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June 2

Saint of the day:
Saint Erasmus

Patron Saint of sailors, Gaeta, Formia, colic in children, intestinal ailments and diseases,

cramps and the pain of women in labor, cattle pest, Fort St. Elmo, (Malta)

The Story of Saint Erasmus

St. Erasmus, also called Elmo, (died 303?, Formia, Italy; feast day June 2), early Christian bishop and martyr. He is one of the patron saints of sailors and is associated with Saint Elmo’s fire (the glow accompanying the brushlike discharges of atmospheric electricity that appears as a tip of light on the masts of ships during stormy weather) as the visible sign of his guardianship over them. Erasmus is one of the 14 Holy Helpers, a group of saints conjointly venerated for the power of their intercession. He is reported to have been bishop of Formia, where he was martyred, probably during the persecution of Christians by the Roman emperor Diocletian. According to Pope Gregory I (reigned 590–604), his relics were kept in the Cathedral of Formia. After the Saracens destroyed Formia in 842, Erasmus’ body was transferred to Gaeta, Italy, where he is honoured as patron saint. Several spurious acta have embellished his legend. According to these, he was a bishop in Syria who miraculously endured tortures under Diocletian in Lebanon, after which he was guided by an angel to Formia, where he performed many miracles. He has been confused with the Syrian St. Erasmus of Antioch; some scholars propose that they are the same person. Later legends attest that he was martyred by being disemboweled; thus, as a Holy Helper, he was invoked by those suffering from intestinal maladies. Elmo is an Italian corruption (through Sant’ Ermo) of St. Erasmus; other derivations include Ramus, Eramus, Ermus, Ermo, and Telmo. His legendary narrative is in Acta Sanctorum.











Bigilla – Maltese Bean Paste


  • 1 cup dried fava beans 

  • 2 cups water 

  • 2 tbsp olive oil 

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 3 large garlic cloves

  • 1 tsp chili flakes

  • 1/2 tbsp parsley chopped

To garnish

  • 1 tbsp parsley chopped

  • 1 chili pepper

  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes

  • olive oil drizzle


  1. Start by soaking the dried fava beans from a day before you plan to cook the bigilla. In a large bowl place the dried beans and cover with water. Let it sit for a day whilst checking if more water is needed.

  2. The next day, rinse the beans and add the beans to a large pot with the water. Bring the beans to a boil. While it is boiling, you’ll notice some foam on the surface. Remove the foam with a slotted spoon. 

  3. Cover and let it simmer for about an hour. Check the beans if they need more water. Let it cook for another 30 minutes and check for doneness. If the beans are still a bit hard let them cook for another 30 minutes.

  4. Once the beans are cooked, remove the excess water. Do not discard the water in which the beans cooked in for now. Add the beans to a food processor.

  5. Together with the beans, add two tbsps of the water in which the beans were cooked in, olive oil, salt, garlic, chili flakes and parsley. Pulse together until all the beans are broken and you have a thick paste. Add more water if the consistency is too thick.

  6. To serve, simply place the dip into a bowl and top with parsley, chili flakes and a diced chili pepper. Finally drizzle a good quality olive oil on top. Serve with warm bread or galletti.

Galletti (Maltese Water Crackers)

Maltese typical light and crispy water biscuit crackers.


  • 400 g plain flour

  • 100 g semolina

  • 200 ml water lukewarm

  • 30 g butter melted

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 7 g dry active yeast 1 sachet


  1. In a small bowl mix the lukewarm water, yeast and sugar. Let the mixture foam for about 15 minutes.

  2. Combine all the dry ingredients together; flour, semolina, and salt. Once mixed together add the melted butter and the activated yeast and mix together.

  3. Knead the dough for some minutes, until you get a smooth soft dough.

  4. Place the dough in a bowl, cover and let it rest for an hour.

  5. Preheat the oven to 180°C or 350°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Set aside.

  6. If you have a pasta machine you can use it, or else a normal rolling pin can do the job. Divide the dough into about 8 pieces as it's best to work is small batches. Roll the dough to about 2mm thick.

  7. With a narrow glass or a small cookie cutter cut the galletti and place them on the baking tray. With a toothpick or fork, make five holes in the middle of each galletta. This will help the dough not to fill with air and puff up while cooking.

  8. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, until they get a golden colour. Let them cool. You might need to cook all the dough in several batches as this will depend on your oven and baking trays.

  9. They can be enjoyed immediately or later. If stored in an air tight container these galletti can last for about a week as they'll keep their crunchiness.

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