07/22/09 Pancetta Pasta Salad

"Oggi a te, domani a me." (Today to you, tomorrow to me. Every dog has its day.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Sliced Mushrooms
  -Pancetta Pasta Salad
  -Chicken Babi

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

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Sliced Mushrooms

Sliced Mushrooms
Funghi Trifolati


2 lb (900 grams) porcini mushrooms
1 garlic clove
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 oz (50 grams) butter
1 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprig, chopped
Salt and pepper


Heat the olive oil, half the butter and the garlic in a pan until the garlic is browned, then remove and discard it.

Add the porcini mushrooms to the pan and cook over a high heat for about 25-30 minutes until all the liquid they release has evaporated, then lower the heat.

Beat the parsley into the remaining butter in a bowl.

Add to the pan and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately or set aside and reheat gently before serving. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Pancetta Pasta Salad

Pancetta Pasta Salad
Insalata di Pasta e Pancetta


1 lb (500 grams) dried large shell pasta
2 bunches asparagus, trimmed, halved
12 slices (180 grams) pancetta, chopped
3 green onions, thinly sliced diagonally
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup whole-egg mayonnaise
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard


Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water until 'al dente', adding asparagus for the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain.

Refresh under cold water. Cool. Drain.

Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over high heat. Add pancetta.

Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until browned and crisp.

Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. Cool.

Combine pasta, asparagus, pancetta, onion and parsley in a large bowl.

Combine mayonnaise, lemon rind, lemon juice and mustard in a bowl.

Add to pasta mixture. Toss to combine.

Refrigerate in a large airtight container or bowl. Serves 8.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Chicken Babi

Chicken Babi
Pollo alla Babi


1 chicken
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 fresh rosemary sprig salt and pepper


(In Piedmontese dialect, babi means toad.) To make the chicken look like a toad, open it along the breast and pound several times with a meat mallet.

Gently rub the inside of the bird with salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan, add the chicken and cook over a high heat for about 15 minutes until browned on both sides.

Add the garlic and rosemary, lower the heat and cook for a further 30 minutes until tender and cooked through.

Drain the chicken carefully 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:

Italian Smoking Teacher On YouTube Fined

Florence - February 6, 2009 - An Italian teacher caught smoking on a camera-phone video posted on You Tube was fined Friday for damaging his school's image.

Physical education teacher Alberto Burchielli was fined 8,000 euros ($10,000).

Burchielli, 57, was suspended in March 2008 after the video appeared of him smoking behind his desk at a Florentine tourism school. The two 16-year-old students who filmed the prof put a caption on the video claiming he was smoking pot.

The teacher gave up smoking 25 years ago and only started again a couple of days before the incident. He now says he's given up "for good".

Hey Fellini! The next time I catch you breaking my "coglioni" with that camera, I'm going to put my ashes in your shirt pocket.

"The two 16-year-old students who filmed the prof put a caption on the video claiming he was smoking pot." Obviously, these little "cornuti" got it wrong. If you can't learn physics or algebra in the two 50-minute class periods a week, then you blackmail.

The Italian public schools. Class in session!

- 90 year-old-schools that haven't been renovated since when Mussolini took his first baby steps.

- Gray and puke-colored paint chipping off.

- Most toilets inside the schools are Turkish toilets. We're still not sure if they were meant as an unfunny joke or for actual use.

- Toilet paper and soap dispenser replenishments are scheduled only when the students voraciously complain about wiping with loose leaf paper.

- There are no cafeterias. If you're hungry, get up, leave class and get a sandwich at the bar next door.

- There are barely any libraries although some teachers will look you straight in the face and say that there are. A room with 3-4 bookshelves and 3-4 tables with 3-4 chairs on the top floor is not a library. It's a supplies closet.

- There is 1 copy machine that always runs out of paper...and copy paper does not necessarily get re-supplied often. When you do request paper, the computer tech whose previous job was picking snails has to come shuffling down the corridor just to fill the machine with paper for you, (apparently, teachers aren't capable), and then complain to you about how the teachers just eat paper there, at least three or four times in a row before leaving you to your meaningless task.

There are, however, at least 3 coffee machines on every floor, including in the library/closet.

"Only In Italy" Subscribe for free and day in and day out, 5 days a week, you'll have laughter, tears and intelligent commentary all blaring at you from your stupid little monitor. Click Here to Subscribe!

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