02/23/11 Infasciadedde Cookies

"Tutto bene quello che finisce bene." (All's well that ends well.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Green Beans with Tomatoes
  -Classic Lasagna
  -Infasciadedde Cookies

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Green Beans with Tomatoes

Green Beans with Tomatoes
Fagiolini Con Pomodori


2 lbs fresh green beans, cut in 1 to 2-inch pieces
2 strips pancetta, cut in small dice
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, smashed and finely minced
1/2 cup chicken stock or broth
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
Fresh pepper
2 cups diced fresh tomatoes or one 14 oz can diced tomatoes, drained


Fry pancetta in a saute pan over medium heat until about half way done.

Lower hear slightly, add onion and garlic and stir frequently and cook about 5 minutes.

Add the green beans, chicken broth, salt and simmer covered for about 10 minutes.

Taste and add salt if needed, add grinds of fresh pepper, oregano and tomatoes.

Heat through and serve or simmer a bit longer if preferred. Serves 4-5.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Classic Lasagna

Classic Lasagna
Lasagna Classica


1/2 of a (1 lb) package lasagna, uncooked
1 lb Italian sausage
1/2 lb ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
One 28 oz can tomatoes, cut up (undrained)
Two 6 oz cans tomato paste
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 and 1/2 tsp basil leaves
1/2 tsp fennel seed
1/4 tsp pepper
One 15 oz container ricotta cheese
1 egg beaten
1 tbs parsley flakes
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano cheese


Prepare the lasagna pasta according to package directions.


In a large skillet, combine the Italian sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic.

Cook until the sausage is no longer pink and onion is tender; drain.

Stir in the next 7 ingredients on the list.

Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat, simmer 20 minutes.

In medium bowl, blend the ricotta, egg, parsley, and salt.

Spoon 1 and 1/2 cups of the meat sauce into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.

Layer one-third each lasagna, remaining meat sauce, ricotta mixture, mozzarella cheese, and Parmigiano cheese.

Repeat the layers. Cover.

Bake in 375F oven for about 25-30 minutes .

Uncover, bake until hot, about another 20 minutes longer.

Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting. Serves 8-10.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Infasciadedde Cookies

Infasciadedde Cookies
Biscotti Infasciadedde


For the Dough (Pasta Frolla):
4 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
16 tbs (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 large eggs

For the Filling:
12 oz (about 3 cups) whole, unblanched almonds
1 cup honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon

For the Finish:
2 oz sliced toasted almonds


Prepare the Dough:
Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.

Pulse a few times to mix.

Add the butter and pulse repeatedly until it is finely mixed and the mixture is cool and powdery.

Add the eggs, all at once and continue to pulse until the dough forms a ball.

Scrape the dough onto a floured surface and then place it on a piece of plastic wrap.

Press the dough into a square, about an inch thick and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Prepare the Filling:
Place the almonds in a food processor and pulse until finely ground.

Add the honey and cinnamon and pulse to make a smooth paste.

Scrape the filling into a shallow bowl.

When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F and set the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and place on a floured surface.

Knead the dough lightly to make it malleable again and roll it up into a cylinder.

Cut the cylinder into four equal pieces.

Place one piece of dough on a floured surface and roll it to a 12-inch square.

Cut the dough unto eight strips, each 1 and 1/2-inch x 12 inches.

Spread about 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of the filling in a narrow line down the middle of each strip of dough, then fold the strip of dough so the long ends meet, but do not press them together.

Cut the folded strip into a 4-inch length and twist each once or twice.

Arrange the cookies on a parchment lined sheet pan, about an inch apart in all directions.

Repeat with the other pieces of dough and the remaining filling.

Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes, or until they are golden.

Slide the papers onto racks to cool the cookies.

Right before serving, drizzle the cookies with the honey and sprinkle with the toasted sliced almonds.

Store cookies between sheets of parchment or wax paper in a tin or plastic container with a tight fitting cover. Makes about 96 cookies

Note: Only finish off the cookies you are about to serve, as they are difficult to store once the honey is drizzled on top.

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:

Venice Planning To Slap Entry Tax On Tourists

Venice - October 17, 2010 - Tourists arriving in Venice by train, plane and cruise ship are to be charged an entrance tax under plans being drawn up by Italy's government.

Critics are saying it would reinforce the concept of Venice as a kind of historical and cultural theme park. More than 20 million people visit Venice every year but many of them are day travelers who bring their own food and drink and choose not to stay the night, depriving the lagoon city of desperately needed revenue to restore its crumbling palaces, churches and monuments.

The idea of an entrance fee has proved highly controversial in the past, with critics saying it would reinforce the concept of Venice as a kind of historical and cultural theme park. But the government has now drawn up a draft plan which would allow Venetian authorities to extract a one-off fee from visitors who fly into Marco Polo airport, arrive by train or disembark from the growing number of cruise liners which access the city from the Adriatic.

The cost of the tax is still being discussed. It is unlikely to be very high, the city's last mayor, Massimo Cacciari, who stepped down earlier this year, had suggested imposing a one euro levy on all cruise ship passengers.

The draft plan has been drawn up by Renato Brunetta, the minister for public administration and innovation, who is himself Venetian, and has been welcomed by Venice's mayor, Giorgio Orsoni.

Face it, there are hundreds of places to visit and things to do in Venice, among them numerous forgettable, regrettable and overrated tourist traps. But, "porca vacca", an entrance tax is an insult. Why should you pay for admission to enter a lagoon where you are well aware you WILL be fleeced?

If Venice desperately needs revenue, leave the tourists alone and try our suggestions:

Gondolas: At a going rate of 80 Euros for a 40-minute ride, it's the ultimate tourist trap. What you won't imagine, however, is how unromantic and pointless a gondola ride in Venice could be! We're sure there are people out there, such as couples in so-called 'love' who've had different experiences but walk around the city and you'll see long lines of gondolas following each other down overcrowded canals. "Cacchio", how romantic!

And needless to say, none of these gondolier sons-of-bitches will croon since you will need to pay extra for that service. Most will overcharge and lie to you about the length of the trip and where the gondola goes. That's right! You get a 15 minute ride down a small canal. The end!

Solution: Tax the gondoliers 25-75 percent of the rate depending on the disgusted look on the people's faces as they are pulling back in.

Harry's Bar: Some of you look forward to having a 'Bellini' at Harry's Bar, Ernest Hemingway's favorite watering hole in Venice. And some of you are under the idea prices were the same back in his days. Walk into this dark little bar and take a look at the menu. The home of the 'Bellini' charges 15 Euros ($21 USD) for its trademark drink! "Vaffanculo", Harry and Hemingway!

Solution: Tax the recipe!
Stock sparkling wine (traditionally Prosecco) = 2 Euros,
Peach puree = 50 cents,
Bar overhead = 50 cents,
Contribution to save a sinking Venice = 12 Euros
TOTAL = 15 Euros

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