08/06/08 Spaghetti with Mussels, Tomatoes and Oregano from OreganoFromItaly.com

"Tu duca, tu signore e tu maestro." (You are my guide, my lord, and my master. Said by Dante Alighieri to Virgil before entering Hell) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Portobello Bruschetta with Rosemary Aioli
  -Spaghetti con Le Cozze, Pomodori e Origano
  -Polpo con Linguine

Enjoy the recipes and the rest of the summer season.

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Portobello Bruschetta con Rosmarino Aioli

Portobello Bruschetta con Rosmarino Aioli
Portobello Bruschetta with Rosemary Aioli


One and 1/2 cups balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 and 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
Six 4-inch-diameter Portobello mushrooms, stemmed, dark gills removed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 red onions, sliced (about 6 cups)

2 large red bell peppers
3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 garlic clove, minced

One 3 and 1/2-inch-diameter sourdough or French-bread baguette, cut into 24 slices
Additional olive oil
3 large bunches Arugula (about 5 ounces), coarsely chopped
Rosemary Aioli


Preheat oven to 375 F.

Mix vinegar, honey, brown sugar and thyme in medium bowl.

Transfer 1/2 cup marinade to small bowl; set aside.

Place mushrooms in 15 x 10-inch glass baking dish.

Pour remaining marinade over mushrooms.

Cover baking dish with foil and bake until mushrooms are tender, about 40 minutes.

Transfer mushrooms to work surface; cool.

Cut mushrooms into 1/2-inch-wide slices.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat.

Add red onions and saute until very tender and beginning to brown, about 25 minutes.

Pour in reserved 1/2 cup marinade and cook until liquid is absorbed and onions are glazed, about 6 minutes.

Set onions aside.

Char bell peppers over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides.

Enclose in paper bag and let stand 10 minutes.

Peel, seed and chop peppers.

Place peppers in medium bowl. Add green onion, basil, garlic and 1 tablespoon oil and toss to combine. (Mushrooms, onion mixture and bell pepper mixture can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover separately and refrigerate.)

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Place bread slices on baking sheet.

Brush bread with additional olive oil.

Bake until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes.

Layer portobello mushroom slices, arugula, onions and then bell pepper mixture atop bread slices.

Bake until heated through, about 3 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Drizzle bruschetta with Rosemary Aioli. Serve immediately. Makes 24.

That's it!

 Recipe: Spaghetti con Le Cozze, Pomodori e Origano

Spaghetti con Le Cozze, Pomodori e Origano
Spaghetti with Mussels, Tomatoes and Oregano


8 ounces spaghetti
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 canned anchovy fillets, chopped, 1 tablespoon anchovy oil reserved
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 and 1/4 cups diced tomatoes in juice
1 lb mussels, scrubbed, debearded


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

Meanwhile, heat olive oil and re-served anchovy oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat.

Add anchovies, garlic, oregano and tomato paste; stir 1 minute.

Add tomatoes; bring to boil.

Add mussels. Cover; simmer until mussels open, about 5 minutes (discard any that do not open).

Drain pasta; divide between 2 shallow bowls.

Top with mussels and sauce. Makes 2 servings (can be doubled).

That's it!

 Recipe: Polpo con Linguine

Polpo con Linguine
Octopus with Linguine


1 (31/2-lb) cleaned fresh or frozen octopus, thawed
2 (35-oz) cans plum tomatoes, including juice
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 lb dried linguine


Put tentacles from octopus head (just below eyes) and discard head.

Fill a 6 to 8-quart pot three-fourths full with water and bring octopus to a boil (do not salt water; it will make octopus tough).

Simmer until tender when pierced with a fork, about 1 hour.

Drain and cool slightly. Rinse under cold running water to remove as much of purple outer coating as possible without removing suction cups.

Drain well and cut crosswise into 1 and 1/2-inch pieces.

While octopus simmers, chop tomatoes, reserving juices.

Saute garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil in a 6 to 8-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat, stirring, until golden, about 1 minute.

Stir in parsley and basil.

Add tomatoes with juices and bring to a boil.

Simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes.

Add octopus and cook until very tender when thick parts are pierced with a fork, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, boil linguine in a large pot of salted water until 'al dente', then drain well.

Serve octopus sauce over linguine. Makes 6 servings.

Note: Octopus may be simmered, rinsed, and cut into pieces 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.

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 Party Getting Quite Annoyed with Take Out Food

Milan - July 18, 2008 - Diners hungry for Chinese carry-out or Middle Eastern kebabs in Italy could have their choices limited under a regional law proposed by the anti-immigrant Northern League on Thursday.

The League called for the Lombardy regional council to allow cities to bar from their historic centers businesses that are "incompatible with the historical context."

"For example, fast food, Chinese restaurants, kebab, sex shops are types of commercial activity that clash heavily with a 1,000-year-old historic district, as is typical of Lombard reality," Daniele Belotti, a regional councilor with the League, said in a statement.

The measure is aimed at maintaining the character of historic town and city centers, it said.

Lombardy is the stronghold of the Northern League, part of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's conservative coalition, and Italy's industrial heartland.

Other Italian regions, such as Tuscany, have laws that allow cities to limit business in their historic centers, Belotti said.

Like elsewhere in Europe, more and more Italians eat meals away from home and their traditional Mediterranean diet that includes pasta, fish, olive oil and red wine is losing ground.

"Ahhh, sta pippa!" Italian politicians hard at work creating the perfect civil environment.

The polenta-slurping racist members of the Northern League party have a tough, and often harsh, stance on crime, illegal immigration (especially from Muslim countries), Southern Italians (often dubbed as "terroni"), and terrorism. The party supports immigration from non-Muslim countries in order to protect the "Christian identity" of Italy and Europe, which, according to harebrained party officials, should be based on so-called "Judeo-Christian heritage".

Hard to believe, the party leadership dismisses charges of racism and declares itself loving and non-violent. However; there have been instances of speeches, interviews and banners pointing otherwise. The supreme peckerhead leader, Umberto Bossi himself, who described African immigrants as "Bingo-Bongos", in an interview suggested opening fire on the boats of immigrants who would disembark in Italy, but after widespread criticism he declared he was referring to empty boats.

Erminio Boso, a sparkling and gifted local leading jackass from the Province of Trento, proposed to segregate immigrants in different train cars from native Italians.

The former lustrous and compassionate mayor of Treviso, Giancarlo Gentilini, while in office, spoke about those he called "immigrant slackers", saying, "We should dress them up like hares and bang-bang-bang."

Umberto Bossi: "The Lega [Nord] must be like an army at war: desertions are not permitted; whoever maneuvers in the underworld of other parties will be unmasked and hunted down without mercy. Imagine finding this in your next fortune cookie.

"Cazzo", what one has to put up with just for a take out order of Kung Pow chicken and fried rice!

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