05/27/09 Tortellini alla Bolognese from OreganoFromItaly.com

"La pazienza non e' mai troppa." (Patience is never too much. You can never have too much patience.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Asparagus Valdostana
  -Tortellini alla Bolognese
  -Veal Cutlets with Artichokes

We sincerely hope all our subscribers and their families enjoy their recipes.

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Asparagus Valdostana

Asparagus Valdostana
Asparagi Alla Valdostana


2 and 1/4 lb (1 kg) asparagus, spears trimmed
2 cooked ham (or prosciutto) slices, cut into strips
2 eggs
4 oz (120 grams) Fontina cheese, sliced
2 tablespoons Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated
Butter, for greasing
Salt and pepper 


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

Grease an ovenproof dish with butter.

Cook the asparagus in salted, boiling water for about 10-15 minutes.

Drain and place in the prepared dish and top with the ham (or prosciutto) and fontina cheese.

Beat the eggs with the Parmigiano cheese.

Season with salt and pepper and pour over the asparagus.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until the Parmigiano cheese has melted and the eggs have set. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Tortellini alla Bolognese

Tortellini alla Bolognese


For the Fresh Pasta Dough:
7 oz (200 grams) plain flour, (Italian type "00" is great, plus extra for dusting
2 eggs, lightly beaten

For the Tortellini Filling:
2 oz (50 grams) minced veal
3 oz (80 grams) prosciutto, diced
1 and 1/2 oz (40 grams) Italian mortadella ham, diced
1 oz (25 grams) butter
2 tablespoons Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated
1 egg, lightly beaten

For the Tomato Sauce:
9 oz (250 grams) canned tomatoes or fresh tomatoes, peeled
9 fresh basil leaves, torn
Pinch of sugar
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Prepare the Fresh Pasta Dough:
Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a mound on a work surface.

Make a well in the center and add the eggs.

Using your fingers, gradually mix the flour, then knead for about 10 minutes (If the mixture is too firm, add a little water; if it is a bit soft, add a little extra flour.

Shape the dough into a ball and let it rest for about 15-20 minutes.

Roll out on a lightly floured surface or use a pasta machine to make a thin sheet.

Prepare the Tomato Sauce:
Put the tomatoes with their can juice (if using canned tomatoes) into a saucepan.

Add the sugar, garlic and a pinch of salt.

Cover and cook over a very low heat for about 30 minutes without stirring.

Mash the tomatoes with a wooden spoon and, if using canned tomatoes, cook for another 15 minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and leave to cool.

Stir in the olive oil and basil.

Prepare the Tortellini Filling:
Melt the butter in a small saucepan.

Add the veal and cook over a high heat, stirring frequently, until browned.

Transfer to a bowl, leave to cool, then stir in the Parmigiano cheese, prosciutto, mortadella ham and egg.

Put small mounds of the filling at regular intervals on the pasta sheet and cut it into squares.

Fold the squares corner to corner into triangles.

Then wrap each triangle around your index finger, press the points together and gently push the rest of the dough backwards to make the classic tortellini shape.

Make 20 tortellini per person.

Serve with tomato sauce. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Veal Cutlets with Artichokes

Veal Cutlets with Artichokes
Bracioline con Carciofi


Juice of 1 lemon, strained
2 tender globe artichokes
2 oz (50 grams) cooked ham, chopped
2 oz (50 grams) butter
8 best end veal cutlets, boned
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
Salt and pepper


Half-fill a bowl with water and stir in the lemon juice.

Cut off the tough outer leaves from the artichokes, remove and discard the chokes, cut into quarters and drop into the acidulated water.

Bring a pan of lightly salted water to the boil, drain the artichokes, add to the pan and parboil for 5 minutes, then drain.

Mix together the ham and 15 grams (1/2 oz) of the butter in a bowl and spread the mixture over the artichoke quarters.

Pound the veal cutlets with a meat mallet and season with salt and pepper.

Place an artichoke quarter on each, roll up and tie with kitchen string.

