01/08/04  A Happy and Healthy 2004 from all at Angela's Farm!

"Tanti Auguri e Buon Anno a Tutti!

How is everyone feeling today? Of course, we're also sad that the holidays are over but all of us down at the farm sincerely wish everyone enjoyed their Christmas and New Year's. Here in Italy, many people look forward to a new year because it's a new start on old habits.

Here's an interesting fact: The Romans were the first to recognize New Years Day on January first. Rather than tie the day to some significant astronomical or agricultural event, in 153 BC the Romans selected it for civil reasons. It was the day after elections in which the newly elected assumed their positions.

Years later, Julius Caesar wanted to change the date to a more logical date but that year, January 1, 45 BC was the date of a new moon. To change it would have been bad luck. He did, however, change the calendar system from the Egyptian solar calendar to the "Julian" calendar, named for Caesar. July, the month of Caesar's birth, was also named after him to recognize him for his calendar reform.

Up unto 1582, Christian Europe continued to celebrate New Years Day on March 25. Pope Gregory XIII instituted additional calendar reforms bringing us the calendaring system of the day. The Gregorian calendar was adopted by Catholic countries immediately while the reformists, suspect of any papal policy, only adapted it after some time. Today most countries around the world have adopted this calendaring system.

Hope you enjoy this week's recipes! You have to give "Busecca" soup a try. It's a poor man's soup but it is very tasty!

This week's complimentary news article from "Only In Italy.com" tells of a love tale gone to some extremes in Acicastelo, Sicily.

Thanks again for subscribing and hope everyone starts 2004 with some new good (and bad) habits!


Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Busecca

Tripe Soup


2 lbs. tripe, the curly part (foiolo)
2 celery stalks
4 tbs. lard (or vegetable shortening)
3 sage leaves
2 tbs. butter
1 qt. vegetable broth
2 onions
6 slices of bread
1 carrot
3 tbs. grated Parmigiano


Cut the tripe and into thin julienne. Sauté onion and sage with lard and butter in a pot. When the onions are wilted (not brown), add the tripe.

Sauté for 5 mins. And then add the chopped carrot and celery. Add the vegetable broth and cook for 3-4 hours or until the tripe is cooked.

Place a slice of bread into a rimmed soup plate and pour over the soup. Serve grated Parmigiano on the side and offer freshly ground pepper.

Note: In other versions it is possible to add sliced potatoes and beans (fagioli bianchi di Spagna would be preferable). Beans are best when cooked separately then and added to the soup.

That's it!

 Recipe: Cacciucco Livornese

Cacciucco Livornese
Fish Stew Livornese Style

Caciucco is made with various types of rockfish, most of which are not found in the U.S. However, one can use many others sorts of fish such as red snapper, rock cod, halibut, bass, or any other firm-fleshed fish. According to tradition, this soup should contain at least 5 different sorts of fish, as many as the letter "C" in its name.


3 lbs. mixed fish
2/3 lb. octopus and/or squid
1 medium-size onion
1 carrot
1 celery stalk
2 pts. fish broth
1 tbs. parsley, chopped
1 whole hot red pepper (peperoncino)
3 cloves garlic
3 oz. extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 lb. ripe tomatoes
8 king prawns
6 slices bread, approx 1/2-in. thick


Clean and wash the fish well. Cut off the heads of the big ones, but leave the small ones whole. Cut the octopus and the squid into medium-size chunks.

Make a battuto with onion, carrots, celery, parsley, peperoncino and 2 cloves garlic. Put it in a saucepan together with the oil and sauté until the onions are golden and the vegetables begin to get tender. Add the squid and the octopus and cook over low heat, occasionally moistening with white wine. When the wine has evaporated add the tomatoes, peeled and seeded. Add salt and pepper to taste, and finish cooking the octopus and the squid.

This fish will probably take about 45 mins. to get tender. The best way is to try it with the fork. Then, move to another pot and keep aside. Add 1 pt. fish broth, all the small fish, and the heads of the large fish. Cook for 30 mins, stirring every now and then, and moistening with more broth as necessary. Sift and return the resulting strained broth to the pot (if too thick, add some more fish broth).

Fillet all remaining fish and place it in the pot together with the prawns. Cook for a few minutes, moistening if necessary. And then add the octopus and the squid. Remove from fire. Use a rimmed soup plate and pour the fish broth over the slices of bread that have been toasted and rubbed with garlic.

Finally, dish out the caciucco into each plate and serve.

That's it!

 Recipe: Conchiglie e Lenticchie

Conchiglie e Lenticchie
Pasta Shells with Lentils


1/2 lb lentils
1 whole onion, peeled
1 medium carrot
1 celery stalk
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons onion, chopped fine
1/2 cup pancetta or bacon, chopped
Salt and pepper
1 lb pasta shells
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano®


Boil the lentils with the onion, the carrot and the celery, and drain when tender.

In a saucepan, wide enough to contain the lentils, saute the garlic in the oil over medium heat until it becomes a pale brown in color. Remove the garlic, add the chopped onion and pancetta and sauté for a few minutes.

Add the lentils mixing thoroughly over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Cook the pasta, add the sauce and toss. Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and toss very thoroughly.

Serves 4-6.

That's it!

Submit Your Thoughts


 It Could Only Happen in Italy!

"Only In Italy" is a daily news column that translates and reports on funny but true news items from legitimate Italian news sources 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:

Sicily Man Arranges Shooting to Woo Woman.

Fri Dec 26 - ROME (Reuters) - A man in Sicily asked a friend to shoot him in the groin in the hope of making his ex-girlfriend feel sorry for him, police said on Friday.

Police in the central Sicilian city of Piazza Armerina said they became suspicious when the 27-year-old went to hospital with wounds from a hunting rifle's pellets in the groin area.

At first he said the wounds had been caused in a hunting accident, but later admitted he had asked a friend, 16, to shoot him in an attempt to win back the affection of his girlfriend, who had apparently left him because of his violent character.

The man's wounds are expected to heal, doctors said. Police said the man, and the 16-year-old, had been charged in connection with the shooting. Local reports said the man's ex-girlfriend had made clear she never wanted to see him again. .....Next time try a greeting card.

A bit of advice to men all over the world who seem to be obsessed with Italian women like this poor sap: Ever see a nature film where they show a coyote eat off his own leg to escape a trap?.....start chewing.

"Only In Italy" Subscribe today and feed your sense of intellectual superiority by reading and wondering how Italy still survives after 50+ governments. Click Here to Subscribe!

 Only In Italy.com

 Read Past Issues
 What's New?
 Order Our Oregano!
 Tour Our Oregano Farm
 Our Certification
 History of Oregano
 Uses of Oregano
 About Angela
 People are Talking!
 Customer Service
 Our Privacy Policy

 Submit Your Thoughts
 Email Angela



 Insalata di Pasta
 Eggplant Caponata
 Linguine con Gamberi
 Linguine with Tuna Roe
 Bucatini In White Sauce
 Macaroni with Sausage
 Grilled Breaded Steak
 Rabbit in Sauce

 More Recipes!



Questions: Need more Italian recipes? How about Italian gift ideas? Or just plain Italian fun?

Subscribe to these interesting newsletters from our closest and trustworthy Italian affiliates located here in Italy? Just click the sites that may interest you and sign up:

 Silver From Italy.com
 Cookies From Italy.com
 Only In Italy.com




Copyright ©2000-2004 FromItaly di Ciccarello. ISSN: 1724-7977. All Rights Reserved. Please read our Privacy Policy.