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 04/04/07 Coniglio con Salsa di Mandorle from OreganoFromItaly.com

"Tanti Auguri e Buona Pasqua!" Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Salsa coi Funghi
  -Coniglio con Salsa di Mandorle
  -Triglie di Scoglio

All of us up at the farm wish our dear readers a happy, healthy and safe Easter Holiday! Enjoy the recipes and the complimentary news article report from "Only In Italy.com".

Thanks again for subscribing!

Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       


 Recipe: Salsa coi Funghi

Salsa coi Funghi
Sauce With Mushrooms

Ingredients:

1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms soaked in 3/4 cup boiling hot water for about 30 minutes
1 cup white or dark (crimini) mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup low fat milk
2 tbs butter
1/4 cup tomato paste or thickened tomato sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbs Marsala wine

Directions:

Soak porcini mushrooms in water for about 1/2 hour until re-hydrated. Remove from water and chop them thinly.

Save the water they soaked in and run it through a filter to filter out dirt that may have been stuck on the mushrooms.

Melt butter in pan and saute onions until translucent.

Add regular and porcini mushrooms and saute with onion.

Add porcini water, cream and simmer until sauce begins to thicken a bit.

Add salt and pepper.

About 5 minutes before it's done, add the tomato paste.

Now is the time to add the Marsala wine if you want it, but the sauce will need to simmer a bit longer to boil away the extra liquid.

Note: This mushroom vegetarian pasta sauce is best served on penne or mostaccioli, not spaghetti.

That's it!


 Recipe: Coniglio con Salsa di Mandorle

Coniglio con Salsa di Mandorle
Rabbit with Almond Sauce

Ingredients:

1 large rabbit quartered (a skinless quartered chicken may be substituted if you don't favor eating rabbit)
One-half bottle (about two cups) dry white wine
Sprig of fresh laurel (bay leaves)
Sprig of fresh rosemary
Few small leaves of sage
3.5 oz (100 grams) of shelled toasted blanched ("white") almonds
2.5 tbs (50 grams) of pine nuts
2.5 tbs (50 grams) white or golden raisins
1 white or yellow onion
2 anchovy fillets (may be canned)
2.5 tbs (50 grams) capers
2 tablespoons low-alcohol almond extract (the kind used in baking)
Extra virgin olive oil
White pepper and salt

Directions:

If it's not already quartered, cut the rabbit (or chicken) into pieces.

Remove the herb leaves from the stalks.

If you're preparing this recipe with rabbit, marinade the meat in the white wine with the rosemary, bay leaves and sage for 3-4 hours before cooking.

Then chop the onion into thin slices and place it in the bottom of a roasting pan with a tablespoon of virgin olive oil. Add the rabbit and other ingredients, including the wine and herbs.

Roast the rabbit in the oven for an hour or more as you would roast a chicken, occasionally basting it with the wine and olive oil mixture. The rabbit should be covered during half of the baking time, and turned over when it is about half cooked. Add wine if necessary if the liquid sauce seems as if it will evaporate.

Meanwhile, chop the almonds and pine nuts into a fine granular consistency, almost powdery if possible.

Chop the anchovy fillets into a paste.

In a mixing bowl, thoroughly combine the almond-pine nut mixture with the anchovy paste, almond extract, the juice of one lemon, the capers and raisins.

When the rabbit is completely cooked, remove it from the oven and quickly stir in this combined paste before serving, adding a little olive oil and water if it seems too liquid. You may wish to remove the bay leaves.

Salt and pepper lightly to taste. Italian arborio rice, prepared as risotto, makes a nice complement to the dish.

That's it!


 Recipe: Triglie di Scoglio

Triglie di Scoglio
Red Mullet in Onion Sauce

Ingredients:

Two red mullets (about 250 grams each)
1/2 lb (200 grams) of sliced white or yellow onions
Whole grain or white flour
Half cup of white wine vinegar
2.5 tbs (50 grams) of white sugar or refined (crystallized) brown sugar
Two tablespoons of finely chopped fresh parsley
Extra virgin olive oil (for frying)
Extra virgin olive oil (to saute onions)
2 eggs (well beaten)
Salt and mild white pepper

Directions:

Clean the mullets but leave the heads attached.

Liberally coat the fish with flour, dip them in the beaten eggs, and dredge them in flour again.

