04/07/10 Artichoke and Potato Pie

"Chi ben comincia a met dell'opera." (A good start is half the battle.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Artichoke and Potato Pie
  -Spaghetti with Breadcrumbs
  -Steak In Balsamic Vinegar

Worthless people live only to eat and drink; people of worth eat and drink only to live. Enjoy your recipes.

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Artichoke and Potato Pie

Artichoke and Potato Pie
Torta Rustica Di Carciofi e Patate


4-5 globe artichokes, trimmed and cut into thin wedges
1 lb and 2 oz (500 grams) potatoes, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons Pecorino cheese, freshly grated
1 fresh thyme sprig, leaves only
Butter, for greasing
Juice of 1/2 lemon, strained
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) Gas Mark 4.

Grease an ovenproof dish with butter.

Half-fill a bowl with water, stir in the lemon juice, add the artichokes and leave to soak for about 10 minutes.

Place the potato slices in the prepared dish.

Drain the artichokes and place them on top of the potatoes.

Sprinkle with the pecorino cheese and thyme, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with the olive oil.

Bake for about an hour.

Serve warm. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Spaghetti with Breadcrumbs

Spaghetti with Breadcrumbs
Spaghetti Con La Mollica


8 black olives, stoned and halved
2 salted anchovies
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 oz (80 grams) breadcrumbs
1/2 garlic clove chopped
12 oz (350 grams) spaghetti
Salt and pepper


Remove the heads from the anchovies, clean and fillet them.

Soak in cold water for 10 minutes and drain.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a pan.

Add the anchovies and cook, mashing with a wooden spoon until they are quite fine.

Season with pepper and add the capers and olives.

Mix together the breadcrumbs, garlic and a pinch of salt in a bowl.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a small frying pan.

Add the breadcrumb mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until golden.

Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of salted, boiling water until 'al dente', then drain and return to the pan.

Add the anchovy sauce and stir.

Transfer to a warm serving dish and sprinkle with the fried breadcrumbs. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Steak In Balsamic Vinegar

Steak In Balsamic Vinegar
Bistecche All'Aceto Balsamico


1 oz (25 grams) butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 entrecote steaks
1 shallot, chopped
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Fresh flat-leaf parsley sprig, chopped


Heat 3/4 oz (20 grams) of the butter and the olive oil in a frying pan.

Add the steaks and cook over a high heat for 2-4 minutes on each side, depending on how well done you like your steak.

Season with salt, transfer to a serving dish and keep warm.

Add the shallot to the pan and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Add the remaining butter and reduce a little, then stir in the vinegar.

Remove the pan from the heat and pour the sauce over the steaks, sprinkle with the parsley and serve. Serves 4.

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:

Black Out Plunges Naples Into Panic

Rome - February 24, 2010 - More than 30% of Italian school building need urgent maintenance work, including the removal of asbestos, according to a new report from the environmental group Legambiente, which was presented on Wednesday.

The report also said that some 40% of Italian schools do not have any sports facilities.

The northern provinces of Prato, Parma, and Biella were said to have the best school structures, while the worst were found in Campobasso, Messina and Crotone in the south.

This year's report, now in its 10th edition, praised the advances which have been made in Italian schools in regard to waste recycling, practiced in 86.92% of schools compared to 39.16% in 2001, and the growing use of low consumption illumination, now present in about half of Italian schools compared to 37% in 2005.

"Mamma Mia" What? You need a pencil?
Who do you think you are, Dante?

It's no surprise Italian schools have huge organizational problems, and a real problem assigning funding, which is not enough to fully implement its crappy and outdated programs. Not to mention the badgering of children into selecting a political party at the age of 6. Just imagine an old tractor with too many broken down parts that guzzles up a lot of gas...and goes into town every once in a while looking for so-called "escorts".

However; you should see what goes inside these Italian public schools. When the school day ends it looks like the set of "300"; kids with piercing running around like psychopaths on those threatening scooters, running people over, purse snatching, vandalism, etc. Now I know how the Spartans felt like.

And if you confront these incredibly qualified school officials about the health problems such as the presence of asbestos, you will get a typical answer such as, "Look on the positive side. At least the kids haven't caught on fire."

"The report also said that some 40% of Italian schools do not have any sports facilities." That is true...unless you consider playing soccer in traffic, outrunning the police on a scooter at lunch time, playing "scopa" (Italian card game) in the bathroom, or playing with asbestos sports activities.

"Only In Italy" Subscribe for free and day in and day out, 5 days a week, you'll have laughter, tears and intelligent commentary all blaring at you from your stupid little monitor. Click Here to Subscribe!

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