02/06/13 Tortellini with Curry

"Non fidatevi al alchemista povero, o al medico ammalato." (Do not trust a poor alchymist, or a sick doctor.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Spinach Sauce
  -Cream of Carrot Soup
  -Tortellini with Curry

"Ciao! Come stai?" We dedicate this newsletter to one of our dear readers, Judy, who complained that the recipes of our last newsletter were a bit too difficult...and she was right. Judy, hope you try the Tortellini with Curry. It will make up for the difficult Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Torta.

Thanks again for subscribing!

Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Spinach Sauce

Spinach Sauce
Salsa Agli Spinaci


1 and 3/4 lbs (800 grams) spinach
8 fl oz (250 ml) milk
1 and 1/2 oz (40 grams) butter
1 tablespoon plain flour (optional)
White pepper


Place the spinach in a large saucepan with just the water clinging to its leaves after washing and cook for about 5 minutes.

Drain and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

Puree in a food processor.

Melt the butter in another saucepan.

Pour in the milk and spinach puree.

Season with salt.

Cook over a medium heat, stirring the mixture occasionally, until it thickens (if the sauce remains runny, stir in the flour and cook for about 10 minutes).

Remove the saucepan from the heat and add more salt, if necessary, and white pepper to taste. Serves 4.

Note: Great with short pasta and poached eggs. If the sauce is served with pasta, such as farfalle or pennette lisce, serve with plenty of grated Parmigiano cheese.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Cream of Carrot Soup

Cream of Carrot Soup
Crema di Carote


For the Meat Stock:
1 and 3/4 lb (800 grams) beef (no fat), cut into cubes
1 lb 5 oz (600 grams) veal, cut into cubes
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 oz (50 grams) coarsely chopped carrots
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) leeks, trimmed and coarsely chopped
1 celery stick, coarsely chopped

For the Carrot Soup:
1 and 3/4 lbs (800 grams) carrots, chopped
1 garlic clove
18 fl oz (500 ml) milk
1 and 1/2 oz (40 grams) Fontina cheese, grated
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper


Prepare the Meat Stock:
Place the meat in a large saucepan, add cold water to cover and bring to a boil. Cooking and gentle simmering are essential for a great meat stock.

Skim off any residue that rises to the surface and add the carrots, leeks, onion, and celery and season with salt.

Lower the heat and simmer for about 3 and 1/2 hours to 4 hours.

Remove from the heat, strain into a bowl and leave to cool.

Then chill in the refrigerator.

When the fat has solidified on the surface carefully remove and throw away.

Put aside 14 fl oz (400 ml) of the stock for the soup.

Prepare the Carrot Soup:
Put the carrots and garlic in a saucepan.

Pour in water to cover and add a pinch of salt.

Bring to a boil over a medium heat and cook until almost all the liquid is absorbed.

Transfer to a food processor and process to a puree.

Pour the mixture back into the saucepan.

Warm the milk in another saucepan.

Stir it into the carrot puree with the stock and mix well.

Cook for 10 minutes until fairly thick.

Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Ladle the soup into individual flameproof soup plates.

Sprinkle with the Fontina cheese, nutmeg and a pinch of pepper.

Put the plates under a preheated grill to melt the cheese, then serve. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Tortellini with Curry

Tortellini with Curry
Tortellini Al Curry


14 oz (400 grams) fresh tortellini
7 oz (200 grams) shelled peas
2 oz (50 grams) cooked ham, diced
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 oz (50 grams) butter
2 oz (50 grams) Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated
7 fl oz (200 ml) double cream


Melt half the butter in a saucepan.

Add the ham and peas and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.

Stir in the curry powder and cook for another 10 minutes.

Cook the tortellini pasta in a large pan of salted, boiling water until 'al dente'.

Drain and toss with the remaining butter, Parmigiano cheese and cream, and then with the curry sauce.

Transfer to a warm serving dish. Serves 4.

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:

Mafia Fugitive Found Hiding In Wonderland Behind 'Magic Mirror'

Naples - April 01, 2012 - Antonio Cardillo, a 34-year old alleged crime boss affiliated with the Lo Russo clan of the Camorra in Naples, was arrested by Carabinieri police in a raid Saturday after they discovered a booby trap reminiscent of a classic spy novel.

Cardillo had been at large for 18 months but had apparently been living at home with his family in Marano di Napoli on the outskirts of the city.

The extravagant home called Villa Excelsia was surrounded by a large veranda and lush garden and was protected by high walls and an elaborate security system.

Acting on warrants sought by anti-mafia prosecutors, police raided the house early Saturday morning and found Cardillo's wife and two children asleep.

When police searched the master bedroom, where Cardillo's wife has been sleeping, they saw signs that the large bed had been used on both sides.

As they continued their search of the house they found a tiny remote control device that did not appear to belong to a television, computer or any other appliance.

But when they entered the walk-in wardrobe beside the master bedroom and activated the remote control, a full-length mirror that seemed to be attached to the wall moved aside.

The mirror was operated by a series of large hydraulic pistons and tubes activated by the remote control device and Cardillo was found sitting on a small red chair in the small room behind it.

Cardillo's bunker is the latest in a number of bizarre and often elaborate hideouts used by mafia bosses to evade police.

In August 2009 police arrested mafia boss Giuseppe Bastone who was found hiding in an underground bunker equipped with a skateboard he planned to use through a 200 yard secret tunnel to escape capture.

Bastone hid for a year in a 10ft by 10ft space beneath a house that was accessible through a hidden trapdoor.

Giuseppe Setola, a hit man for the Naples Camorra, evaded arrest during a police raid on his home north of Naples in January 2009 when he fled down a tunnel linked to sewers beneath his hideout.

He was captured two days later while seeking treatment for a wrist injury and is now serving a life sentence for ordering or carrying out up to 18 murders.

Naples is an odd place. I think we've mentioned this to you before. The land is filled with pizzas, magic homes, raging scooters, nursery-rhyme characters, and red hot mind-altering peppers. Why, one would almost wonder whether this land makes any sense at all?

But for all its oddities, Naples wonderland is home to an actual tear-filled bay of life lessons and advice that we can all learn from. So take another moment to dive into the world of Naples. And be careful what you eat there.

1) Be adaptable.

You poor tourist. One minute you're walking down an innocent alleyway, and the next you're clutching your travel bag with might, dodging traffic and avoiding eye contact with street vendors with psychic powers. Wonderland? "Mamma mia", this place is more like the Twilight Zone with bad Napolitano music.

Sometimes it can feel like you're the only sane person in a world gone loony. Acknowledge the insanity of it all, but push onward anyway. And even if some of your struggles never make sense, at least they'll make for a good story for your pompous-ass Italian friends.

2) Always smile.

You will first meet a friendly neighborhood Napolitano down the street from your hotel and discover the lively character can vanish and reappear at will sometimes leaving his grin and cheap after-shave fragrance behind (like Chesire Cat).

The Napolitano greets every challenge with self-control and a bewildered smile, and he becomes the only individual in Naples whom you could call a "friend."
A friend in Naples? "Porca l'oca", that's something to grin about.

It takes two to...

Gianfranco Tweedledum and Giancarlo Tweedledee are as alike as two Napolitano brothers can be. They dress alike, talk incoherently alike, even reason alike. But that doesn't stop the pair of them going to war against each other over a broken mobile phone...or a cute Napolitana in tight pants who suffers from delusions of adequacy.

Granted, we all have personal battles we need to fight at times. But there's something to be said for witnessing or assisting them. Sometimes it's better to head back to the hotel and see what there is to eat in the mini-bar than risk getting whisked away by irritable relatives.

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