10/09/13 Pasta Shells Stuffed with Spinach and Ricotta

"Tanto va la gatta al lardo che ci lascia lo zampino. " (The cat tried so often to steal the lard, she lost her paw. Proverb is often used for people who have dangerous behaviors.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Stuffed Mushrooms Au Gratin
  -Sausage, Spinach and Mozzarella Omelette
  -Pasta Shells Stuffed with Spinach and Ricotta

"Buon weekend!" Thanks for everything you're doing and we'll continue to find recipes to help your kitchen come alive with flavors and aromas. After all, living is eating. Please share this newsletter, if you found it useful.

Thanks again for reading!

Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Stuffed Mushrooms Au Gratin

Stuffed Mushrooms Au Gratin
Funghi Ripieni Gratinati


10 large champignon mushrooms
1 clove garlic
Bunch of fresh parsley, cleaned
3 full tablespoons breadcrumbs
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper


Clean the mushrooms by detaching the stems from the caps with a twisting motion and eliminating the earthy part.

Lightly scrape the rest of the stem.

Take a sharp knife and cut off the outer skin that covers the head of the mushroom.

Dampen a cotton cloth and thoroughly clean the mushroom stems and caps.

Chop the mushroom stems, garlic and parsley.

Mix them in a bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Add the breadcrumbs and olive oil and mix with a fork.

Place a sheet of parchment paper to a baking pan.

Position the mushroom caps on the pan.

Slightly salt and add a few drops of olive oil in the caps.

Fill the caps with the breadcrumb mixture, and pack well.

Bake at 430?F (220?C) degrees for 25-30 minutes, making sure to pack them again with a fork halfway through the cooking.

Serve them warm. Serves 3-4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Sausage, Spinach and Mozzarella Omelette

Sausage, Spinach and Mozzarella Omelette
Salsiccia, Spinaci e Mozzarella Frittata


6 eggs
2 mild Italian sausages, removed from casing
2 cups fresh (or frozen) spinach, chopped
1 cup bocconcini mozzarella, cut in half
2 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat your broiler to high.

Add the butter to a medium skillet, add onion and cook until tender.

Remove the casings from the sausages and add to the skillet.

Beak with a wooden spoon and cook for about 3-5 minutes until sausage is cooked.

Add spinach and cook for an additional 2 minutes until spinach has wilted.

Season with salt and pepper if needed.

Cut the small bocconcini balls in half otherwise, if they are bigger, slice them.

Whisk the 6 eggs and pour over the sausage and spinach mixture.

Stir and cook for a few seconds, until the eggs start setting a bit.

Add the mozzarella pieces over the top of the eggs and place the skillet under the broiler.

Leave the skillet under the broiler for about 3-5 minutes, making sure the cheese doesn't burn.

Slice and serve hot. Makes 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Pasta Shells Stuffed with Spinach and Ricotta

Pasta Shells Stuffed with Spinach and Ricotta
Conchiglie Ripiene con Spinaci e Ricotta


12 oz box jumbo pasta shells
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp (jeeragam) cumin seeds
4 cloves garlic
1 cup chopped onion
4 cups frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup and 1.5 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
2 cups tomato sauce


Heat olive oil and add cumin seeds.

Add onions and garlic and saute until onions are done.

Add spinach, salt and pepper and saute for about 5 minutes.

Place the cooled spinach mixture in a bowl.

Add the ricotta and 1 cup mozzarella cheese and mix well.

Season with salt and pepper if needed.

Cook the jumbo shells according to the instructions.

Spread 1/2 cup sauce in a 9 by 13-inch pan.

Fill the shells and place them over the sauce.

Add 3/4 cup sauce over the stuffed shells.

Add about half a cup of mozzarella cheese over the sauce.

Place another layer of stuffed shells.

Add 3/4 cup of sauce and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese on top.

Cover and bake in a preheated 350?F oven for 30 minutes and then for another 10 minutes uncovered. Serves 10-12.

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:

How To Win An Italian Oscar, Talent Unnecessary

Rome - March 27, 2012 - Italy's "Oscars" are infested with nepotism and corruption, according to an article in a leading Italian newspaper yesterday. The famous David di Donatello awards, widely regarded as the country's top film honors, are, according to the newspaper, in urgent need of a drastic overhaul.

The awards are selected by a jury of "the relatives of important industry figures, politicians, building contractors, and the usual suspects" and are unworthy to be called the "Italian Oscars".

The 1,600 members of the Italian Academy which votes each year included politicians linked to Silvio Berlusconi, a garbage collecting manager from Rome's famous Cinema Adriano, the wife of the twin brother of controversial and corrupt senator Marcello Dell'Utri, and several members of the powerful De Laurentiis family, the newspaper alleged.

National film academies are usually composed of eminent professionals from particular film-making disciplines: cinematographers to decide the best cinematography award; film editors to decide the winner of that particular gong, and so on and so forth.

The paper said changes were needed immediately to restore the awards' honor ahead of the 2012 ceremony.

First launched in 1955, the David di Donatellos are named after the twin renaissance sculptures by Donatello, and are handed out in May each year. They usually honor mainly films of Italian origin, but there is also a best foreign language film category.

The current president is Gian Luigi Rondi, the 90-year-old critic who recently stepped down as president of the Rome film festival.

Since the early 1980s, Italian cinema has emulated Italy's cultural devastation: an inward-looking attitude, hooked on incredibly bad television, and dependent on one human being. If Fellini was the maestro of Italian cinema during its golden years, psycho dwarf Berlusconi arranged its collapse.

With very rare exceptions ("La Vita ?Bella"), Italy's national story from the 1980s until 2008 was defined by the first-rate films it could no longer make.

With his television stations, Berlusconi's succeeded in changing the people themselves. The jackass has taken everything down to the lowest common denominator. Haven't you noticed we've become ignorant nincompoops and dull as mussels?

And then you have the 1,600 members (including a garbage man) of the Italian film academy who are worshipping their owns big heads and awarding "David di Donatellos" to garbage:

"Primo Amore" (First Love) (2004)
Nominated for best supporting actress, producer and director.

Vittorio is looking for a woman who matches his ideal. Through a classified ad he meets Sonia, a sweet, pleasant, intelligent girl. However, she weighs 125 pounds...which according to Vittorio is way too much. A goldsmith by trade, Vittorio is obsessed with the desire to shape Sonia's body and mind as does a fire with gold.

"Only In Italy" Review: Fascinating movie. Hard to believe the movie wasn't written by Orson Welles and it didn't win the Ace-Hole Award. Hollywood is so turned on they want to unfreeze Walt Disney so he can meet with the producer to negotiate distribution.


Good Morning, Aman (2009)
Oscar for best new director.

An Italian boxer strikes up a friendship with a Somali immigrant.

"Only In Italy" Review: "Porca vacca", that's some plot. We asked the theater manager to put it on fast-forward and it still went too slow! We saw no effort put into this film. So, on the way out of the theater we gave an additional 8 Euros as a donation towards making a good one.


Tutta colpa di Giuda (2010)
Oscar for best original song.

A prison-set musical about a female theater director who sets up a reinterpretation of the Crucifixion.

"Only In Italy" Review: The comedic moments failed to make us laugh and the musical numbers are meaningless. The producer and director remind us of people who take home videos and call it a movie.

"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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