02/21/07 Pignolata from OreganoFromItaly.com

"Buona sera, cari lettori!" Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Mpanata Ragusana
  -Riso con Peperonata alla Siciliana

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

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Mpanata Ragusana

Mpanata Ragusana
Cauliflower and Lamb Pie


1 medium sized cauliflower (about 1.5 lbs)
1 lg. onion
1/4 cup virgin olive oil
1/2 cup of red wine
1/2 lb lamb sausage
2 cups of grated cacciocavallo cheese
Salt and pepper

For dough:
2 lb. flour
1 and 1/2 cup of water
2 eggs
1 pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder


For the filling:
Clean cauliflower and cut in large pieces. Blanch in salted water.

Cut onions in small squares.

Remove cauliflower from water, cut into smaller pieces and saute in olive oil with the onion.

Crumble sausage into small pieces and add to cauliflower.

Add 1/2 cup of wine and let wine evaporate. Add the cacciocavallo cheese and let it bind all the cauliflower and sausage set aside.

For the dough:
Make a well with the flour, add water in the center and the baking powder. Let it dissolve in the water and add the salt, slowly incorporate the flour, add the eggs as needed and mold creating a large ball.

Cut the ball in two and let it rest for about 2 hours.

Stretch the dough to fit the top and bottom of a baking pan. Grease the pan with butter, add bottom dough. Place the filling on top of the dough, spread out evenly, place the top layer of the dough.

Brush the top with egg and make some small incisions with a fork. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 F.

That's it!

 Recipe: Riso con Peperonata alla Siciliana

Riso con Peperonata alla Siciliana
Rice with Sicilian Stewed Peppers

The people of Sicily cook multicolored peppers, sweet onion, and ripe tomatoes, gently with a bit of garlic, some olives, and a few capers until everything is meltingly tender and intensely aromatic. Traditionally, this dish is served as a vegetable, but with a little bit of creativity it can become a healthy, delicious first course.


1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 lbs red, yellow and green bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into 12-inch pieces
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
8 to 10 small green pitted olives, quartered
1 to 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
1 lb ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and finely minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 to 10 fresh basil leaves, shredded, or 1tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
1 and 1/2 cups imported Arborio rice


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the peppers and cook, stirring, until they begin to color, 5 to 6 minutes.

Add the onion and cook until onion and peppers are lightly golden, 5 to 6 minutes.

Add the garlic, olives and capers and stir once or twice. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and partially cover the skillet.

Simmer the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and tender and the juices in the skillet have thickened, 35 to 40 minutes.

Stir in the basil or parsley. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over high heat.

Add 1 tablespoon of salt and the rice, and stir briefly with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender but still 'al dente', 13 to 15 minutes.

Drain the rice, making sure to leave it a bit wet, and place it in a warm serving bowl. Add the pepper mixture to the rice and mix well.

Taste, adjust the seasoning, and serve. Serves 4.

That's it!

 Recipe: Pignolata



2 cups flour
3 eggs
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup honey
1 tablespoon softened butter
1 cup toasted almonds


Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together.

Beat in the softened butter, add the eggs one at a time and beat.

Add the vanilla extract.

The dough should be firm so knead the dough well.

Roll into ropes about a 1/2 inch thick. Cut or pinch off in small pieces and deep fry them.

Warm the honey in a pan.

Mix the fried pieces and the toasted almonds in the honey. Form into little mounds.

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:

Lonely Pensioner Gets Adopted

SAN POLO DEI CAVALIERI - September 26 - A lonely pensioner who turned to Italy's classified pages to find someone willing to "adopt" him as a grandfather is finally heading to his new home and family in northern Italy this weekend.

Giorgio Angelozzi, 80, has lived alone outside Rome with seven cats since his wife died in 1992, but he took the unprecedented step of putting himself up for adoption last month via the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

Not satisfied with just running the advertisement, Italy's main daily ran a front-page story about Angelozzi's plight.

Inundated with offers from families across Italy and as far away as New Zealand, Brazil and the United States, the retired schoolteacher has decided to go to live with Elio and Marlena Riva and their two teenage children in Bergamo, northern Italy.

"I was hit by a torrential downpour. I didn't think I would be able to choose among so many offers," the white-bearded Angelozzi told the press during his last hours in his simple two-room flat.

"But I chose the woman whose voice reminded me of my wife."

Angelozzi's appeal struck a chord in family-loving Italy where up to four generations have traditionally lived under the same roof or at least in the same neighborhood.

Today, one in five Italians is over the age of 65 and almost half of them live alone, partly because of the more mobile lifestyle of younger generations. Italy also has one of the lowest birth rates in Europe.

"Remember that my problem is one that affects so many elderly people in Italy. Always remember that," Angelozzi had said during the initial flurry of attention.

He will travel with Marlena Riva to Bergamo on Saturday night where his new home boasts a garden with apple, cherry and pomegranate trees and a beagle called Pablo to replace his cats.

"I will become a grandfather -- this was my plan. I will have the affection of this woman who is already calling me 'daddy' and the children who call me Grandpa Giorgio," said Angelozzi, who has a daughter working abroad with a charity.

The former classics teacher had told potential families he would contribute 500 euros ($615) a month to expenses, but the Rivas say what they really want is a grandfather.

"This grandfather needs help and we need him," Marlena told Corriere. Her relatives live in her native Poland and her husband's parents recently died.

Their 16-year-old daughter Dagmara said: "I just want a grandfather, the rest isn't important."

"Che bello!" What a beautiful story!

It's so nice to hear that Italians could have such warm hearts and perform such breathtaking acts of sincerity, love and generosity.

How long will it be before the freshly adopted "Nonno Giorgio" starts hollering out the words:

"Put on something warm!",
"Count the silverware!",
"Rake the lawn!",
"Turn down the music!"

And how many times will the family have to hear that during World War II he had to pick bugs off his brother, Sal, to eat?

And how many times will the family have to remind him to wear matching socks, pull his pants up and stop pacing himself like a koala bear?

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