07/27/11 Spaghetti Carbonara with Pork and Peas

"Finch c' vita c' speranza." (Where there's life, there's hope.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Fettuccine with Prosciutto, Tomatoes, and Cream
  -Spaghetti Carbonara with Pork and Peas
  -Braised and Roasted Pork Shanks with Prosciutto and Porcini Mushrooms

"Salve e buon estate!" Thanks for being part of our farm and our larger community. Hope you're having a great summer season in health and happiness. Enjoy this week's recipes.

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Fettuccine with Prosciutto, Tomatoes, and Cream

Fettuccine with Prosciutto, Tomatoes, and Cream
Fettuccine con Prosciutto, Pomodori e Crema


1 pound fettuccine
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut crosswise into 1-inch wide strips
3 garlic cloves, pressed
Three 14 and 1/2-ounce cans petite diced tomatoes in juice, drained
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano cheese plus additional for serving


Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente', stirring occasionally.


Transfer pasta to large bowl.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add prosciutto and saute until crisp, about 5 minutes.

Transfer prosciutto to paper towels.

Add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to same skillet.

Add garlic and saute 15 seconds.

Add tomatoes and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in cream, parsley, and 1/2 cup cheese.

Bring to boil; season with salt and pepper.

Add sauce to pasta in bowl; toss to coat.

Sprinkle with prosciutto and serve, passing additional cheese alongside. Makes 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Spaghetti Carbonara with Pork and Peas

Spaghetti Carbonara with Pork and Peas
Spaghetti alla Carbonara con Carne di Maiale e Piselli


For the Pork:
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
1 pound fresh pork belly
1 small onion, quartered
1 small carrot, peeled, quartered
1/2 celery stalk, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 tablespoons (or more) dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine

For the Spaghetti:
1 pound spaghetti
1 and 1/2 cups fresh shelled peas (from about 1 and 1/2 pounds peas in pods) or 1 and 1/2 cups frozen petite peas, thawed
2 large eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano cheese, divided
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley


Prepare the Pork:
Rub coarse salt and coriander into pork belly.

Cover and chill at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.

Preheat oven to 275F.

Place pork belly in large ovenproof saucepan.

Add onion, next 5 ingredients, 2 tablespoons wine, and chicken broth.

Bring to boil, cover, and transfer to oven.

Cook until pork is very tender when pierced with fork, turning every 30 minutes, about 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Cool slightly.

Cover and chill at least 1 day and up to 2 days.

Discard any solidified fat on surface of pork belly mixture.

Remove pork from cooking liquid, scraping any gelatinous mixture back into saucepan.

Rewarm mixture in saucepan just until melted.

Strain liquid into measuring cup.

Add white wine if necessary to measure 1/2 cup.

Cut rind and all but 1/4-inch layer of fat from pork belly.

Slice pork crosswise into 1/2-inch slices, then cut slices crosswise into 1/2-inch thick strips.

Heat olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add pork belly and cook until browned on all sides, stirring often, about 7 minutes.

Add garlic and saute 1 minute.

Add pork cooking liquid and 1/4 cup wine.

Bring to boil, then cover and keep warm.

Prepare the Spaghetti:
Cook spaghetti in large pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente', stirring occasionally.

Add peas; cook 1 minute longer.

Whisk eggs in large bowl.

Add 1/4 cup Parmigiano cheese, Pecorino Romano cheese, and parsley; set aside.

Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.

Whisk 1/4 cup hot cooking liquid into egg mixture.

Add pasta; toss to coat.

Add mixture to skillet with pork and toss, adding more cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls if dry.

Season generously with black pepper.

Divide among bowls and serve, passing remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano cheese alongside. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Braised and Roasted Pork Shanks with Prosciutto and Porcini Mushrooms

Braised and Roasted Pork Shanks with Prosciutto and Porcini Mushrooms
Maiale Arrosto e Brasato con Prosciutto e Funghi Porcini


1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup boiling water

4 whole fresh pork shanks with rind (each 1 and 1/4 to 1 and 1/2 pounds)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 large onion, chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped leek (white and pale green parts only)
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 ounces prosciutto, chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
3 teaspoons chopped fresh sage, divided
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, divided
Chopped fresh Italian parsley


Place porcini mushrooms in small bowl.

Pour 1 cup boiling water over and let stand until mushrooms soften, at least 30 minutes.

Drain and chop mushrooms; reserve soaking liquid.

Preheat oven to 325F.

Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper.

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large wide pot over medium-high heat.

Add pork, in batches if necessary, and saute until brown on all sides, about 15 minutes.

Transfer pork to rimmed baking sheet.

Spoon off and discard all but 2 tablespoons fat from pot.

Reduce heat to medium.

Add onion, carrots, leek, celery, and prosciutto.

Cover and cook until vegetables are soft and beginning to color, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

Mix in garlic and chopped porcini.

