01/20/10 Penne in Ragł

"Non domandare all'oste se ha buon vino." (Don't ask the host if he has good wine.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Penne in Ragł
  -Pasta with Eggplant, Capers, and Olives
  -Fish Stew

All of us at the farm sincerely hope you'll enjoy your recipes with good health and happiness!

Thanks again for subscribing!

Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Penne in Ragł

Penne in Ragł


4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces Italian sweet sausage, casings removed
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
2 cups finely chopped canned whole Italian-style plum tomatoes
1 cup (or more) chicken broth
1/2 cup Chianti or other dry red wine
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

12 ounces Penne pasta
1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese


Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.

Add sausage, garlic, and crushed red pepper; saute until brown, breaking up with fork, about 6 minutes.

Add carrots, onion, and celery; saute until beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.

Mix in tomatoes.

Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add 1 cup broth and wine; simmer uncovered until liquid is slightly reduced, about 15 minutes.

Add basil; cover and simmer until vegetables are very tender, adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls if liquid evaporates too quickly and stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes.

Simmer uncovered until ragł thickens to desired consistency, stirring often, about 10 minutes longer.

Season lightly with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated. Rewarm over medium heat before using.)

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente'.

Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

Return pasta to pot.

Mix in ragł, 1/2 cup cheese, and 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Add cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls to moisten, if desired.

Season with salt and pepper.

Divide pasta among plates. Serve, passing 1/2 cup cheese separately. Makes 6 first-course servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Pasta with Eggplant, Capers, and Olives

Pasta with Eggplant, Capers, and Olives
Pasta Mille Gusti


1 eggplant (1 and 1/4 lb), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 and 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons salt-packed capers
1 red bell pepper
4 cups plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin oil
10 green olives, pitted
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh marjoram
3 garlic cloves
1 anchovy fillet, rinsed and chopped
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 lb Penne rigate or fusilli

Special equipment: a deep-fat thermometer


Toss eggplant with salt in a colander set in a large bowl, then let drain, tossing occasionally, 1 hour.

While eggplant drains, rinse capers in a sieve and transfer to a small bowl.

Cover capers with water by 2 inches and soak 30 minutes.

Drain, then repeat soaking.

Drain and rinse capers, then squeeze dry and coarsely chop.

Roast bell pepper on rack of a gas burner over moderately high heat, turning with tongs, until skin is blackened, about 5 minutes. (Or broil pepper on a broiler pan about 5 inches from heat, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes.)

Transfer to a bowl, then cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let pepper steam 10 minutes.

When cool enough to handle, peel pepper and discard seeds, stem, and ribs.

Pat pepper dry and puree in a blender until smooth.

Rinse eggplant and pat dry thoroughly.

Heat 4 cups olive oil in a 4-quart pot over high heat until it registers 375°F on thermometer.

Fry one third of eggplant, stirring gently, until just golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.

Fry remaining eggplant in 2 batches, returning oil to 375°F between batches.

Pulse together olives, basil, mint, parsley, marjoram, and 2 garlic cloves in a food processor until finely chopped.

Finely chop remaining garlic clove and cook in olive oil along with anchovy in a 5-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring, until anchovy dissolves and garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.

Increase heat to moderate and stir in pepper puree, then cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Stir in olive mixture, capers, and wine and cook, stirring, until wine is evaporated, about 1 minute.

Stir in eggplant (sauce will be very thick) and remove from heat. Keep warm, covered.

Cook pasta in a 6 to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente', then drain and stir into sauce.

Season with salt. Makes 4 main-course servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Fish Stew

Fish Stew
Zuppa di Pesce


For the Soup:
1 lb cleaned squid, bodies and tentacles separated but kept intact
1/2 lb large shrimp in shell (21 to 25 per lb), peeled, leaving tail and first segment of shell intact, and deveined
12 small hard-shelled clams such as littlenecks (less than 2 inches in diameter), scrubbed
12 mussels (preferably cultivated), scrubbed and beards removed
1 lb skinless halibut fillet, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1 cup dry white wine
4 and 1/2 cups water
4 cups fish stock or bottled clam juice (32 fl oz)
2 (14-oz) cans diced tomatoes in juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

For the Garlic Toasts:
1 (12-inch) Italian loaf, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, halved crosswise
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Prepare the Soup:
Rinse squid under cold running water and pat dry. If squid are large, halve ring of tentacles, then cut longer tentacles crosswise into 2-inch pieces.

