02/24/16 Fava Bean and Pork Stew

"Pani i vilanza [comprato] non jinchi panza." (Bread you buy by weight won't fill the tummy. If you need to worry about the cost of bread, you're probably going to go hungry.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Cavatelli with Sardinian Tomato Sauce
  -Tagliatelle with Fresh Cranberry Bean Sauce
  -Fava Bean and Pork Stew

"Buona sera amici!" How are you doing? Hope you are looking forward to the spring season as much as everyone here on the farm is. How can you not considering that Easter comes surprisingly early this year? Thanks for everything you're doing and we will continue to find more Italian recipes to light up your kitchen. Please share this newsletter if you found it useful.

Thanks again for reading!

Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 2007 organic oregano harvest now available!

News from the Sicilian farm! Angela is proud to announce the availability of her fresh organic oregano in the ground/minced version (in 100, 200 and 300 gram bags). Starting at just 2.50 Euros. But it's only for a limited time!

Angela's oregano's pungent, spicy flavor makes it a perfect match for your tomato sauces, eggplant, seafood and grilled meats. Try sauteing aromatic vegetables in virgin olive oil with garlic and our oregano.

Click here to order!

 Recipe: Cavatelli with Sardinian Tomato Sauce

Cavatelli with Sardinian Tomato Sauce
Cavatelli Con Salsa di Pomodoro Sarda


For the Tomato Sauce:
1/2 lb boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 lb semi hard pork salami about 1-inch in diameter, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 lb ground pork
3-4 lb very ripe pureed peeled plum tomatoes or 1 (28-oz) can tomato puree
3-4 lb very ripe crushed peeled plum tomatoes or 1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 bay leaves

For the Pasta:
1 lb. small dried pasta, such as cavatelli or trofie
1 cup freshly grated young Pecorino cheese


Prepare the Tomato Sauce:
Heat olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat.

Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring often, until soft, 8?10 minutes.

Add ground pork and pork shoulder and cook, stirring and breaking up ground meat with back of spoon, until meat is no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes.

Add salami, pureed and crushed tomatoes, bay leaves, 1 cup water, and salt to taste and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover pot, and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until pork shoulder falls apart and sauce is thick, 2 to 2 and a 1/2 hours.

Adjust seasonings.

Discard bay leaves.

Prepare the Pasta:
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water over high heat until tender, 12-15 minutes, then drain.

Place one-third of the pasta into a large bowl.

Ladle about 1 cup of the tomato sauce over pasta and sprinkle with one-third of the cheese.

Repeat the layering process, in that order, twice more. Serves 4-8.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Tagliatelle with Fresh Cranberry Bean Sauce

Tagliatelle with Fresh Cranberry Bean Sauce
Tagliatelle con Salsa di Fagioli Borlotti


3 cups shelled fresh cranberry beans (from 1 1/2?2 lbs. pods)
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
One 2 and 1/2 ? 3 oz piece pancetta
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 branch each fresh rosemary, sage, and yarrow (optional), tied together with kitchen twine
1 lb fresh Tagliatelle pasta
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat 4 tbsp of the oil in a heavy medium pot over medium heat.

Add onions and pancetta and cook until onions are soft, about 5-6 minutes.

Add garlic and cook briefly.

Add bundle of herbs and tomatoes and cook for another 1?2 minutes.

Add beans and 3 cups cold water and bring to a simmer.

Reduce heat to keep an active but gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until beans are soft, about 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours.

Remove and discard herb bundle and pancetta from pot.

Mash about one-third of the bean mixture with a potato masher to thicken sauce and stir well into pot.

Season to taste with salt.

Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until 'al dente', about 4-5 minutes.

Drain and divide between 4-6 bowls.

Spoon bean sauce over pasta.

Drizzle with some of the remaining olive oil.

Season to taste with pepper. Serves 4-6.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Fava Bean and Pork Stew

Fava Bean and Pork Stew
Stufato di Maiale e Fava


2 skinless fresh pork belly, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
3 and 1/2 cups dried Fava beans
1 large handful wild or cultivated fennel fronds
1/2 head savoy cabbage, cored, leaves separated and halved crosswise
2 smoked ham hocks
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Soak the dried fava beans and fennel fronds together in a large bowl of water for about 4-5 hours.

Place the ham hocks into a medium pot and cover with cold water.

Boil over medium-high heat for about 12-15 minutes.

Drain and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat.

Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until just beginning to soften, about 5-6 minutes.

Push to one side of the pot.

Add pork belly to pot and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over, about 5-6 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium-low, add ham hocks, cover pot, and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

Drain fava beans and fennel fronds.

Add fava beans, fennel fronds, garlic, cabbage leaves, and 7 cups cold water to pot with pork belly and ham hocks.

Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover pot, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until meat is tender and fava beans are soft, 2 to 2 and a 1/2 hours.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer ham hocks to a bowl and set aside until just cool enough to handle.

Remove meat from the hocks, discarding skin and bones.

Return the meat to the pot.

Season stew with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer stew to a serving dish and serve warm. Serves 6-8.

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:

Why the evil eye never works out the way it's planned

Palermo - February 4, 2015 - It comes as no surprise that Italians are considered a complicated people.

On the one hand, many of them, especially the older generations, are passionate believers in the Catholic Church. On the other hand, a large portion of the population, especially in the south, believes in the almighty evil eye (malocchio) which is still well known and feared in many cultures around the world.

Even if witches, black cats and various other superstitious beliefs have never affected your lives, you may nevertheless have wondered about Italy's version of the evil eye.

Malocchio is best described as a curse brought on by the all-too-common sentiments: envy, jealousy, and possessive love, etc. Though strangely, it can be something as simple as a compliment. For example:

"Oh, mamma mia, look how lovely your child is! So adorable!"

If you come across a relative, friend or acquaintance who has a history of being a conniving, insincere, sneaky, thieving "figlio di puttana" who compliments you on your child...congratulations, the curse has just been set. Incidentally, if a nun just happens to be present at the phony interaction (they always appear at the most inconvenient moments), consider the curse to be twice as powerful.

What to do? You could quickly make a sign of the horn (image below), preferably behind your back, to protect your child, your sanity and to ward off the spirits that are supposedly on their way.


Several Italians wear the horn-shaped charm ("corno") as a necklace for protection. Some go as far as to have one hanging from the rear view mirror of the car. You know...the one that is commonly mistaken for a real hot red pepper. These are the Italians who should also be driving around with handicapped licence plates.

When the evil eye has been set upon you, it may come in many different colorful forms. The most common is the insufferable headache. Supposedly, a Catholic who has been baptized, communed and confirmed may be able to help with an old and reasonably priced ritual (some preposterous and cockamamie thing about reciting a private prayer on New Years Eve so that the he/she will be empowered by the grace God to rid you of the evil eye).

However, be careful for you will be told the situation could complicate itself if you have birds and bird feathers, especially peacock feathers, in your home. Oh, yes...unbeknownst to you, they apparently carry the evil eye. Canaries and parrots are small in size therefore, the amount of evil spirits they could carry should be a harmless minimum. But your prize peacock will most likely have to be given away or abandoned at the nearest park.

On the positive side, you can counter the bad luck with a sneezing cat which is considered good luck to all those who hear it.

Most reliable remedy: When you find yourself confronting the individuals (or better yet, the blessed Catholic) who suggest to you the aforementioned ritual, grab a water spray bottle, spray your cat's face, show them the alternative cure (bottle of aspirin) and the front door to leave.

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