Add wine and bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits.

Add broth and reserved mushroom soaking liquid, leaving any sediment in bowl.

Mix in 1 teaspoon sage and 1 teaspoon rosemary.

Return pork and any accumulated juices to pot, arranging in single layer.

Bring pork mixture to boil, cover pot, and place in oven.

Braise pork until very tender, turning over every 30 minutes, about 1 hour 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425F.

Transfer pork to rimmed baking sheet.

Brush with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil; sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons sage, 1 teaspoon rosemary, and black pepper.

Roast pork until browned, about 20 minutes.

Tilt pan and spoon any fat from surface of sauce.

Boil until sauce coats spoon lightly, about 7 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper.

Spoon sauce onto large shallow platter or divide among 4 shallow bowls.

Top sauce with pork, sprinkle with parsley, and serve. Makes 4 servings.

That's it!

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 Only In Italy!

"Only In Italy" is a daily news column that translates & 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 Police Stop Jackass Political Party From Throwing Bear Barbecue

Rome - July 3, 2011 - Police have broken up a banquet of bear meat hosted by Berlusconi's powerful coalition partner in northern Italy after government ministers and animal rights groups described the event as scandalous.

The order came as about 200 people lined up to devour grilled and stewed bear at a rally in Imer in the Italian Dolomites organized by the Northern League.

Organizers said they had bought the meat legally in Slovenia to get round a ban on bear hunting in Italy, but food safety officers from Italy's paramilitary Carabinieri police objected to the lack of import documentation for the 50kg of meat.

Foreign minister Franco Frattini and tourism minister Michela Vittoria Brambilla had condemned the bear feast as "a scandalous initiative", while environment minister Stefania Prestigiacomo described the get-together as "barbarous".

In his blog, Frattini said the banquet was particularly offensive since Italian bears were "almost extinct and we are trying with great effort to bring them back to the mountains that have hosted them for centuries".

The brown bear population has risen to about 35 in and around the Dolomites after 10 were reintroduced there a decade ago. But instead of celebrating their return, some locals have complained that the bears are attacking chickens and sheep. Claims made for lost livestock rose to 100,000 Euros ($143,000 USD) last year, and farmers were fed up, said Maurizio Fugatti, an MP for the anti-immigrant Northern League.

Hence the banquet, which, said Fugatti, had been planned to "send a clear signal to citizens who have the right to reconquer their territory and freely circulate".

To protect locals from marauding bears, he added, "we prefer to eat them like this."

Fugatti said half of the bear meat had been cooked for the canceled banquet but the remainder was frozen and ready for a new dinner date should the paperwork be put in order.

"The idea was to attract attention to a bear repopulation plan which has got out of hand, resulting in locals being followed by bears through woods normally frequented by families. Even if the banquet doesn't happen, we have made our point," he went on.

The Northern League has long specialized in controversial statements and stunts. In 2007 Senator Roberto Calderoli proposed dissuading Muslims from building a mosque in Bologna by parading a pig across the chosen site, defiling it.

Yogi Bear: "Mamma mia, Boo-Boo, these animals are out of their mind."

Have you ever wondered how some mental Italian politicians who give a personal name to each one of their kitchen knives are able to win glory, wealth, fame, and an enduring place in Italy's sagas while others have to settle for plundering a few small towns in Calabria and Sicily?

Welcome to the world of the "Lega Nord".

It’s easy to see how simple and foul-mouthed the tone of their language is. It is the same linguistic style used by Lega representatives, a trick they have used to reach a wider public (a stupid and illiterate public, mind you, who is usually full of crap and immobile from eating too much polenta, slurping grappa, and belching) in the past elections and "conquer" a new electorate with so-called hot issues such as national security, immigration...and bear invasions.

So, what principles separate these Northern Italian Vikings from ordinary political ravagers? Well, the Lega Nord embraces the plunder approach which states that all the resources and success of a country should be held by the territory responsible for it...their territory.

1. Be arrogant and destructive
Accept responsibility for your actions in order to take control of the situation (a bear barbecue). You can be either reactive or destructive. When you are reactive, you blame other Italians for your problems. When you are destructive, other Italians blame you for their problems.

2. Principles of personal victory
Set long term goals based on the total victory principle. Visualization is an important tool. Visualize overwhelming the Southern Italian warriors with soap and jobs, plundering their little towns, and carrying off their women and cattle (leader of the Lega Nord, Bossi, is married to a Sicilian). Unless your longship has limited cargo space, in which case you might want to visualize leaving some of the ugly and fat women behind.

3) Go nuts
Going nuts is a very effective way to overwhelm an Italian government. Avoid decision making. Apply destructive problem solving. Employ brute force to promote successful confrontation. Embrace and leverage annihilation (Bossi once referred to immigrants as "bingo bongos" and has suggested that immigrant boats off Italy's shores be fired upon with cannons).

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