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 05/28/08 Pappardelle in Lemon Cream Sauce with Asparagus and Smoked Salmon from OreganoFromItaly.com

"Tempo al tempo." (All in good time.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Swiss Chard Ravioli
  -Pappardelle al Sugo di Limone con Asparagi e Salmone Affumicato
  -Gelato di Pesca

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

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       


 Recipe: Swiss Chard Ravioli

Swiss Chard Ravioli

Ingredients:

1/4 cup water
1 lb Swiss chard, center spine and stems trimmed
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese
1 large egg
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
64 gyoza (potsticker) wrappers* (from two 12-ounce packages) or wonton wrappers cut into 3 and 1/2-inch rounds.
1 large egg white, beaten to blend

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
1/4 cup chopped fresh sage

Additional freshly grated Parmigiano cheese (optional)

Directions:

Bring 1/4 cup water to boil in large pot.

Add chard leaves. Cover; cook until tender but still bright green, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes.

Drain. Cool slightly. Squeeze dry.

Chop chard finely. Transfer to large bowl.

Mix in ricotta, 1/3 cup Parmigiano cheese, egg, garlic, thyme, salt, rosemary and pepper.

Line baking sheet with foil or plastic wrap; sprinkle with flour.

Place 1 gyoza wrapper on work surface. Brush surface of wrapper with some egg white.

Spoon generous 1 teaspoon chard mixture into center of wrapper.

Top with another wrapper.

Press edges together to seal.

Transfer to baking sheet. Repeat with remaining wrappers, egg white and chard mixture to make 32 ravioli total. (Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and chill.)

Melt butter in heavy small skillet over medium heat.

Add sage; stir 1 minute.

Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

Working in batches, cook ravioli in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes per batch.

Transfer ravioli to large shallow bowl.

Pour sage butter over ravioli and toss.

Serve, passing additional Parmigiano cheese alongside, if desired. Serves 8 as a first-course.

That's it!


 Recipe: Pappardelle al Sugo di Limone con Asparagi e Salmone Affumicato

Pappardelle al Sugo di Limone con Asparagi e Salmone Affumicato
Pappardelle in Lemon Cream Sauce with Asparagus and Smoked Salmon

Ingredients:

1 lb asparagus
2 large shallots
2 lemons
1/4 lb sliced smoked salmon (optional)
1 lb dried pappardelle or fettuccine
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup heavy cream

Directions:

Trim asparagus and diagonally cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

Finely chop shallots.

Finely grate enough lemon zest to measure 1 and 1/2 teaspoons and squeeze enough juice to measure 3 tablespoons.

Cut salmon into 2 x 1/2-inch strips.

Fill a 6-quart pasta pot three fourths full with salted water and bring to a boil for asparagus and pasta. Have ready a bowl of ice and cold water.

Cook asparagus in boiling water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes, and with a slotted spoon transfer to ice water to stop cooking.

Reserve water in pot over low heat, covered.

Drain asparagus and set aside some asparagus tips for garnish.

In a deep 12-inch heavy skillet cook shallots in butter with salt and pepper to taste over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.

Stir in cream and zest and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Stir in 2 tablespoons lemon juice and remove skillet from heat. Return water in pot to a boil.

Cook pasta in boiling water, stirring occasionally, until 'al dente' and ladle out and reserve 1 cup pasta water.

Drain pasta in a colander and add to sauce with asparagus, 1/2 cup pasta water, three fourths salmon, remaining tablespoon lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.

Heat mixture over low heat, gently tossing (and adding more remaining pasta water as needed if mixture becomes dry), until just heated through.

Serve pasta garnished with reserved asparagus tips and remaining salmon. Serves 4 as a main course.

That's it!


 Recipe: Gelato di Pesca

Gelato di Pesca
Peach Gelato

Ingredients:

1 cup minus 1 tablespoon superfine granulated sugar
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon bottled or filtered still water (not distilled)
1 and 1/2 lbs peaches
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lightly beaten egg white

Directions:

In a small heavy saucepan heat sugar and water, stirring until sugar is dissolved.

Cool syrup.

Peel and pit peaches and in a food processor puree until smooth.

Transfer 2 cups puree to a bowl, reserving remainder for another use, and stir in syrup and lemon juice.

