10/15/08 Italian Pizza Sauce from OreganoFromItaly.com

"A mali estremi, estremi rimedi." (Desperate times call for desperate measures. For extreme evils extreme measures.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Italian Pizza Sauce
  -Capellini Pesto Primavera
  -Baba al Rhum

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Italian Pizza Sauce

Italian Pizza Sauce


1 can (500 grams) crushed tomato
1 can (4 oz.) tomato paste
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon chopped onion
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste


Saute the garlic and onion in the olive oil for 5 minutes and add the other ingredients except the basil.

Simmer the pizza sauce for about 15-20 minutes.

Add the chopped basil 5 minutes before the sauce is ready. If during the simmering, the sauce becomes too thick, add some water.

This pizza sauce recipe yields enough pizza sauce for about 4 medium pizzas.

Cooking tip: With the same ingredients you can prepare a pizza sauce without cooking. Simply blend briskly all the ingredients with a stick blender and let the sauce sit for half hour before using, in order to blend flavors.

If you chose to make the cooked pizza sauce, let it cool down a little bit before using it, otherwise the top of the pizza will get cooked much faster than the bottom if the pizza sauce is applied when it is still hot.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Capellini Pesto Primavera

Capellini Pesto Primavera


1 lb Capellini (angel hair)
3 tablespoon basil pesto sauce
4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup snap peas
1 and 1/2 cups broccoli
1 red pepper, julienned
1 pinch chicken base (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
15 cherry tomatoes, halved
Salt and pepper to taste


Bring 2-3 liters of salted water to a boil and cook the capellini until it is 'al dente'.

Blanch the snap peas and broccoli in a strainer in the same water with the capellini.

In a large heavy skillet, heat the olive oil and saute the red peppers together with the garlic for 4 minutes.

Add the blanched vegetables, pesto sauce and cherry tomatoes, and saute for 3 minutes more.

Add the drained capellini and chicken base (if using) and toss well.

Serve the pasta dish immediately with some freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Serves 3-4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Baba al Rhum

Baba al Rhum
Rum Baba


For the baba mixture:
2 fl oz (50 ml) milk
1 oz (25 grams) unsalted butter
1 oz (25 grams) fresh yeast or 1 tablespoon (15 ml) dried
2 egg yolks plus 1 egg
2 oz (50 grams) superfine sugar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
2 oz (50 grams) raisins
8 oz (225 grams) strong white flour

For the rum sauce:
4 oz (125 grams) superfine sugar
2 slices of unwaxed lemon
1 slice of orange
1 cinnamon stick
2 fl oz (50 ml) dark rum


Grease a deep, round 8 inch (20 cm) cake tin.

Gently heat the milk and butter until the butter has melted.

Remove from the heat and leave to cool until hand-hot.

Cream the fresh yeast with 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the warm milk mixture.

Mix together the egg yolks and sugar until thick and creamy, then add the egg, vanilla extract, lemon zest, raisins, flour and the yeast mixture.

Mix well with a wooden spoon.

Place in an oiled bowl and cover with a clean hand towel.

Leave to rise in a warm place for 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours until doubled in size.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly until smooth.

Place in the prepared tin and leave in a warm place for about 45 minutes until the mixture fills about two-thirds of the tin.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. (180 C.).

Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and well risen.

Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out and cool on a wire rack.

Prepare the rum sauce:
Place all the ingredients and 7 fl oz (200 ml) water in a saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer for 8 minutes.

Leave to cool, then strain.

Set aside to pour over the cake.

When the cake is cooked and still warm, pour over the rum sauce.

Leave to soak for 1 and 1/2 hours before serving. Serves 8-12.

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:

Anti Mafia School To Teach Agents Crime Fighting Skills

Rome - September 29, 2008 - A university course to teach 'secret agents' how to fight the Mafia is to begin on Saturday in the southern Italian region of Calabria, a Mafia stronghold.

A group of 35 agents will be trained by the University of Calabria and Cosenza on how to fight the Mafia known as 'Ndrangheta, reported an Italian weekly.

"The master's first objective is to create an 'intelligence' to contrast with organized crime," said program director, Mario Caligiuri.

"In Calabria there is not even a shred of a university course that deals with the 'Ndrangheta. The Turkish language is taught, but nothing about the history of 'Ndrangheta."

The students will learn about economic intelligence and the role of new technologies in criminal activities.

Former Italian President Francesco Cossiga as well as the former director of the Italian intelligence agency SISDE, Vittorio Stelo and Judge Rosario Priore will play a role in teaching the course.

The course lasts 19 days, with classes lasting 8 hours, followed by 100 hours of internship. The course costs 4,000 euros per person.

Italy's four main criminal organizations are the Sicilian Mafia, the Camorra in Naples and the surrounding Campania region, the 'Ndrangheta in the southern region of Calabria, and the Sacra Corona Unita in the southern Puglia region.

Cacchio, the tamest thing about that Calabria are the little red peperoncino peppers.

This university course is a hilarious jamboree of ignorance:

"A university course to teach 'secret agents' how to fight the Mafia..." FAIL! Hmmm...your secret cover blown by the registrar's office. Gee, we sure hope the Mafia doesn't find about this course and the secret agents. Excuse us, "students".

"The master's first objective is to create an 'intelligence' to contrast with organized crime." FAIL! The second objective is to create an intelligence to prevent the janitors at the University from discovering the first objective and passing it on to the Mafia.

"The Turkish language is taught, but nothing about the history of 'Ndrangheta." When you are forced to escape to Turkey in order to get away from the trauma of living in Calabria, the Turkish language can come quite in handy.

"The course lasts 19 days, with classes lasting 8 hours, followed by 100 hours of internship." FAIL! Congratulations! Here's your diploma.
What crime fighting skills could you learn in 19 days? Gymnastics?

Calabria has a better chance of ridding the Mafia with the crime fighting skills of "Batman and Robin".

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