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October 17

Saint of the day:

Saint Ignatius of Antioch

Patron Saint of the Church in eastern Mediterranean; Church in North Africa

Saint Ignatius of Antioch’s Story

Born in Syria, Ignatius converted to Christianity and eventually became bishop of Antioch. In the year 107, Emperor Trajan visited Antioch and forced the Christians there to choose between death and apostasy. Ignatius would not deny Christ and thus was condemned to be put to death in Rome.

Ignatius is well known for the seven letters he wrote on the long journey from Antioch to Rome. Five of these letters are to churches in Asia Minor; they urge the Christians there to remain faithful to God and to obey their superiors. He warns them against heretical doctrines, providing them with the solid truths of the Christian faith.

The sixth letter was to Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, who was later martyred for the faith. The final letter begs the Christians in Rome not to try to stop his martyrdom. “The only thing I ask of you is to allow me to offer the libation of my blood to God. I am the wheat of the Lord; may I be ground by the teeth of the beasts to become the immaculate bread of Christ.”

Ignatius bravely met the lions in the Circus Maximus.







St Ignatius of Antioch

(d. 107, Rome, Italy) (Relics: Rome, Italy)


Basilica di San Clemente

(Basilica of Saint Clement)

Via di San Giovanni in Laterano / Piazza San Clemente

Rome, Italy

*This church is east of the Colosseum.

*The remains of St Ignatius of Antioch and of St Clement I (d. 97) rest below the main altar.

*Also a chapel on the right side of the nave is dedicated to Saints Cyril (d. 869) and Methodius (d. 885).

The extant remains of St Cyril rest within the altar of this chapel.

*Tradition claims that St Cyril discovered some bones and an anchor while he was in Crimea.

These were believed to be the relics of St Clement I. St Cyril then carried them to Rome where they were placed in the Basilica of San Clemente.





Lebanese Pumpkin Hummus

  • 1 small firm* pumpkin (700 g of peeled and cored),
    I used butternut pumpkin / squash

  • 2-4 tbsp / 1/8-¼ cup lemon juice
    (depending on the sweetness of your pumpkin)

  • 1 garlic clove, pressed

  • 5 tbsp / ¼ cup + 1 tbsp tahini, hulled

  • ½ tsp salt, more to taste

  • ¼ tsp hot chilli powder (optional)

  • olive oil, for roasting

  • fresh parsley or coriander, to garnish

  • black and white sesame seeds, to garnish

  • 2 tsp chilli oil or extra virgin olive oil, to garnish


  1. Heat up the oven to 220° C / 425° F and line a baking tray with a piece of baking paper. Cut your pumpkin into evenly sized pieces and coat in a little olive oil. Bake for about 30 minutes – until soft and lightly caramelised. Alternatively, you can steam your pumpkin instead.

  2. Transfer pumpkin to a food processor (as opposed to the traditional hummus, a food processor works much better here than an upright blender). Add tahini, pressed garlic, salt, chilli, and lemon juice to taste. Whiz until smooth. If the paste is too thick, trickle in 1-2 tbsp of water to thin it out.

  3. Transfer the hummus onto a plate, smooth it with the back of a spoon. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil or chilli oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds and fresh herbs. Serve with toasted pita or sourdough bread and a selection of mezze dishes.

    *Choose a firmer and less watery pumpkin variety for this dip. For that reason, I used butternut pumpkin also known as butternut squash.



Parsley Pumpkin Seed Pesto

makes 3/4 cup


  • 1/2 cup parsley

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • 1 clove of garlic

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a food processor or blender, add the parsley, pumpkin seeds, lemon juice, and garlic and pulse until all of the ingredients are finely chopped.

  2. While the machine is running, add the olive oil slowly so that it thickens the sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

    *Add to plain hummus and it will make pesto hummus





Beetroot and Pumpkin Seed pesto

A colorful beetroot and pumpkin seed pesto.
Perfect with pasta, chicken or leftover meat. Add to your salad or a sandwich.


  • 300 g boiled beetroots

  • 100 g pumpkin seeds

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 75 g grated pecorino cheese (or parmesan)

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

  • Salt & pepper to taste

  • Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

  • Add salt and pepper to taste

  • Serve with pasta, chicken or have it on a sandwich.


  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

  2. Add salt and pepper to taste

  3. Serve with pasta, chicken or have it on a sandwich.

    *Add to plain hummus and it will make pesto hummus




Chickpea, Pumpkin, and Sage Stew


  • 2tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • 1medium carrot, chopped

  • 1/2medium yellow onion, chopped

  • 1small bunch sage leaves (6 to 8)

  • One15-ounce can chickpeas

  • One15-ounce can pure pumpkin purée

  • 1quart chicken broth, store-bought or homemade

  • 1 1/2cups ditalini, tubetti, or other small pasta like orzo


  1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add carrot, onion, and sage and cook, stirring occasionally, until carrot and onion are crisp and tender and sage is beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.

  2. Stir in chickpeas, pumpkin purée, and broth; bring to a boil. Add pasta and quickly simmer until pasta is al dente and soup has thickened, about 8 minutes. Divide soup among serving bowls and drizzle with oil before serving.

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