04/13/11 Pork Stew with Butternut Squash

"Del male non fare e paura non avere." (Do no evil and have no fear.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Escarole and Orzo Soup with Little Meatballs
  -Pork Stew with Butternut Squash
  -Pizza with Prosciutto and Balsamic Onions

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Escarole and Orzo Soup with Little Meatballs

Escarole and Orzo Soup with Little Meatballs
Zuppa di Scarola e Orzo con Polpettine


1 large egg
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
12 ounces lean ground turkey
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

8 cups (or more) chicken broth
1 cup chopped peeled carrots
3/4 cup orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
4 cups coarsely chopped escarole (about 1/2 medium head)


Whisk egg and 2 tablespoons water in medium bowl to blend.

Mix in breadcrumbs; let stand 5 minutes.

Add turkey, Parmigiano cheese, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper; gently stir to blend.

Using wet hands, shape turkey mixture into 1 and 1/4-inch diameter meatballs.

Place on baking sheet; cover and chill 30 minutes.

Bring 8 cups chicken broth to boil in large pot.

Add carrots and orzo; reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered 8 minutes.

Add turkey meatballs and simmer 10 minutes.

Stir in chopped escarole and simmer until turkey meatballs, orzo, and escarole are tender, about 5 minutes longer.

Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.

Rewarm over medium heat, thinning with more broth if desired.

Ladle soup into bowls and serve. Makes 4 main-course servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Pork Stew with Butternut Squash

Pork Stew with Butternut Squash
Spezzatino di Maiale con Zucca


3 lbs 2-inch pieces trimmed pork shoulder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped thinly sliced pancetta (about 4 ounces)
2 cups chopped onions
3 garlic cloves, chopped
One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup dry red wine
2 large fresh fennel bulbs; fronds chopped and reserved, bulbs cut into 1-inch cubes (about 5 cups)
20 1 and 1/2-inch cubes peeled butternut squash (part of 3-pound squash)


Place pork in large bowl.

Mix next six ingredients in small bowl; sprinkle over pork, turning pork to coat evenly.

Let stand 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Heat olive oil in large ovenproof pot over medium-high heat.

Add pancetta and saute until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes.

Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to medium bowl.

Add half of pork to pot; saute until brown, about 8 minutes.

Using slotted spoon, transfer pork to bowl with pancetta.

Repeat with remaining pork.

Add onions and garlic to pot; saute until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes with juices, broth, wine, and pork mixture.

Bring to boil, scraping up browned bits.

Cover pot; place in oven.

Cook stew 1 hour.

Add fennel bulbs, chopped fronds, and squash cubes to stew.

Cover and cook in oven until pork and vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.

Using slotted spoon, transfer meat and vegetables to large bowl; cover.

Boil sauce over medium-high heat until thickened enough to coat spoon, about 25 minutes.

Return meat and vegetables to sauce; season with salt and pepper. Makes 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Pizza with Prosciutto and Balsamic Onions

Pizza with Prosciutto and Balsamic Onions
Pizza con Prosciutto e Cipolle Balsamico


For the Dough:
1 and 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/2 cup warm water (105F to 115F)
1 teaspoon dry yeast
1 and 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey

For the Toppings:
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
One 12-ounce red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 large red bell pepper

For the Pizza:
All purpose flour
1 cups (packed) coarsely grated whole-milk mozzarella cheese
3 tablespoons coarsely grated Parmigiano cheese
4 thin slices prosciutto, sliced crosswise into thin strips
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
Balsamic vinegar


Prepare the Dough:
Mix flour and salt in large bowl.

Place 1/2 cup warm water in small bowl.

Sprinkle yeast over water and stir to blend.

Let stand until dissolved, about 10 minutes.

Pour yeast mixture into bowl with flour.

Add olive oil and honey.

Using flexible spatula, stir until coarse dough forms.

Knead dough in bowl with 1 hand until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes.

Cover bowl; let dough stand 30 minutes.

Refrigerate dough in bowl, still covered, at least 2 hours (dough will rise very little).

Prepare the Toppings:
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat.

Add onion and saute until golden, about 12 minutes.

Add vinegar and Worcestershire sauce.

Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until liquid cooks away and onion is very tender, about 4 minutes; season onion with salt and pepper.

Heat remaining 1/2 cup olive oil in heavy small skillet over medium-low heat.

Add garlic and saute just until garlic begins to brown, about 4 minutes.

Using slotted spoon, transfer garlic to custard cup.

Pour olive oil into separate small bowl.

Char bell pepper over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides.

Enclose in paper bag; let stand 10 minutes.

Peel, seed, and slice thinly.

Prepare the Pizza:
Place chilled dough ball on work surface.

Cover with plastic wrap; let stand at room temperature until malleable, about 1 hour.

Position rack in bottom third of oven.

Place heavy large baking sheet on rack (invert sheet if rimmed).

Preheat oven to 500F at least 30 minutes.

Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 12-inch round, allowing dough to rest a few minutes if it springs back.

Sprinkle flour on pizza paddle or another rimless baking sheet.

Slide under dough.

Brush 1 tablespoon reserved garlic oil over dough, leaving 1/2-inch plain border.

Sprinkle with mozzarella, then reserved garlic and balsamic onion.

Top with pepper strips in spoke pattern.

Sprinkle with Parmigiano cheese.

Slide knife under dough to loosen from paddle, if sticking.

Position paddle at far edge of hot baking sheet in oven.

Tilt paddle and pull back slowly, allowing pizza to slide onto sheet.

Bake 6 minutes.

Rotate pizza half a turn.

Bake until crust is deep brown, about 6 minutes longer.

Arrange prosciutto atop pizza.

Bake until prosciutto softens, about 30 seconds.

Using paddle, transfer pizza to board.

Sprinkle with thyme.

Cut into 8 wedges. Serve, passing more vinegar and garlic oil separately. 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:

Berlusconi's Ally: "Well, Women Should Use Their Bodies To Get Ahead In Politics"

Rome - September 14, 2010 - A close ally of Silvio Berlusconi has provoked a furious debate on sexism in politics after stating that women who want to be elected to Italy's parliament should use their bodies to get a head start in their careers.

Giorgio Stracquadanio, an Italian government MP, said it was "absolutely legitimate" for women to use their sex appeal and physical attributes in order to ensure success in their political careers.

"To develop a career, everyone uses what they have, even their bodies. It is absolutely legitimate. Everyone should use their body as they see fit. As long as there is consent, there is no violence and if there is no violence then there's no problem," Mr. Stracquadanio said.

Wow, the European Parliament just called. They just got word of this and they're all throwing up. They're all unconscious up there!

"Grazie Giorgio!" Thank you for your honesty. Now we know how your "faccia di culo" wound up in our Parliament.

With all the insults and slander hurled by our Italian politicians at every type of Italian authority in the last 15 years, one would think they could not get any lower. It's sort of like the Italian swimmer, Federica Pellegrini, who set the world record for the 400 meter freestyle at 4:01.53. How could anyone possibly go lower? "Figlio di puttana", along comes Stracquadanio and gets 4:01.51:

"To develop a career, everyone uses what they have, even their bodies..."

By the way, he should also be in the 'Guinness Book of World Records' for having the biggest pair of "coglioni" ever for being so brazen.

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