05/21/08 Broccoli Rabe with Garlic and Pecorino Romano Cheese from OreganoFromItaly.com

"La morte mi troverà vivo." (Death will find me alive.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Broccoli Rabe con Aglio e Formaggio di Pecorino Romano
  -Spaghetti con Pomodori, Zucchine e Pesto
  -Penne con Salsiccia, Funghi e Spinaci

Enjoy the recipes and the complimentary news article report from "Only In Italy.com".

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Broccoli Rabe con Aglio e Formaggio di Pecorino Romano

Broccoli Rabe con Aglio e Formaggio di Pecorino Romano
Broccoli Rabe with Garlic and Pecorino Romano Cheese


2 lbs broccoli rabe, tough stems peeled
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
6 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese


Cook Broccoli Rabe in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes.

Drain and transfer to bowl of ice water to cool. Drain again; pat dry. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap in paper towels. Enclose in plastic bag and chill.)

Heat olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add broccoli rabe and saute until heated through, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat.

Sprinkle 4 tablespoons cheese over and toss to combine.

Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to warm platter. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons cheese over. Serves 6.

That's it!

 Recipe: Spaghetti con Pomodori, Zucchine e Pesto

Spaghetti con Pomodori, Zucchine e Pesto
Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Zucchini and Pesto


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cups 1/2-inch cubes zucchini (about 22 ounces)
1 and 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
1 lb spaghetti

One 7-ounce package purchased pesto
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
Grated Parmigiano cheese


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

Add zucchini, onion and garlic and saute until zucchini is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes with juices and simmer until almost all liquid evaporates, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente'. Drain; return to pot.

Add pesto to pasta and toss to coat.

Add zucchini mixture and toss over low heat to combine. Mix in basil.

Season pasta with salt and pepper.

Transfer pasta to large bowl. Serve, passing Parmigiano cheese separately. Serves 6.

That's it!

 Recipe: Penne con Salsiccia, Funghi e Spinaci

Penne con Salsiccia, Funghi e Spinaci
Penne with Sausage, Wild Mushrooms and Spinach


3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 lb fully cooked pork sausage, thickly sliced into rounds
3/4 lb fresh wild mushrooms (such as crimini or stemmed shiitake), thickly sliced
3/4 cup chopped shallots
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
One 10-ounce package ready-to-use spinach leaves
1 and 1/4 cups chicken broth
3/4 lb Penne pasta, freshly cooked
2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated provolone or mozzarella cheese


Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat.

Add sausage, mushrooms, shallots, garlic and crushed red pepper.

Saute until mushrooms begin to brown, about 10 minutes.

Add spinach and broth; toss until spinach wilts, about 2 minutes.

Add pasta and cheese; toss until cheese melts and sauce coats pasta, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 4.

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:

Berlusconi: Only 'Retards' Would Vote For Italy's Left

Milan - April 4, 2008 - Silvio Berlusconi has said only "retards" will vote for his rivals in Italy’s general election.

"I do not believe that Italians could be retarded enough to fall into a trap like this," said the media magnate in his final rally in front of the Colosseum.

Silvio Berlusconi claimed footballer Francesco Totti 'had nothing between the ears'. Mr Berlusconi used the word "grullo", a grave insult in Florentine dialect.

The phrase recalled his use of the word "coglione", or testicle, to describe opposition supporters at the last election in 2006. However, the perma-tanned billionaire committed one gaffe too many when he went on to insult Italy's iconic football player, Francesco Totti. Upon hearing that Mr. Totti was supporting his rivals, he shrugged: "Those with nothing between their ears have nothing between their ears."

Mr. Totti has repeatedly been lampooned in Italy for being ignorant. The footballer's legions of fans rapidly forced Mr Berlusconi into an apology. Even Giulio Andreotti, Italy’s former prime minister, joined the fray, accusing Mr Berlusconi of being "offside". Mr. Berlusconi grovelled: "I am sorry. I love Totti. He’s a good boy. He's obviously been manipulated by the Left-wing. His wife works as a television presenter for me."

