06/17/09 Veneto Style Creamed Stockfish from OreganoFromItaly.com

"Cane che abbaia non morde." (The dog that barks doesn't bite. The barking dog seldom bites.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Polenta with Cod
  -Veneto Style Creamed Stockfish
  -Chestnut Cream

Enjoy the recipes and have a happy and healthy summer season!

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Polenta with Cod

Polenta with Cod
Polenta con Merluzzo


1 and 3/4 lb (800 grams) cod fillet, skinned and diced
3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
8 walnuts, chopped
4 salted anchovies,
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
Pinch of chopped fresh rosemary
1 fresh flatleaf parsley sprig, chopped
2 potatoes, diced
1 lb and 2 oz (500 grams) coarse polenta flour
Salt and pepper


Clean the salted anchovies by cutting off the heads and tails.

Then press along the backbones of each one with your thumb.

Turn it over and remove the bones which should come away easily.

Soak in cold water for 10 minutes and drain.

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan.

Add the onion and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until lightly browned.

Add the anchovies, garlic and walnuts, cook for a few minutes.

Add the tomatoes, rosemary and parsley and cook for another 10 minutes.

Add the cod and potatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook for about an hour or until the potatoes have almost turned creamy and the sauce has thickened.

Prepare the Polenta:
Bring 3 pints (1.75 liters) salted water to a boil (keep another pan of water boiling if necessary).

Sprinkle the polenta flour into the pan while stirring constantly.

As soon as the polenta thickens, soften it with a drop of the reserved boiling water.

Note: The cooking time ranges from 45 minutes to 1 hour; the longer the cooking time, the more easily the polenta is digested.

Turn it out on to a warm serving dish, place the cod and sauce in the middle and serve. Serves 4-6.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Veneto Style Creamed Stockfish

Veneto Style Creamed Stockfish
Stoccafisso Mantecato alla Veneta


1 lb and 5 oz (600 grams) stockfish, soaked and drained
1/4 pint (150 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
3 and 1/2 fl oz (100 grams) milk
Salt and pepper
Polenta, to serve (optional)


Place the stockfish in a saucepan, add water to cover and bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25-35 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and leave the fish to cool in the liquid.

When cold, drain the fish, remove the skin and bones and cut into small pieces.

Heat 4 tablespoons of the olive oil in a pan, add the onion and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring the milk to simmering point in another saucepan.

Add the stockfish to the onion, then gradually add the hot milk and remaining olive oil stirring, vigorously.

Simmer for 1 hour until white, frothy and creamy.

Season with salt and to taste and serve with polenta. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Chestnut Cream

Chestnut Cream
Crema di Marroni


2 and 1/4 lb (1 kg) chestnuts, shelled
7 oz (200 grams) caster or superfine sugar
2 oz (50 grams) *vanilla sugar
7 fl oz (200 ml) double cream


Blanch the chestnuts in boiling water for 5 minutes, then drain and peel.

Bring a pan of lightly salted water to the boil, add the chestnuts and simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the caster sugar, vanilla sugar and 8 fl oz (250 ml) water into a saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, then simmer for about 10 minutes.

Drain the chestnuts, remove the syrup from the heat and add the chestnuts.

Return the pan to the heat and boil for 10 minutes, then remove the chestnuts with a slotted spoon and pass through a food mill into a bowl.

Stir the syrup into the chestnuts and leave to cool.

Stiffly whip the cream and fold it into the cooled chestnut mixture, then divide among individual dishes and keep cool until ready to serve. Serves 6.

Note: To make vanilla sugar: Put a vanilla pod in a glass jar, fill the jar with sugar, seal and store in a cool place. In this way the sugar takes on a natural, delicate vanilla fragrance.

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:

Internet Censorship Crash Lands in Italy

Rome - February 11, 2009 - Italy may be able to force Internet providers to block access to Web sites including Facebook, the world's largest social-networking site, if they incite or justify criminal behavior, according to an amendment to a bill passed by the Senate.