Pull off flaps from squid bodies and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices.

Cut bodies crosswise into 1/4-inch thick rings.

Pat shrimp dry and sprinkle with pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Heat olive oil in a wide 6 to 8-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sear shrimp in 2 batches, turning over once, until golden but not cooked through, about 2 minutes per batch.

Transfer shrimp with a slotted spoon to a bowl.

Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and oregano to pot and saute, stirring, until golden, about 30 seconds.

Add wine and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil.

Stir in clams and cook, covered, over moderately high heat until shells open wide, checking frequently after 6 minutes and transferring as opened with a slotted spoon to bowl with shrimp. (Discard any unopened clams after 8 minutes.)

Stir in mussels and cook, covered, over moderately high heat until shells open wide, checking frequently after 3 minutes and transferring as opened with a slotted spoon to bowl with shrimp. (Discard any unopened mussels after 6 minutes.)

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F.

Add stock to pot along with remaining 4 cups water, tomatoes with juice, sugar, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes.

Prepare the Toasts (while stock simmers):
Arrange bread slices in 1 layer on a baking sheet, then drizzle with olive oil and season with salt.

Bake, turning over once, until golden, about 10 minutes total.

Transfer toasts to a rack to cool slightly, then rub lightly with cut sides of garlic and sprinkle with parsley.

Finish Soup:
Add halibut to stock and cook at a bare simmer, covered, until just cooked through, about 2 minutes.

Stir in squid and reserved shellfish, then remove from heat and let stand, covered, 1 minute.

Stir in basil and parsley and serve immediately, with toasts alongside for dipping. Makes 6 to 8 main-course servings.

That's it!

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 Only In Italy!

"Only In Italy" is a daily news column that translates & 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:

Valentine in Italian

Rome - February 10, 2009 - You can take inspiration from the 'country of romance' by learning some lovely Italian phrases to say to your sweetheart on Valentine's Day. This will cost you nothing but a bit of time and effort and will sound sexy when whispered into your lover's ear.

Italians are in love with love and romance. They revel in the news of any engagement, marriage or birth of a baby. As you stroll through any town in Italy, you will see lovers intertwined and oblivious to anything going on around them. Romance and passion are a necessity for Italians.

This has always been true in Italy: think of Romeo and Juliet, Casanova, Marcello Mastroianni, and Sofia Loren or Raoul Bova and Diane Lane in "Under the Tuscan Sun ".

Consider the songs of Andrea Bocelli; while the music is beautiful, so much of the emotion has to do with the passionate words he is emoting.

What of the many romantic movies filmed in Italy such as Room With a View, Under The Tuscan Sun, Respiro, Summertime and many, many more?

You can be as romantic as any Italian by using a few simple phrases listed below:

"Ti amo" (tee ah moe): I love you (but please...stop aging!)

"Ti adoro" (tee ah door oh): I adore you (and that protruding belly you can't keep under control)

"Mi manchi" (me mahn kee): I miss you (and your constant smell of ricotta)

"Ti penso sempre" (tee pen so sehm pray): I always think about you (when it's time to eat)

"Sei sempre nel mio cuore" (say sehm pray nell me oh kwo ray): You are always in my heart (when your beautiful brother/sister is not around)

"Voglio baciarti" (volley oh bah char tee): I want to kiss you (when I smell your cheap Napolitano after-shave)

"Sei molto bella/bello" (say mohl toe bell ah/oh): You are very beautiful/handsome (when you're making tomato sauce)

"Mi manchi come l'aria che respiro" (me mahn kee ko may la ree ah kay res pier oh): I miss you like the air that I breathe (when I clean out the chicken shed)

"Vaffanculo!" (vah fon ku low): Happy Valentine's Day!

"Only In Italy" Subscribe for free and day in and day out, 5 days a week, you'll have laughter, tears and intelligent commentary all blaring at you from your stupid little monitor. Click Here to Subscribe!

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 Only In Italy.com

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