07/29/08 Fettuccine Carbonara with Gorgonzola from OreganoFromItaly.com

"Meglio tardi che mai." (Better late than never.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Insalata di Baccala
  -Linguine con Salsa di Vongole
  -Fettuccine Carbonara con Gorgonzola

Enjoy the recipes and the rest of the summer season.

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Insalata di Baccala

Insalata di Baccala
Baccala Salad


1 and 1/2 lb choice-grade skinless boneless salt cod, rinsed well
1 and 1/2 qts water
3 celery ribs, thinly sliced crosswise
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup small pimiento-stuffed green olives, chopped
1/4 cup Kalamata or other brine-cured black olives, pitted and chopped
1/3 cup chopped drained bottled roasted red peppers
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup small fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon red-wine vinegar, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Put cod in a large bowl and cover with cold water by 2 inches.

Soak cod, chilled, changing water 3 times a day, up to 3 days (cooks' note, below).

Drain and chill until ready to use.

Drain cod and transfer to a 5 to 6-quart pot with 1 and 1/2 quarts water.

Bring just to a simmer and remove from heat. (Cod will just flake; do not boil or it will become tough.)

Gently transfer cod with a slotted spoon to a platter to cool slightly.

Shred cod and stir together with celery, garlic, olives, roasted peppers, parsley, and basil.

Stir together lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, and olive oil, then pour over salad, tossing to coat well. Season with pepper and chill, covered, at least 1 and 1/2 hours for flavors to develop. Serves 6 (main course).

Notes: Brands of cod differ in their degree of saltiness. A less salty variety may need only 1 day of soaking, while another could require up to 3. To test it, simply taste a small piece after 1 day; you want it to be pleasantly salty but not overwhelmingly so. Salad can be chilled up to 2 days.

That's it!

 Recipe: Linguine con Salsa di Vongole

Linguine con Salsa di Vongole
Linguine with Red Clam Sauce


1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
6 canned anchovy fillets, drained, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
Two 14 and 1/2-ounce cans Italian-style diced tomatoes
26 ounces chopped clams
1/2 cup dry red wine
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 lb linguine, freshly cooked
Chopped fresh parsley


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

Add onion and saute 3 minutes.

Add anchovies, garlic and dried red pepper; saute 2 minutes.

Mix in tomatoes with juices, clams with juices, wine and tomato paste. Bring sauce to boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.

Add linguine to sauce and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer to large bowl. Sprinkle with parsley. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

That's it!

 Recipe: Fettuccine Carbonara con Gorgonzola

Fettuccine Carbonara con Gorgonzola
Fettuccine Carbonara with Gorgonzola


1 lb fettuccine pasta
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 and 1/2 8-ounce packages frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, quartered
1 and 1/2 cups crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (about 6 ounces)
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup half and half
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs, beaten to blend
8 slices pancetta, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup grated Parmigiano cheese (about 3 ounces)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


Cook pasta in heavy large pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente'.

Drain well, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat.

Add garlic and saute 2 minutes.

Add artichoke hearts; saute 5 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup Gorgonzola cheese, cream, half and half, crushed red pepper, black pepper and salt and simmer until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.

Add hot pasta to sauce and toss to coat. Remove from heat.

Add eggs to pasta and toss well. Add pancetta, 1/2 cup Gorgonzola cheese, 1/2 cup Parmigiano cheese and parsley and toss to incorporate.

Add reserved pasta cooking liquid to thin sauce, if desired.

Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup Gorgonzola cheese and 1/2 cup Parmigiano cheese over pasta and serve. Make 6 (first-course) or 4 (main-course) servings.

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:

Dermatologist: Suntanning Helps Prevent Cancer

Rome - July 16, 2008 - A leading Italian dermatologist said sunbathing for up to two hours a day could cut the risk of developing certain cancers by up to 50%.

Patrizio Mulas, the president of the Italian Hospital Dermatology Association (Adoi), said people should not be afraid of soaking up rays since exposure to the sun is crucial to the body's generation of Vitamin D.

"The summer is the perfect time to enjoy the benefits of the sun, and sometimes an exaggerated fear of developing skin cancer risks doing more harm than good," Mulas said.

"Constant exposure for two hours reduces the risk of developing prostate, breast and colon cancer by up to 50%," he claimed.

Mulas explained that Vitamin D deficiency dramatically increases the risk of developing the three types of cancer.

"Vitamin D also protects against infectious, autoimmune and cardiovascular diseases," he added.

Mulas said that the body's need for Vitamin D changes with age, and that while 200-400 units suffice for the under-50s, people over 70 require at least 600 units a day.

"A good diet and exposure to the sun, even just ten minutes' walk a day, will provide 400-600 units of Vitamin D, which is sufficient for a healthy young person," he said.

An hour of "total body" sun is meanwhile beneficial for post-menopausal women to combat osteoporosis and prevent breast and colon cancers, Mulas said. He nevertheless urged sunbathers to avoid the early afternoon when the sun is at its strongest and said people with fair skin should always wear adequate protection.

But sun worshippers were better off than people who use artificial lamps, Mulas added.

"Although sun lamps can provide a certain dose of Vitamin D, the lack of control over exposure means the risk of skin cancer is increased".

Mulas said people who were unable to soak up the sunshine should make sure their diets were rich in Vitamin-D foods such as eggs, butter, liver and fish rich in Omega-3.

"Oh cacchio", as if we didn't have enough unemployed sun-worshipping Italians at the beach.

Why is that you never see a pale or sunburnt Italian? Simple. Every Italian goes to the beach in the summer, and each has a perfect tan from day one. During the month of June Italians must become closet sunbathers, spending hours meticulously applying tanning creams, or lying on sun beds morning, noon and afternoon.

The June detail is important, for no one goes to the beach until July or August. Don't even think about stepping foot in the ocean in September.

Italians, especially the more cocky, ignorant, presumptuous ones, believe contact with water outside July and August will result in a potentially fatal chill. But then Italians are almost cat-like and jackass-like in their aversion to water or rather their aversion to anything that will disturb their haircuts and chest hair (men) or the carefully applied make-up (women).

They simply move many of their incredibly insignificant day and night habits to the beach and resist anything but partial immersion. Therefore, you'll see Italians dabbling knee-deep, wondering up and down and talking (often on a cell phone) in a watery parody of the evening "passeggiata". The pace will be slug-like, the hand gestures very annoying, nervous and frantic.

Another remarkable reason for the lack of Italians in any given stretch of sea is that an unbelievable number cannot swim. (Let's see Dr. Patrizio try to explain this funny phenomenon.)

In addition to jewellery, women on the beach will be wearing very expensive bikinis, the designer and price of which will be known by every other woman on the beach. Many men, of course, will be providing entertainment to the women by displaying stomachs which have reached maximum density and wearing the tiny Speedo-like briefs that only Italians under 22 can get away with.

And, of course, who can forget the expensive sunglasses?

"Cornuti disgraziati", then there's the noise!

The chances are that any given family or group will have at least two radios or portable CD players. These will be carefully positioned and the most infernal racket will then begin. Cazzo, but no one complains. Cazzo, again, no one would ever think to complain. But worse will follow, because the most colossal and moronic argument will erupt about who is going to listen to what and when.

After lunch everyone has a nap in the shade, then someone is sent to the "chiosco" for ridiculously overpriced gelato. At 8pm people start packing up and trekking back to their villas and apartments to shower before the inevitable zombie crawl later in the evening.

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