Italian prosecutors began looking into Facebook groups dedicated to convicted Sicilian Mafia bosses Bernardo Provenzano and Salvatore Riina last month to verify whether they were used to send coded messages to mobsters. No official investigation was opened, according to Palermo prosecutor Maurizio De Lucia.

"The Internet must be free, but it can't be a jungle where good people and murderers are indistinguishable," Senator Gianpiero D'Alia, the lawmaker in Rome who introduced the amendment, said referring to Facebook fan clubs dedicated to the convicted mafia bosses.

"It's indecent that Facebook said that it won't allow pictures of mothers breastfeeding while there are no rules about removing groups of delinquents," D'Alia said in an interview today.

The aim isn't to block sites like Facebook or YouTube totally if they contain criminal content. Instead, the law is intended to force them to remove pages dedicated to groups inciting or justifying crimes, D'Alia said. The language of the bill doesn't distinguish between blacking out pages or entire Web sites.

The bill says the Interior Ministry will be able to order the blocking of Web sites if prosecutors first verify the criminal content of the sites. The bill would also make it illegal to incite others to commit crimes on the Internet, D'Alia said. It would be a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, he said. It's already illegal to do so in the printed press in Italy.

Should Internet providers including Fastweb SpA, Telecom Italia SpA or Tiscali SpA fail to follow the ministry's order to black out the pages or sites, they may face a fine of as much as 250,000 euros ($322,338), the proposed law says.

"This creates a precedent for the preventive censure of unwanted opinions," Marco Pancini, YouTube's European policy consultant, said in an interview. "Because it's aimed at service providers, this law won't allow the filtering of single content pages, but will lead to entire platforms being blacked out."

Internet providers aren't able to eliminate single elements from Web sites, Pancini said. YouTube has the ability to eliminate potentially criminal or offensive material in collaboration with the Italian postal police, Pancini said, adding that laws regulating criminal content already exist. D'Alia said that current laws cover only pedophilia. An April 2003 law says that once a Web site is informed of illicit material in its domain, then that material must be removed immediately.

One of the Facebook groups that first sparked controversy last month with 481 fans proposes making Provenzano, who has been convicted of ordering more than a dozen murders, a saint. A group for Riina, who was known as "the Beast" for his penchant for violence and murder, has 945 members whose comments include, "You're my idol," and, "You're the best."

While there are groups for mobsters and even for accused Italian rapists, Facebook also has a group hailing as heroes Palermo prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, who were assassinated on the orders of Riina after successfully prosecuting hundreds of mobsters. That group has 369,463 fans.

The measure was inserted as an amendment to a bill aimed at cracking down on crime that the Senate passed on Feb. 5. The measure must pass in the Chamber of Deputies without being changed to become law.

"Porca di quella vacca, 'fanculo, would you believe my connection is down again...and it's not even raining outside?!"

The Chinese have erected a "Golden Wall" against information available on the Internet. They were inspired by the "Great Wall of China". Our jolly D'Alia wants to erect a "Ricotta Wall". He was inspired by the overconsumption of cannoli.

Gov't: "The Internet is breaking our "coglioni!"

This proposed amendment (already approved by the Senate) would oblige all slow and crappy Italian ISPs to block a site (be this a website, a blog or social media sites such as Facebook or Youtube) where material has been posted which is "believed" to defend or instigate a crime. We're not talking about deleting the material "believed" to be criminal/illegal but about filtering/blocking/preventing access to the entire site or platform.

The decision of whether such material is in fact illegal would not go to the Courts of Law. That would be ridiculous, useless and time consuming for the Italian government happily sustains a judicial system that operates at the speed and efficiency of a snail with muscular dystrophy.

Fasten your seat belt: The decision would be taken directly by the Minister of the Interior, with no opportunity for trial in front of judges.

When you read a story as this, you begin to realize that if you venture off to Rome and protest the mere existence of its politicians, chances are "all those roads that lead to Rome" will be filtered/blocked/prevented access to permanently.

So, if this stupid site posts the following dangerous threat:

"Quick! The only hope of stopping that senator who has reached maximum density is to cut off his endless supply of "pasta con le sarde." (sardines)

Chances are we'll have to move to Yemen where we will at least get faster broadband access.

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