Fry the mullets in refined virgin olive oil over medium heat, turning as necessary, until fully cooked. (Do so carefully; olive oil has a very low burning point.)

Remove the mullets from pan and drain olive oil by placing fish on absorbent paper. Discard frying oil.

Very slowly saute onions in virgin olive oil in a separate pan. When cooked, add about a half cup of vinegar. Add sugar and stir mixture.

When sugar begins to thicken or crystallize, add salt and pepper to taste.

Remove pan from heat. Add parsley. Add cooked mullets, or place fish on a plate and pour sauce over it.

Serve with a large slice of lemon. Traditionalists believe this dish is best served slightly chilled or at room temperature. Serves two.

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:

Forbidden Creams Finally Arrive in Italy

Rome - June 23 - Illegal market in cosmetics in Europe and Asia. Used by some immigrants to find work. Dermatologist says these methods are dangerous

You could call it the Michael Jackson syndrome. After all, it is driven by the same motive, a desire to be accepted. Or if you prefer, not accepting yourself. It happens in Asia, Africa, France and now it is happening in Italy. Women decide to lighten their skin to look prettier, younger and less "different". In some cases, they do it to find work more easily, or a flat to rent, or a job with a family as a domestic, an old person's companion or a baby sitter. In the Philippines, one woman in two uses lightening creams on her face. In Malaysia, the figure is four in ten, and in Taiwan it is almost as high.

In Paris last January, 15,000 packages of hydroquinone, the skin-depigmenting agent banned for cosmetic use by the European Union because it is carcinogenic (it can be used pharmacologically in limited quantities). One thousand boxes were confiscated the other day at the port of Voltri. They came from West Africa and were destined for the markets of Genoa and Milan. Dermatologist Fabio Rinaldi, who until a few months ago headed the functional unit for dermatology at Milan's Polyclinic, is well aware of the phenomenon. He says, "Often, people try to do it themselves using hydrogen peroxide and citrus fruit like lemons. These methods are potentially more dangerous than the chemicals because when the melanocyte, the melanin-producing cell, is stimulated, there is a risk that it may degenerate and develop into a melanoma. On the few occasions when I have had to deal with such cases in surgery, I realized that the patient's main anxiety was not the visible facial blotches, but the more intimate problem of an inability to accept oneself and the color of one's own skin".

Could it be that for many, the real problem is survival? Maria Jose Mendes Evora, former chair of the association of women from Cape Verde in Italy (there are almost 7,000), says frostily, "There are still too many small ads in the papers from people looking for a domestic or old person's companion that finish with 'provided you are not black'". I worked as a home help for 22 years, earning a social science degree in the meantime, and now I have a job in a company. I never dreamed of changing my skin color. I'm proud to be black. But I would like to send a firm message to those Italian ladies who judge a person by their skin color, not their abilities. I don't justify women who lighten their skin. I try to understand them. They want to survive".

It might be sufficient to create more reception facilities to put those arriving from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Africa, India or Central America in touch with each other. It would make them feel stronger, more united and more attractive together. This proposal comes from psychotherapist Maria Rita Parsi, who does not deny that racism has "increased. The tension in the Middle East makes us look with suspicion on anyone who has a slightly more olive complexion than is normal in Europe". Dr. Parsi refuses to offer any justification. "It is as if they wanted to eliminate their past, as well as their skin color. But that is not the way to eliminate the anger and pain that cause the problems. Sadly, we find them in our homes. It looks to me like the Michael Jackson syndrome - a hugely talented person whose lack of identity led him to self-destruction".

"Porca Miseria!" Look at what society is being reduced to.

Now if we can only find a legal method to help another three poor races who have experienced the same horrid problems of being shunned away from Italian society; the Calabrese, Neapolitans and Sicilians.

These are three people that experience their own Italian "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood":

"Itís a beautiful day in the neighborhood,
a beautiful day in the neighborhood.
Everybodyís from the north!
There are no Sicilians, Calabrese or Neapolitans."

"Today we're going to learn what not to do: We don't rent out apartments to southerners."
"Can you say, no vacancy?"
"Yes, you can."

"Remember one thing; just because someone is different than you is no reason to be nice to them."
"Can you say, outcasts?"
"Yes, you can."

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