In the 2001 elections, Mr. Berlusconi won support when he promised that there would be "meno tasse per tutti (less tax for all)" and particularly "meno tasse per Totti". Meanwhile, his main rival, Walter Veltroni, blasted Mr. Berlusconi as a man from a different era.

"I hear this talk about Stalinism, about taking up arms or revolution and I think: What planet are we on? What year are we in?" he said, to 100,000 cheering supporters in Milan.

Mr Veltroni promised that he would sweep through Italy’s outdated and "encrusted" political and business worlds and be a "force for change" similar to Tony Blair. While Mr Berlusconi has relaxed in anticipation of an easy victory, Mr Veltroni closed his campaign with speeches in each of Italy’s four major cities: Naples, Bologna, Milan and Rome. Speaking for over an hour without notes, Mr Veltroni energized the crowd in Milan by comparing Italian life to a dream in which one cannot race ahead because one's legs are heavy. He has vowed to remove 500 "pointless" laws in order to ease the bureaucratic burden.

Mr Berlusconi has suggested Mr Veltroni will try to rig the election, and as the first votes arrived today, from Italians living abroad, the home ministry insisted it would be "as transparent as a glass house".

However, there were indications that 50,000 votes from Latin America had been tampered with, allegedly in collusion with the Piromalli clan, part of the Calabrian ’Ndrangheta mafia.

The home ministry said that Italian councils in Latin America had already been alerted and were watchful for any suspicious ballot papers.

There were allegations of vote-rigging at the last election, in 2006, which Romano Prodi won by just 24,000 votes.

"The best political leader in Europe and the world." Silvio Berlusconi, on himself.

The fog in Milan must be causing an allergic reaction with the glue from his hair plugs making his asphalt skull thicker and forcing him to say more and more stupid things.

Berlusconi is notorious for his questionable and retarded sense of humor:

In February of 2002, at a European Union summit of foreign ministers, Berlusconi made a vulgar gesture (the "corna") behind the head of the Spanish foreign minister, Josep Piqué, intimating he was a "cuckold" (the husband of an unfaithful wife) during an official photo shoot. This is a common joke among Italian children, but many felt it was utterly out of place in an international meeting. He explained to the participants who were acting like retards that he "was just kidding", and was trying to create a relaxed atmosphere, that this sort of meeting was meant to "create friendship, cordiality, fondness and kind relationships", and that he wanted to amuse a small group of Boy Scout bystanders.

On 2 July 2003, one day after taking over the rotating presidency of the EU Council of Ministers, he was heavily criticized by the German SPD Member of the European Parliament Martin Schulz because of his retarded domestic policy. Berlusconi responded to the apparent retard: "Mr Schulz, I know a movie producer in Italy who is making a movie about Nazi concentration camps. I suggest you play the role of a Kapo. You are perfect for the part!". Even though Berlusconi insisted that he was only joking, his retarded comparisons with the Nazis caused a brief cooling of Italy's relationship with Germany.

In 2003, during an interview with magazine editors, Berlusconi claimed that Mussolini was not a retard and had been a benign dictator who did not murder opponents but sent them "on holiday".

On 4 April 2006, less than a week before the upcoming retarded political elections in Italy, during a speech, Berlusconi stated that he holds "too high esteem of the Italians' intelligence to think that there are so many "coglioni" (a vulgar reference to a man's anatomy often used about people considered stupid) around voting against their interest".

In the run up to the 2008 Italian general election, Berlusconi claimed that right-wing female politicians were better looking than their retarded left-wing counterparts. Berlusconi was quoted as telling local media that the left had "no taste" in women. His retarded remarks provoked an angry reaction from retarded Italian center-left parties, which accused him of being a retarded sexist. Berlusconi was quoted as saying that when he looked around parliament, he found that female politicians from the right were "more beautiful" and that "The left has no taste, even when it comes to women."

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