03/06/13 Spinach Linguine with Olive Oil and Garlic

"Acqua cheta non mena ciocchi, ma se li mena, li mena grossi." (It's not wise to push a calm person's patience too far, you could get a violent reaction.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Artichoke, Prosciutto, and Fennel Salad
  -Spinach Linguine with Olive Oil and Garlic
  -Beef Tagliata with Radicchio and Arugula

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Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Artichoke, Prosciutto, and Fennel Salad

Artichoke, Prosciutto, and Fennel Salad
Insalata di Carciofi, Finocchio, e Prosciutto


4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut crosswise into 1/3-inch-wide strips (about 1 and 1/2 cups)
1 lemon, halved, plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 large artichokes
1 large fennel bulb with fronds, bulb halved lengthwise and very thinly sliced crosswise, fronds chopped
2 medium heads of frisée, torn into bite-size pieces


Whisk 3 tablespoons olive oil and next 5 ingredients in small bowl.

Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in nonstick medium skillet over medium-high heat.

Add prosciutto and saute until crisp, about 4 minutes.

Transfer prosciutto to paper towels to drain.

Fill medium bowl with cold water.

Squeeze juice from lemon halves into water.

Add lemon halves.

Cut off stem from 1 artichoke, then bend back all outer leaves and snap off where leaves break naturally.

Trim off all dark green parts.

Cut out and discard choke.

Slice artichoke bottom very thinly.

Place in lemon water.

Repeat with remaining 3 artichokes.

Drain artichokes well.

Transfer to large bowl.

Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice and sliced fennel.


Mix in frisée and dressing.

Toss again.

Season salad with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle with prosciutto and chopped fennel fronds. Makes 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Spinach Linguine with Olive Oil and Garlic

Spinach Linguine with Olive Oil and Garlic
Linguine di Spinaci con Olio e Aglio


12 ounces spinach linguine
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped fresh basil, divided
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 and 1/2 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese, divided


Cook linguine in large pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente'.

Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.

Return pasta to same pot.

Heat olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add 1/2 cup basil, garlic, and crushed red pepper.

Stir 1 minute.

Add wine and boil until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes.

Add mixture from skillet, remaining 1/2 cup basil, and 3/4 cup cheese to pasta.

Toss over medium heat until sauce coats pasta, adding reserved pasta liquid by 1/4 cupfuls if dry.

Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer to bowl.

Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Makes 4 to 6 side-dish servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Beef Tagliata with Radicchio and Arugula

Beef Tagliata with Radicchio and Arugula
Tagliata di Manzo con Radicchio e Rucola


1/4 cup high quality balsamic vinegar (plus extra for drizzling)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
One 1 and 1/2-pound beef tenderloin
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cups sliced arugula
2 cups sliced radicchio
1 lemon, halved
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese shavings


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Whisk the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and rosemary in small bowl.

Place beef on platter.

Spoon marinade over and turn to coat completely.

Let stand 1 hour.

Sprinkle meat all over with 2 tablespoons pepper and 1 tablespoon salt.

Heat canola oil in heavy large ovenproof skillet over high heat.

Add beef and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes.

Transfer skillet to oven and roast beef to desired doneness, about 30 minutes for rare.

Transfer beef to platter and let rest 10 minutes.

Toss arugula and radicchio in medium bowl.

Slice beef thinly and divide among 4 plates.

Drizzle any juices from platter over beef.

Sprinkle with salt.

Top with arugula and radicchio.

Squeeze lemon over, then drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and aged vinegar.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Top with cheese and serve. Makes 4 servings.

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:

Crisis Forces Horsemeat and Pig's Lungs on the Dinner Table

Rome - February 28, 2012 - Italians hit by the economic crisis are turning to traditional recipes including Ribollita, a Tuscan bean soup made with stale bread.

Italians facing a long, hard winter with less money to spend in the supermarket thanks to the economic crisis are being encouraged to rediscover the cheap, traditional recipes of their ancestors.

