  Get the live critters if you can.

You have some choices to make.  In Italian astice and aragosta are different animals.  Astice are the “red lobster” and aragosta are “rock lobster”.   You might also try big prawns, gamberi, though you won’t get the color.

You will need a large pan.  They turn a lovely red when cooked.  I’d use lots of pomodorini, little tomatoes.  Lots of garlic and (red) hot pepper, peperoncino.  You could add some thin slices of red bell pepper.  Abundant chopped Italian parsley.   Also, think basics: really good olive oil, white wine for the preparation, pepper, lemons.

Presentation: split all the parts, including the claws, before you plate it.  It might be good to make one great platter to serve family style.

Wine: Falanghina… Greco di Tuffo… Vernaccia…. Gavi dei Gavi La Scolca… (black label)

Variant: use saffron



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. APX says:

    I was honestly expecting some type of pasta dish made with some animal’s tongue. Glad to be wrong. Not that there’s anything wrong with eating animal tongue.

  2. Charivari Rob says:


    Hmmm…. I wonder how the critters would go with the “waterless pasta” I’ve made from one of the Lidia programs. A good bit of pepperoncini in that one. Thinner pasta, though, if I recall….

  3. benedetta says:

    We had linguine with clams tonight.

  4. PostCatholic says:

    Roses are a big thing in Italy on Pentecost, as I remember (well, in Tropea, which is where I was the only time I was in Italy on Pentecost). People threw rose petals outside the Duomo. Maybe a risotto that uses rosewater as a flavoring agent? I also seem to remember a tradition of eating white things when I was a student in Ireland for “Whitsunday.” Tip for a non-alcoholic wine alternative: add rosewater to a jug of lemonade and you get something with surprising complexity.

  5. Kathleen10 says:

    My gosh that looks good.

  6. teomatteo says:

    Why not a recipe with cow tongue?

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