Chill peach mixture until cold and up to 1 day.

Stir in egg white and freeze in an ice-cream maker.

Serve gelato immediately or transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden no more than 3 hours. Makes about 1 quart.

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:

Padre Pio Exhumed In Italy

Rome - March 3, 2008 - The remains of Padre Pio, a hugely popular Italian saint whose body is due to go on public display later this year, have been exhumed, officials said Monday.

Bishop Domenico D'Ambrosio, a Vatican-appointed envoy who oversaw the unearthing Sunday night, said the body had been well preserved.

Padre Pio, a mystic Capuchin monk who had an enormous following in Italy and abroad, died in 1968 after living for decades with inexplicable, bleeding wounds on his hands and feet, like the wounds Jesus suffered at crucifixion. Pope John Paul II made him a saint in 2002.

Church officials wanted to exhume the body so the faithful can pray before it this year, the 40th anniversary of his death. They also wanted to take measures to ensure it was well preserved.

D'Ambrosio said there was no sign of the so-called stigmata on his limbs after an initial examination Sunday and Monday. But otherwise, the body had been "conserved well," he said.

"Padre Pio's fingernails are as if he had just had a manicure," D'Ambrosio said.

Padre Pio had a huge public following in life as in death, and his beatification and canonization ceremonies drew hundreds of thousands of people to the Vatican.

For decades, though, many in the Vatican were made uneasy by his popularity and had scorned him, doubting that his inexplicable wounds were real and that his mystical virtues were authentic. He was banned for years from saying Mass in public even as his following grew immensely.

Padre Pio's body will go on display starting in mid-April in San Giovanni Rotondo, a town near the Adriatic in southern Puglia, where he lived.

"Perchè, perchè, perchè?" One hopes the real reason behind the exhumation was NOT for exploitation by the Vatican.

Monsignor Domenico D'Ambrosio, Archbishop of Manfredonia, said the Capuchin friar's body had been exhumed "to check on its state and to carry out all the necessary work to guarantee the best conditions for its conservation."

The exhumation was approved by that Vatican however, there was opposition from some of the saint's most faithful followers. Even Padre Pio's relatives had threatened to take Archbishop Domenico to court if the corpse was exhumed, and a group of devotees had also threatened legal action.

Padre Pio acquired deserved fame as a miracle worker (credited with over a thousand miraculous cures) and was purported to have the gift of reading souls. He is alleged to have been able to bilocate (be physically present in two places at once).

Of course, his fame had the negative side effect that accusations against him made their way to the Holy Office in Rome. His accusers included high-ranking archbishops with bloated egos, bored bishops, incredibly interesting theologians and physicians with too much free time.

They brought several accusations against him including: insanity, immoral attitude towards women (claims that he had intercourse with women in the confessional); misuse of funds, and deception (claims that the stigmata were induced with acid in order to gain fame, and that the reported odor of sanctity around him being the result of self-administered eau-de-cologne).

And by shocking surprise Padre Pio was even accused as being a political agitator that supported local fascist groups in early 1920s. Mob expeditions of a so-called "Arditi di Cristo", Christ's Daring Men, acted against peasants and citizens of San Giovanni Rotondo, after a voting victory of Socialist Italian Party. It's reported that 20 people were killed and hundreds wounded.

The stupendously stupid founder of Rome's Catholic university hospital concluded Padre Pio was "an ignorant and self-mutilating psychopath who exploited people's credulity."

Padre Pio was subject to numerous investigations. In the period from 1924 to 1931 the Vatican made several statements denying that the occurrences in the life of Padre Pio were due to any divine cause. At one point, he was prevented from performing all his priestly duties (such as hearing confessions), except for saying Mass, and even that was to be done in private.

In 1940, Padre Pio began plans to open a hospital in San Giovanni Rotondo, to be named the "Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza" or "Home to Relieve Suffering". Padre Pio's detractors used this project as another weapon to attack him, charging him with misappropriation of funds. When it seemed to the public that Padre Pio would be forever in public disgrace, it was Pope Paul VI who, in the mid 1960s, firmly dismissed all accusations against Padre Pio.

Pope John Paul II declared Padre Pio a saint in 2002.

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