02/06/08 Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms and Broccoli Rabe from OreganoFromItaly.com

"Dare a Cesare quel che di Cesare, dare a Dio quel che di Dio." (Give Caesar what belongs to Caesar, give to God what belongs to God.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Penne ai Frutti di Mare e Basilico
  -Risotto con Funghi Porcini e Broccoli Rabe
  -Pescespada Stemperata

Enjoy the recipes and the complimentary news article report from "Only In Italy.com".

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Penne ai Frutti di Mare e Basilico

Penne ai Frutti di Mare e Basilico
Penne with Basil-Seafood Sauce


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lb bay scallops
10 ounces uncooked shrimp, peeled, deveined
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 and 1/3 lbs tomatoes, seeded, chopped
1 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried
3/4 cup bottled clam juice
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 lb Penne pasta, freshly cooked


Heat olive oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the scallops and shrimp and saute until just cooked through, about 3 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the seafood to a bowl. Add garlic to the same skillet; saute 1 minute.

Add tomatoes and half of basil; simmer until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high. Add the clam juice and cream and simmer until thickened to sauce consistency, about 6 minutes.

Add the penne, seafood, remaining basil and toss.

Season with salt and pepper. Serves 4.

That's it!

 Recipe: Risotto con Funghi Porcini e Broccoli Rabe

Risotto con Funghi Porcini e Broccoli Rabe
Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms and Broccoli Rabe


For the broth:
The remains of a roast turkey, broken into large pieces
Approximately 4 and 1/2 quarts (18 cups) water

1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
2/3 cup hot water
3/4 lb broccoli rabe
1 1/2 cups minced onion
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese


Prepare the broth:
In a large kettle or stockpot combine the remains with the water, or enough to cover it, and simmer the mixture, uncovered, for 3 hours.

Strain the broth through a large sieve into a large bowl, discarding the solids, return it to the kettle, and boil it until it is reduced to about 10 cups.

Reserve 8 cups of the broth and transfer the remaining broth to a container for another use.

The broth may be made 1 week in advance and kept covered and chilled if it is brought to a boil every 2 days and then allowed to cool to warm, uncovered, before being chilled again. The broth keeps, frozen, for 3 months.

In a small bowl let the porcini mushrooms soak in the hot water for 30 minutes and strain the soaking liquid through a rinsed and squeezed paper towel set over a cup, reserving it.

Wash the porcini mushrooms under cold water to remove any grit and chop them coarse.

Trim the broccoli rabe, discarding any yellow or coarse leaves and the tough stem ends. Peel the large stems, cut off the flowerets, reserving them, and cut the stems and the leaves crosswise into 1 and 1/2-inch pieces.

Bring the reserved 8 cups broth to a boil, add the broccoli rabe stems, leaves, and reserved flowerets, and simmer the mixture for 4 minutes, or until the broccoli rabe is just tender. Transfer the broccoli rabe with a skimmer to a bowl and keep the broth at a bare simmer.

In a large saucepan cook the onion and the porcini mushrooms in the butter over moderate heat, stirring, until the onion is softened and add the rice, stirring until it is coated well with the butter.

Add the wine and the reserved porcini soaking liquid and cook the mixture over moderately high heat, stirring constantly, until the liquid is absorbed.

Add about 1/2 cup of the simmering broth and cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until the broth is absorbed.

Continue cooking the mixture and adding the broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each portion be absorbed before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still 'al dente'. The rice should take about 20 minutes to become 'al dente'.

Stir in the broccoli rabe and simmer the risotto, stirring, until it is heated through. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the Parmigiano cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4 to 6.

That's it!

 Recipe: Pescespada Stemperata

Pescespada Stemperata
Swordfish Stemperata


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Four 6 to 8-ounce swordfish steaks (3/4 inch thickness)
All purpose flour

1 onion, finely chopped
1 and 1/3 cups pitted Spanish green olives, quartered lengthwise
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup drained capers
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup minced fresh mint


Heat olive oil in heavy large skillet over high heat.

Season fish with salt and pepper. Coat fish in flour and add to skillet. Cook until brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer fish to plate.

Add onion to same skillet, reduce heat to medium and cook until golden, about 4 minutes.

Add olives, raisins and capers. Reduce heat to low; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Return fish to skillet.

Spoon sauteed ingredients over. Add vinegar and half of mint; cook until fish is cooked through, about 2 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer fish to plates, spooning sauteed ingredients over. Sprinkle with remaining mint. Serves 4.

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:

Italian Robin Hood Arrested

Rimini - February 26, 2008 - Italian police have arrested a man they described as a "modern Robin Hood", who carried out a series of crimes to give money to the poor.

Pasquale D'Angelo, 37, used a toy gun to hold up a branch of the Banca Nazionale di Lavoro in Rimini on Thursday morning. He made off with 3,500 Euro ($5425), which he took to a nearby bar and started distributing among the poorer customers.

Then he visited a butcher's shop, a fruit stand and a hairdresser's, giving the money away.

Finally, he hailed a taxi to take him to a church, but was apprehended.

Nine days earlier, D'Angelo relieved the Cassa di Risparmio di Forli bank of around 2400 Euro ($3800) and gave the money to tramps.

He is in prison in Rimini, after choosing to remain silent before a judge. Luca Greco, his lawyer, has requested a psychiatric assessment of his client.

For the past two years D'Angelo has worked as a volunteer at a religious organization in Rimini. Members of the charity told local newspapers that he was a "very good and altruistic man". However, they noted that his behavior had become erratic following the death of his mother in January.

"Soldi, per favore. Sono Robin Hood, cacchio!"

You have to admire how Pasquale the swashbuckler blended in his daily routine with the heist:

1.) Hold up local bank with "toy gun". (Don't bother with the "get-away car" because it has no gas.)

2.) Stop off at bar and grab an espresso and "cornetto". Give away money to who can't afford a "cornetto" and who remain at the bar for more than 4 minutes.

3.) Stop by butcher shop and order a kilo of sausage. (Make sure the fat bastardo mixes in more pork than fat.) Give away money to who spends the entire morning talking with the butcher and staring at the veal shanks.

4.) Stop by fruit stand for fresh fruit. Ask vendor why one would have to rob a bank to afford his apricots and plums. Give away money to vendor so he can change his dirty socks.

5.) Stop by hairdresser for a shave. Give away money to barber so he can change the dirty blue water and old magazines.

6.) Hail taxi to church to ask for forgiveness. Ask driver if the meter charge is for a kilometer or to go to France. Leave very cheap tip.

Give away rest of money to Maid Marian, Maid Maria and the rest of the tramps.

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