01/03/06 Schiacciata alla Fiorentina from OreganoFromItaly.com

"Buona sera!" Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Pappa al Pomodoro
  -Calamari Salad
  -Schiacciata alla Fiorentina

Hope you enjoy these tasty but quite simple Italian recipes! Enjoy the complimentary news article report from "Only In Italy.com".

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Pappa al Pomodoro

Pappa al Pomodoro
Bread and Tomato Soup


500 g (about 2 cups) peeled tomatoes, chopped
250 g (about 1/2 lb) stale bread (preferably Tuscan bread), cut into smallish pieces
1 liter (about 4 cups) vegetable broth, warmed
4 cloves of garlic, minced
Basil, chopped coarsely
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (you can also use seasoned or spicy oil)
Salt and pepper


Place the stale bread in a large bowl and pour the warm broth over it, cover and set aside for at least 1 hour.

Over medium heat and in a wide pot, pour the oil and sauté the garlic.

Add the tomatoes and a dash of salt and pepper. Simmer for about 20 minutes.

Go back to your bread, which should have absorbed most of the broth. Add the bread to the pot, squeezing it a bit with your hand as you do so to eliminate any excess broth.

Cook for at least 15 minutes, stirring every so often with a wooden spoon.

Serve warm, adding a bit of fresh cut basil and a swirl of good olive oil on top. Serves 4.

That's it!

 Recipe: Calamari Salad

Calamari Salad


2 lb squid cleaned
1/4 cup dry white wine
Salt to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
2 garlic cloves peeled, whole
1/4 tsp dried hot red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs fresh parsley

Vinaigrette Dressing:

2 tsp finely-minced garlic
3 Tbsp finely-chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 cup finely-chopped red onion
1/2 cup olive oil


Prepare squid by cutting the tube into strips about 1/2-inch wide and tentacles into bite-sized pieces. There should be about 3 1/2 cups.

Put the squid into a saucepan or small kettle and add the wine, salt, pepper, garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, bay leaf and parsley sprigs and enough water to cover the squid.

Bring to a boil and reduce heat, cover and let the squid cook about 1 minute or just until the squid gets firm.

Mix vinaigrette ingredients in a bowl and toss the cooked squid with the vinaigrette. Serve warm or cold. Serves 4.

That's it!

 Recipe: Schiacciata alla Fiorentina

Schiacciata alla Fiorentina
Florentine Sponge Cake


250 g all-purpose flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (or 50g lard)
1 cup milk
Grated orange peel from 1 orange
1/2 tsp saffron powder
90 g sugar
2 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
Powdered sugar to decorate


In a medium bowl, mix all of the ingredients and beat thoroughly until the batter is smooth and thick with no lumps.

Grease a shallow rectangular baking pan and pour in the batter (the schiacciata should be about 2 cm high).

Bake at 150°c for 30 minutes. Sprinkle plenty of powdered sugar on top of the cake. Seves 12.

That's it!

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 Only In Italy!

"Only In Italy" is a daily news column that translates and reports on funny but true news items from legitimate Italian news resources in Italy. Each story is slapped with our wild, often ironic, and sometimes rather opinionated comments. And now, for your reading pleasure, a sample of today's edition:

Former Porn Star to Run in Milan's Mayoral Race.

Associated Press - Marta Falconi - Rome - August 6 - Ex-porn star Ilona Staller, once a member of the Italian Parliament, said Friday she would run for mayor of Milan, the Italian financial capital that she says could benefit from having a casino.

Staller, better known by her performing name "Cicciolina," told The Associated Press she hopes to win the 2006 mayor race as an independent so she can make Milan "an exciting place."

"'Exciting' is an ambiguous word, I know, that is why people like it. I want to open a casino in the Sforzesco Castle so City Hall can have more money," she said.

The castle is a 15th-century monument in the heart of Milan that draws tourists and hosts cultural programs.

She is trying to collect 1,000 signatures to get on the Milan ballot. Staller, 52, emigrated from Hungary in the 1970s. She entered politics in 1987 by winning a seat in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Parliament, on the Radical party ticket.

In 1991, she married American pop artist Jeffrey Koons, who had hired her to pose with him in sexually explicit photos, paintings and sculptures exhibited in galleries. They divorced in 1993.

In 2002, she was unsuccessful in efforts to win a seat in the Hungarian parliament and the mayorship of the Italian town of Monza.

"Seriamente" Women's suffrage had a difficult fight in Italy. It wasn't until 1925 that women gained the right to vote, and even then it was only limited. And when Mussolini took power, he rescinded even that meager concession.

Full and total participation for women in the Italian political process simply never existed before the end of World War II. There's no telling how many of those women who first tasted political equality in 1945 went on to elect one of their gender in 1987. Cicciolina wasn't the first female member of the Italian Parliament, but she was doubtless the most famous internationally.

Her public notoriety as a porn star is what drew people to her campaign rallies. That, plus the fact that her political speeches always included a glimpse of her left breast and sometimes even a complete striptease.

After winning a seat in Parliament, Cicciolina continued acting in adult videos for another two years.

She proposed on two separate occasions to sleep with Saddam Hussein if he would just agree to end the international conflicts he was causing.

Her most famous and incredibly intelligent quotes:

"I am available to make love with Saddam Hussein to achieve peace in the Middle East."

"My breasts have never done anyone any harm, while bin Laden's war has caused thousands of victims."

"I am here not showing my breasts. Now I am speaking about poor people so it is not necessary -- not because I don't have beautiful breasts ... even now. But it's not necessary showing because poor people have no interest in my breasts."

It must be a comfort to know that she and her left breast sent the 'Women's Movement' back 118 years. And not to mention that her face could be an advertisement for liquor...hard liquor!

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