02/26/04 Arancini di Riso and Pollo alla Marsala from OreganoFromItaly.com

"Buon Giorno!" Come stai oggi? How are you today?

Have you ever drank coffee In Italy at the wrong hour?

There is no question the coffee in Italy is delicious. But it is the consuming of coffee that can be confusing for the non-Italian coffee drinker. First, you drink your coffee at a bar, not in a café. In the morning, as long as it is before 10:30, you can sit down with your cappuccino and cornetto (a croissant-like pastry), but in the afternoon you stand at the bar, drink your espresso down in three sips, then leave.

It is only permissible to drink cappuccino until 10:30 a.m. The same goes for a caffè latte or a latte macchiato. No milky coffees shall be consumed after mid-morning. The waiters of Italy wage a constant, vigilant battle against foreigners who try to go against the rules. "It is bad for your digestion" is their invariable response. Just the thought of having a cappuccino after lunch makes them go weak with nausea.

And all over Italy foreigners complain about the thimbles Italians call coffee cups and the disapproval of waiters if you order the wrong thing. No one ever sits and lingers over a cup of coffee. No one ever suggests that you meet for coffee because coffee takes under a minute.

Hope you enjoy this week's recipes! Give the "Arancini di Riso" a try!

This week's complimentary news article from "Only In Italy.com" describes about what fines you'll pay in Reggio Emilia, Italy, if you don't pamper your pet.

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Orecchiette con Salsiccia, Broccoli Rabe, e Pesto di Pomodoro

Orecchiette con Salsiccia, Broccoli Rabe, e Pesto di Pomodoro
Orecchiette with Sausages, Broccoli Rabe, and Sundried Tomato Pesto


1 lb Orecchiette Pasta
1/2 Cup Butter
1 lb Spicy Italian Sausages, Cooked And Cut Into Rounds
1 Bunch Broccoli Rabe, Cleaned And Cut Into 2 Inch Pieces
Salt and Pepper
Dash Of Red Pepper Flakes (Optional)
Sundried Tomato Pesto
Choice Of Cheese To Serve: Freshly Grated Parmigiano, Romano, or Salted Ricotta

Pesto Ingredients:

2 (oz) Sundried Tomatoes Packed In Oil
2 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley


To make the pesto, add all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until smooth. While the pasta is cooking, heat the butter in a large saucepan or skillet. Add the sausages and heat thoroughly.

Cook the orecchiette in salted boiling water, adding the broccoli rabe to the pasta pot during the last 3 minutes of cooking. Once the pasta is cooked al dente, drain the pasta and broccoli rabe, retaining a small cup of the pasta water. Add the drained pasta and broccoli rabe combination to the skillet with the pesto. Mix well over high heat for a minute or two until piping hot. If the mixture seems at all dry, add a little of the pasta water to moisten. Serve offering your choice of cheese.

Cooks Note: When cleaning the broccoli rabe, try peeling the stems and cutting them into small pieces to add to the rest. As long as they are not too dry or woody, they are very tasty and tender when peeled. Serves 4-6.

That's it!

 Recipe: Arancini di Riso

Arancini di Riso
Little Rice Oranges


500 grams rice
2 Eggs
100 grams grated parmesan cheese
300 grams ground beef
100 grams ground chicken
1 Onion and 1 stalk of celery, chopped
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup white wine
Olive Oil for frying
Some flour and dried breadcrumbs
1 beaten egg


Cook the chopped onion and celery with a soupspoon of oil in a pan and cook over a moderate fire. Add the meat, chicken, sage, oregano, salt and pepper and continue cooking, stirring constantly. Add some of the white wine. Meanwhile boil the rice in salt water and when cooked add the grated parmesan cheese and the two eggs.

When the rice is cold put a soupspoon of rice in your left hand, add a teaspoon or the meat mixture, and complete the ball with another spoonful of rice, forming a ball about the size of a small orange. When all the balls are formed roll them in flour, then dip them in the beaten egg, followed by the breadcrumbs, and fry them in boiling oil. There should be enough oil to completely cover the "little oranges".

As soon as they are golden remove with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to absorb the extra oil. Keep them warm in the oven until ready to serve. Serves 4.

That's it!

 Recipe: Pollo alla Marsala

Pollo alla Marsala
Chicken Marsala


1 oz. Dried Porcini Mushrooms
8 oz. Fresh White Mushrooms
4 Chicken Breast Halves, Skinned
Flour For Dredging
Salt and Pepper
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2/3 Cup Dry Marsala Wine
1/4 Cup Fresh Chopped Parsley


Re hydrate the porcine mushrooms in 1 cup warm water for about 30 minutes. Remove from the water, pat dry with paper towels, and chop coarsely. Strain the porcine water, and set aside to use later. Slice the fresh mushrooms thinly. Dredge the chicken breasts in flour seasoned lightly with salt and pepper, and then brown in a skillet with the oil over medium heat. Once well browned, remove the chicken and set aside.

Cook the sliced mushrooms in the same pan until tender and golden brown. If the pan becomes too dry, use a little of the porcine liquid to moisten it. Return the chicken pieces to the pan with the mushrooms, and add the porcine, the Marsala wine and 1/4 cup of the porcine liquid. Taste, and season with salt and pepper if needed. Turn down to medium low heat, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes. If the juices begin to evaporate too much while cooking, add a few tablespoons of the porcine water. When completed, the sauce should be thick and creamy.

To serve, place chicken pieces on a platter, spoon over the juices, and sprinkle with the fresh parsley. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 It Could Only Happen 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:

Italy town sets down pet-pampering laws.

ROME, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Pet owners in a central Italian town must pamper their dogs, cats and birds and even show mercy to supper-time lobsters or face fines as high as 500 Euros.

According to a new bill regulating the treatment of animals that will be implemented next week in the wealthy town of Reggio Emilia, canary owners will have to buy a significant other for their bird, who otherwise might suffer from loneliness.

Dog owners will have to provide sufficiently spacious dog houses in shady, sheltered locations and pet owners of all stripes will be prohibited from dyeing the fur of their animals.

The rules, spelled out in 39 different articles, also make it illegal to throw live lobsters in boiling water.

"It's a useless torture, they should be killed first," a spokeswoman for the town said on Saturday.

Fines for breaking the rules run from 25 to 495 Euros.

My Uncle Peppino's canary heard about this and he's demanding multiple partners and weekly therapy otherwise he's going straight to the police.

This is just the beginning. Soon Italian dogs will be complaining that they can't become bus drivers! "Hey, I can drive a bus just as good as anyone else!"

"Only In Italy" Subscribe today and feed your sense of intellectual superiority by reading and wondering how Italy still survives after 50+ governments. Click Here to Subscribe!

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