10/13/10 Rice Timbale

"Patti chiari, amicizia lunga." (Clear agreements make for good friends.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Minestrone For The Winter
  -Rice Timbale
  -Penne In Vodka

"Ciao" to everyone! How is your autumn season coming along? Sadly, the cold weather is almost here and so, we'll have to get ready to shut down the farm for the winter. We'll harvest our olives (for olive oil) at mid November and call it a season. Hope everyone enjoys the upcoming Holiday season. Here is this week's recipes for your pleasure.

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Minestrone For The Winter

Minestrone For The Winter
Minestrone d'Inverno


1 small cabbage, shredded
2 potatoes, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 leeks, trimmed and chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
Bunch of Swiss chard stalks, chopped
1 turnip, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


Place the chard stalks, celery, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, turnip, and leeks into a saucepan

Pour in 2 and 1/2 pints (1.5 liters) of water, add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil.

Lower the heat and simmer for about an hour.

Season with salt.

Transfer 2 ladlefuls of the mixture to a food processor, process to a puree and return to the pan.

Mix well and cook for several minutes more.

Stir in the parsley and olive oil, ladle into a soup bowl and serve. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Rice Timbale

Rice Timbale
Timballo di Riso


12 oz (350 grams) long-grain rice
9 oz (250 grams) chicken livers and giblets, thawed if frozen, trimmed and chopped
7 oz (200 grams) sweetbreads, chopped
2 and 1/2 oz (65 grams) Italian sausage, peeled and crumbled
1 oz (25 grams) dried mushrooms
4 oz (120 grams) butter, plus extra for greasing
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
6 tablespoons Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove
3 oz (80 grams) breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) Gas Mark 4.

Cook the rice in a large pan of lightly salted, boiling water for 16-20 minutes until tender.

Drain and stir in 1 oz (25 grams) of the butter, the egg yolks and 4 tablespoons of the Parmigiano cheese.

Spread out on a large plate or baking sheet and leave to cool.

Meanwhile, put the mushrooms in a bowl, add hot water to cover and leave to soak for about 20 minutes.

Drain, squeeze out and chop.

Melt 1 oz (25 grams) of the remaining butter with the olive oil.

Add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, then remove and discard.

Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook for about 5-7 minutes.

Melt 1 and 1/2 oz (40 grams) of the remaining butter in another pan.

Add the chicken giblets and livers, sweetbreads and sausage.

Season with a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper, stir well and cook for about 5 minutes.

Grease an ovenproof dish with plenty of butter and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs, turning to coat.

Tip out and reserve the excess.

Spoon half the rice mixture on to the base of the dish.

Cover with the mushrooms and top with the liver and sweetbread mixture.

Cover with the remaining rice, dot with the remaining butter and sprinkle with the remaining Parmigiano cheese and reserved breadcrumbs.

Bake for about 15 minutes. Serves 6.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Penne In Vodka

Penne In Vodka
Penne Alla Vodka


1 thick slice cooked ham or prosciutto, diced
2 oz (50 grams) butter
2 tablespoons tomato puree
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
5 tablespoons double cream
3 tablespoons vodka
12 oz (350 grams) Penne pasta
Salt and pepper


Melt the butter in a pan.

Add the ham, tomato puree and parsley, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10-12 minutes.

Stir in the cream and vodka and cook until the vodka has evaporated.

Cook the Penne in a large pan of salted, boiling water until 'al dente', then drain and pour into a warm serving dish.

Pour the vodka sauce over the pasta. Serves 4.

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:

Deer Runs Into Scooter In City Center

Reggio Emilia - September 6, 2010 - A young deer ran into a teenager on a scooter in the center of this large northern city early Monday morning, police said.

The deer, or roebuck, is believed to have wandered down from hills on the outskirts of the city.

The animal was slightly hurt in the collision and taken to a wildlife veterinarian center for treatment.

The 17-year-old scooter rider, a local resident, was unharmed.

Italian culture is a scooter culture because Italians have always ridden scooters, have never at any time stopped riding scooters, and will, unfortunately, for the foreseeable future continue to ride scooters forevermore around our cities. So, one has to ask, "what are the odds of a deer crashing into you in the middle of a city?" Regardless, we came this >close< to feeling a bit of sympathy for the poor rider until we read the last line of the article...the 17-year-old.

You see, scooter in Italy is much more than just a status symbol for these little "scassapalle" arrogant school kids, (like, for example, a pair of trendy sneakers or a Wii console.) It is in fact a liberating influence within the youth culture, and a launch into the so-called responsible world of adulthood.

So, keep in mind the following riding rules if you would like to keep your status symbol in check with our youth culture:

- Do NOT adjust your mirrors so you can see what is behind you. The first rule of Italian driving applies and they should always be adjusted to show you your beautiful reflection. To do anything else is to imply that you are a jackass and not a cool Italian youth.

- You WILL head immediately for any opening that appears, no matter if it's not large enough to allow you through. If it isn't big enough now, it may soon be, and you don't want to waste a single second. If another idiot heads for the same gap, accelerate as fast as your scooter will allow you, while shouting at them at the top of your voice. By the way, this is another good reason for not wearing a full face lid helmet.

- As with speed limits, there are a huge variety of road markings for the young rider to come to terms with. There are several varieties of dotted lines, single solid whites, double solid whites, vertical lines, horizontal lines, vertical and horizontal blocks, etc etc. It can be very disorientating so you simply do what your fellow peers do and ignore them all.

"Porca di quella vacca", what aggravation! We're going to send a "Get Well Soon" card to the deer.

"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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