Soups made with old bread and even pig's lungs are unlikely to appear on the menu of Michelin-starred Italian restaurants in London, New York or Rome, but they are being touted as the nation's real cooking, made at a fraction of the price of many modern dishes.

"Old recipes are a richness that Italy boasts, that were perfected during periods of poverty and are a way to come through the crisis eating well," said Carlo Petrini, the head of the slow food movement, which campaigns for traditional, sustainable foods.

Petrini said the secret of Italy's low cost, old-style cuisine was the use of leftovers, from Tuscany's Ribollita vegetable soup, made with stale bread, to "le Virtu" (the virtues), a soup made in the town of Teramo with every winter vegetable left in the cupboard.

"Nothing got wasted and the name of the soup is no coincidence. Young women once had to know how to make it before they got married," said Petrini. "Today food is a commodity. It needs its value back and to achieve that you cannot throw it away. Thanks to the crisis the young are rediscovering this and luckily their parents and grandparents are still around to teach them."

In a roundup of nearly forgotten dishes, a national paper listed "Sbira" soup, a Genovese speciality made with tripe, mushrooms, lard, bread, pine nuts and meat sauce that was favored by policemen and prison guards and served as the traditional last meal to prisoners sentenced to death.

Any talk of cutting out waste in Italian cooking inevitably revolves around making better use of the lesser known parts of animals including offal, which was a peasant staple for centuries, notably in Rome where prime cuts were reserved for the rich, leaving tripe as the city's signature dish.

Arneo Nizzoli, 76, who runs a renowned restaurant in northern Italy near Mantua, said busloads of cookery students were now showing up to eat his maialata meals, where he uses as much of the pig as possible, from pig's lung soup to cotechino, a type of sausage, made with tongue, to pig's lard set with garlic, parsley and onion and spread over browned slices of polenta.

"In this cold weather the TV is telling people to eat vegetables and fruit to resist. What is that about? What about lard?" he said.

Pig's noses, cheek and feet, which all find use in Nizzoli's kitchen, cost half a euro a kilo, compared with over 20 Euros (26 USD) for cured pig's ham or prosciutto.

"Sometimes I feel like a culinary archaeologist, but doing it my way means spending less and raising fewer pigs," he said. "These dishes take hours to cook, but if people are out of work they may have that time."

Horsemeat was once fed to children as a key source of iron by Italian mothers but young customers were now reluctant to try his horse stew, which is slow cooked for hours, said Nizzoli. "Horses were traditionally eaten here when they died but kids today just aren't interested," he said.

We have to admit that most traditional Italian dishes are outstanding and delicious. Although they are quite inexpensive to prepare, they do come with a hefty moral price.

Nonna: "You see what happens? Eh?"
Nonno: "You see what happens when your generation gets greedy and ruins the world? Eh?"
Nonno and Nonna: "Porca miseria, you all come back to us for help! All of you! ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION TO US?!"

(The reprimanding, loud and incoherent. Just like WWII Japanese pilots going down with the plane.)

Nonna: "During the war, I created and sowed together all the clothing for your Nonno, myself and my children! All of you embarrass us with your designer clothes!"

(After that war, this was a woman who was coming out of the beauty parlor with cotton candy hair. They're supposed to start out with blonde but she came home with puffed-up orange.
"Porca Eva, Nonna! Who are you supposed to be this week?"

Nonna: "Oh, and look at your Nonno. He always got food on the table during the war!"

(Our Nonno was a butcher and was considered the supreme highlight of the family. And that food on the table was the scraps he was stealing from the shop.)

"Mamma mia", it's amazing how an interesting story on Italian food can quickly turn into an issue of hatred and hypocrisy.

By the way, horsemeat makes the best "braciole".

You take the meat, add a lot of garlic and basil, roll it with thread and you put in some nice tomatoes. You can eat it all the time and look fabulous. You'll never get another pimple to pop.

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