06/13/07 Penne con Salmone Puttanesca from OreganoFromItaly.com

"Tutto fumo e niente arrosto." (All smoke and no fire.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Arugula Basil Pesto Sauce
  -Spaghettini with Shrimp, Tomatoes, and Capers
  -Penne con Salmone Puttanesca

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

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Arugula Basil Pesto Sauce

Arugula Basil Pesto Sauce


1 cup arugula, fresh packed
1 cup fresh basil, packed
6 garlic cloves
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup parmesan-romano cheese, grated
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil


Place all ingredients but the olive oil in a food processor and pulse till chopped.

Pour the olive oil through feed tube while processing till creamy. 10 servings (1 cup).

That's it!

 Recipe: Spaghettini with Shrimp, Tomatoes, and Capers

Spaghettini with Shrimp, Tomatoes, and Capers


For 1 lb spaghettini
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup yellow onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 lb fresh, ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 in dice
1/2 tsp chopped fresh oregano or 1/3 tsp dried
1 1/2 tbs capers
3/4 lb fresh medium shrimp, peeled, deveined if necessary, and cut into 1/2 in pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Put the olive oil and onion in a large skillet over a medium heat and cook until the onion has turned golden brown at the edges. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the tomatoes. Cook rapidly until most of the liquid has evaporated but the tomatoes have not broken down completely. You may need to raise the heat even more but be careful not to burn them.

Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large saucepan or pot, add 1 tablespoon of salt, and drop in the pasta all at once, stirring until the strands are submerged.

Add the oregano, capers and shrimp to the sauce in the skillet and season with salt and black pepper. Cook until the shrimp turn pink, about 2 minutes, then remove the skillet from the heat.

When the pasta is cooked 'al dente', drain it and toss it with the sauce. Serve at once.

That's it!

 Recipe: Penne con Salmone Puttanesca

Penne con Salmone Puttanesca


12 ounces penne rigate or other ridged tubular pasta
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
16 ounces skinless center-cut salmon fillets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups grape tomatoes
1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoons drained capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup finely shredded basil leaves


In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until itís barely 'al dente'.

Drain, reserving 1 and 1/4 cups of the cooking water.

Meanwhile, in a very large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.

Season the salmon with salt and pepper, add it to the skillet and cook over high heat until browned on both sides but not cooked through, about 6 minutes. Transfer the salmon to a plate and pour off the olive oil in the skillet.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet along with the garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook over moderate heat until the garlic is lightly browned in spots, about 30 seconds.

Add the tomatoes and cook until just softened, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add 1 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water and bring to a boil, gently crushing the tomatoes.

Add the pasta, olives and capers and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the liquid is slightly absorbed, about 2 minutes.

Add the salmon to the skillet and break it up into chunks.

Cook, tossing, until the salmon is nearly cooked through and the pasta is al dente, about 2 minutes; add more of the pasta cooking water if the sauce is dry.

Stir in the basil, transfer the pasta to bowls and serve. 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:

Battle of the Oranges

January 16 - In Ivrea, a northwestern Italian town near Torino, one of the strangest and most ancient Italian carnival celebrations takes place every year. Although the tomato throwing battle "La Tomatina" which takes place the last week of August in Bunol, Spain claims to be the world's largest food fight, they are incorrect in their claim. This is the world's largest food fight without a doubt!

Let's go to the history of the Carnival. The first revolt was that of Violetta in 1194, a second revolt appears in the annals for 1266, when the men of Ivrea "expelled" the Marquis of Monferrato. This event is enshrined in the "Preda in Dora" ceremony described in the account of the Carnival of Ivrea that follows. But the most important and remembered event took place in 1194. At that time a Count that ruled the town, (Conte Rainieri di Biandrate) had made a new law to sleep with every new bride, he called it the "right of the first night".

Well, he got away with it until a miller's daughter named Violetta rebelled against him.

Violetta's father ran one of the floating mills that once exploited the waters of the Dora. She killed him with a sword she had hidden under her dress, and then she proceeded in showing his cut off head to the people, she then started a fire in the castle (Castellazzo), which started a revolt against the tyrant's troops. They fought by mainly throwing stones to them, and they won. That fight for liberty is recreated with the Battles of the Oranges, which substitute stones.

Every year there is a new Mugnaia (miller's daughter) chosen who is the heroine of the festivities and is accompanied by a corollary of characters that represent the historical heritage of the town including: the General and his staff, soldiers, musicians and more than 1,500 masked characters that perform in historical parades and pageants throughout the period. Then, 400 tons of oranges are used as ammunition as rival factions battle in a satirical but well-fought re-enactment of the peoples revolt against their lords many centuries ago.

There are more than 40 carri (decorated horse drawn carts) that carry 12 paying throwers (who represent the castle) through the 5 piazzas of the city where over 3,500 rebellious warriors representing 9 teams attempt to overwhelm them with their vicious orange throwing techniques. The winning team is determined by a jury who takes into account the decorations of the piazza (each team gets a half of a piazza to decorate) and the fury and accuracy of their orange throwing talents. The streets, walls and participants take on the color of the squashed and splattered fruit.

Events draw to an end with the final burning of the scarli (which are large wooden poles) and a codfish and polenta feast in the Borghetto area of the city plus, during breaks in the ceremonies, there are dishes of fat beans being handed out (a tradition which dates back to 1325).

"Ignoranti, cacchio!"

The United Nations should ask Italy if it has any initiatives on solving the world hunger crisis. It would be fun to hear it explain the ammunition arsenal of 400 tons of oranges it builds up every year.

Italy is the most powerful generator of emotions in the world. Emotions for us are not something to be ashamed of but some idiot Italian towns just don't know what to do with themselves when in the pursuit of emotions (and tourists).

So, what do they come up with? They exceed their production quota of oranges as agreed within the European Economic Community so that the excess comes to be destroyed (just to keep up the retail price).

Our incredibly brilliant co-citizens cooperate in the difficult path towards a unified Europe by pelting each other (and tourists) in the face with oranges.

And you, the naive but much appreciated tourist!

What would drive you to visit an unknown town in northern Italy in the middle of the January cold so that you can participate in a citrus fruit fight and possibly lose an eye or tooth? But at least you can enjoy the scrumptious codfish, polenta (cornmeal) and fat beans while you're recovering from your injuries in your hotel.

"Only In Italy" advice: Go to any simple but nice little Italian restaurant, sit at an outdoor table, order a nice dish of pasta with a tall glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, admire the piazza, the locals and live a little.

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