06/06/07 Fegato di Pollo e Milza Bruschette from OreganoFromItaly.com

"Rosso di mattina, il mal tempo s'avvicina" (Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Fegato di Pollo e Milza Bruschette
  -Cavatelli con Ricotta e Pomodoro
  -Stockfish Calabrese

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

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Fegato di Pollo e Milza Bruschette

Fegato di Pollo e Milza Bruschette
Chicken Livers and Veal Spleen on Toast


3 1/2 oz (100 grams) chicken livers
3 1/2 oz (100 grams) veal spleen
2 peeled tomatoes
1 little carrot
2 fresh young onions
Bunch of fresh parsley
2 teaspoons capers in vinegar
1/2 cup (4 fl oz) red wine
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 oz (20 grams) butter
Salt and pepper


Slice the veal spleen.

Chop the parsley together with the capers, carrot and onions. Put the chopped ingredients, olive oil and butter in a pan and let all fry lightly on a low flame, stirring constantly.

Add the veal spleen and chicken livers, stir for 1 to 2 minutes and, finally, add the wine. Add the peeled tomatoes after squashing them with a fork.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and keep on cooking for almost 30 minutes or until the cooking juice is well evaporated.

Let cool and then purée.

Spread the mixture on the slices of toasted bread and drizzle with virgin olive oil. Serves 4.

That's it!

 Recipe: Cavatelli con Ricotta e Pomodoro

Cavatelli con Ricotta e Pomodoro
Cavatelli with Ricotta Cheese and Tomato


1 and 3/4 lbs (800 grams) fresh cavatelli pasta
1 and 2/3 lbs (700 grams) ripe cherry tomatoes
3 1/2 oz (100 grams) mature salt ricotta cheese
2 garlic cloves
4 teaspoons dried oregano
16 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Chili pepper


Wash the cherry tomatoes, quarter them and remove seeds.

Let garlic fry lightly in a pan together with a piece of chili pepper; then remove them and add the tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and keep on cooking, half-covered, for about 20 minutes, stirring now and then. At the end of cooking, add the oregano.

Meanwhile boil cavatelli in abundant salt water. Grate salt ricotta cheese and put it in a large bowl; melt the cheese with a ladle of very hot cooking water.

Drain pasta well, pour it into a bowl, dress with the tomato sauce. Stir and serve at once. Serves 6.

That's it!

 Recipe: Stockfish Calabrese

Stockfish Calabrese


1 and 2/3 lb (700 grams) stockfish, previously soaked
6 medium size potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 3/4 oz (50 grams) black olives, stoned
2 onions
2 tablespoons puréed tomatoes
6-8 basil leaves
Sprigs of parsley
12 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Pepper or chili


Heat abundant water; when it comes to a boil, add the stockfish and cook over a moderate flame for 10 minutes.

Drain the fish, pat dry with absorbent kitchen paper, skin, bone and cut into large chunks.

Chop the onion, parsley and saute in a pan with virgin olive oil and puréed tomatoes until the sauce is reduced.

Pour in some hot water and add the fish, potatoes and basil, finely chopped.

Cook for ten minutes, add the black olives, season with salt and pepper (not too much salt). Continue cooking until potatoes become soft. Serve hot. 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:

"Stop Taking All That Medicine" Premier Writes to Italians

Pole satisfied. Democrats of the Left (DS) say they will return leaflet. Spending on medicines increased by 9.8% in the first nine months of 2004.

ROME - January 30, 2005 - "Dear Italians, taking too many medicines is bad for your health and bad for public spending. Let's avoid waste and health risks". Worried because people take too many medicines, and about the cost to the public purse, Silvio Berlusconi has put pen to paper to write to Italians again, after his letter on the euro. He will send it to 16 million households, together with a leaflet issued by the Ministry of Health and illustrated by cartoonist Giorgio Forattini.

Yesterday, the newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore announced the premier's initiative, an anti-waste campaign that began with television ads and will end with the distribution over the next few days of the letter, which contains 40 close-packed lines of paternal admonitions. The announcement was made on the day when Italy's pharmaceutical expenditure figures were published, showing an increase in 2004 over 2003 of 9.8%. The breakdown shows 48.1% of the total was spent on medicines to treat cardiovascular diseases, 35% sustained by the Italian health service.

LETTER AND TV ADS - The leaflet offers practical advice and information. Pills and syrups should be used with caution. Care should be taken over where and how medicines are kept. You shouldn't stockpile and you should keep an eye on the use-by date.

TOO MANY HOARDS - Comments and replies started to arrive at once in the shape of protests, declarations of support, smiles and flurries of anger. The Federfarma association expressed approval, as did Farmindustria. Federfarma president Giorgio Siri went so far as to put Italy's 16,000 pharmacies at the disposal of the campaign, which could mean displaying posters in pharmacy windows. Approving comments arrived from the House of Freedoms, particularly the Northern League and Forza Italia. Surprisingly, Mr. Berlusconi's letter was greeted favorably by Antonio Di Pietro. The president of Italy of Values acknowledged the "more or less electoral" aims behind the initiative, but said he shared them. "It's true that in Italy we misuse drugs, and there is a bad habit of filling homes with medicines when there is no real need. This is due to the fact that many medicines are free, and people tend to hoard needlessly".

RETURN TO SENDER - But center-left politicians voiced strong dissent. The DS announced that its members will send the letter back. "Sick people take medicines to get better. Waste and hoarding has nothing to do with ordinary people. A mistaken health policy is to blame", said Livia Turci (DS), who wanted to know how much of the money used to send the letters will be diverted from other purposes that are more useful to citizens.

GENERIC MEDICINES - It is not just opposition politicians who criticize Mr. Berlusconi's initiative. Mario Falconi, president of the FIMMG family doctors' association, responds, "It is simply not true that medicines are misused. On the contrary, I would congratulate Italians on consumption levels, which are among the lowest in Europe". The Observatory for the Third Age asks that the introduction of mini-packs should be followed up by genuine efforts to reduce waste, and hospital internists are talking about simplistic generalization. President Ido Iori stated, "I said to myself that the premier is using his role to make considerations that are typical of the uninformed". Mariolina Iossa

"Too Many Medicines!", Premier Writes.
"You Have Too Much Free Time!", Italians Respond.

It's no surprise that the Italian public health care system doesn't work.

Italians abuse the system: Some Italians own medicine cabinets that are as large as walk-in closets. And tourists who visit Italy have no need to worry if they can't locate an open pharmacy. Knock on the door of any senior citizen's home and you'll find them popping and pushing pills like "Tic Tacs".

Doctors abuse the system. They are always paid in cash and, if you're lucky to get an appointment, they'll examine you from the balcony of their villa.

However, we will certainly be doing our part to satisfy the overly-concerned prime minister. One of our staff writers who goes to monthly electroshock therapy has decided to interrupt his sessions for the benefit of the nation.

As a matter of fact, he sounds a little bit down today. Maybe he'll go suck on a battery.

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