Heat the olive oil and the remaining butter in a frying pan, add the onion and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Add the roulades and cook, turning frequently, until golden brown all over.

Add 150 ml (1/4 pint) hot water and simmer for about 10 minutes until tender and cooked through, then serve. Serves 6.

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:

Massaging Grapes Produce Better Wine?

Abruzzo - February 12, 2009 - Italian vintner Stefania Pepe is a supporter of biodynamic agriculture and even massages her grapes before turning them into wine.

She believes gentle massage gives the grapes a good feeling and also ensures that only ripe grapes are used in the wine.

"Maybe it's because I'm a woman, but I believe you have to make wine special. You have to imbue it with love and energy. I give my grapes my love and my energy," she said during Italy's Vin2009 expo.

"It's not all analysis. It's not all chemicals. Only love can make my wine," the 43-year-old insisted before demonstrating how she gently massaged the grapes on a wooden board.

Pepe, who is five-months pregnant, is also enthusiastic and eager to convert others to biodynamic wines.

"Wine is made in the vineyard," she said, repeating a common adage among winemakers who note that great wine starts with the best fruit.

Biodynamic agriculture is based on the ideas of the Austrian philosopher and scientist Rudolf Steiner, who reportedly was a tea-totaler and never drank wine or spirits.

Supporters of biodynamic agriculture consider the farm as a living system. They use special methods, including burying cow manure in cow horns in the fields and using compost that includes Chamomile and Yarrow flowers, to enhance the soil to produce wines that are stronger, better balanced and have more vibrant tastes.

Its critics say biodynamic methods produce wines that are similar to those produced using organic farming methods.

Pepe's winery in Abruzzo, Italy was among the more than 200 that were part of Vin2009, which was sponsored by the Italian government to retain and gain more market share in the United States. By the end of November 2008, Italy had exported more than $1.2 billion worth of wine to the United States.

Like many of the wine makers, Pepe was looking for a U.S. importer for her 10,000 bottles of Pepe Rosso, a plumy, jammy red she guarantees will have 20 years of life.

Pepe started in the wine business as a child in her father's winery stepping on grapes. When she was 18, she bought her first vineyard and, after working in France at Chateau Margaux, she returned to Italy to make her first vintage at the age of 23.

At first, she ignored her father's method of using concrete vats to ferment the wine, instead insisting on barrels. But after that first vintage she noticed that some of the wine tasted more of wood than of fruit.

"So I went back to my father and apologized. He definitely understood," she explained.

Pepe still stomps on some of the wine she makes today.

"You know, this way, the grapes are actually gently pressed, not like some hydraulic machine. And also the hard, unripe grapes they won't crush under foot. So it's really better for the wine," Pepe said.

She built her winery 30 feet underground so that she could use gravity at every stage in the wine making process.

"When the grape is pressed, the juice runs down. When you need to keep the temperature cool, you have nature keeping it cool. We bottle by hand. There is no filtering. Everything I do, I do to be in harmony with nature.

"And it shows in the wine," she said smiling. "I believe that a single person can do one thing to make the world a little better. This is my one thing."

All You Need Is Love: "No no no! You're supposed to massage the cheese, you cornuto, not strangle it!"

Biodynamic agriculture should be supported for its environmental, health and social benefits ...as well as filmed for entertainment.

"You have to imbue with love and energy."

Love your eggs: The quality in eggs could be enhanced if only hens were taught to commit to just one partner rather than be treated as whores trapped in chicken brothels. A matchmaking service along with on site relationship counseling and mediation can help make a better omelette.

Love your milk: Never, ever yell at, hit, or otherwise abuse a goat while she's being milked. She needs and deserves your respect. The key is to make milking a loving experience, one that she will welcome, not dread.

If a goat lifts her leg in an effort to steer clear of your molesting hands on her "teats", one way to discourage this is to stop milking but keep your hand on the "teat" and warmly explain to her that your actions are out of total love and respect for her. Keep your hand on it until you convince her and puts her hoof back firmly down.

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