11/03/10 Salted Cod with Olives And Capers

"Meglio un giorno da leone che cento da pecora." (Better one day as a lion than a hundred as a sheep.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Polenta With Ricotta
  -Penne with Broccoli Rabe, Tomatoes, and Parmigiano
  -Salted Cod with Olives And Capers

"Buon Giorno!" All of us here at the farm send you our best regards. Life is short so...eat healthy and happy!

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Polenta With Ricotta

Polenta With Ricotta
Polenta Con La Ricotta


For the Polenta:
1 lb and 2 oz (500 grams) coarse polenta flour

11 oz (300 grams) ricotta cheese
11 oz (300 grams) tomatoes, peeled and diced
1 onion, chopped
2 oz (50 grams) pancetta, diced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 oz (25 grams) butter, plus extra for greasing
2 oz (50 grams) Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated
Salt and pepper


Prepare the Polenta:
Bring 3 pints (1.75 liters) salted water to a boil (keep another pan of water boiling if necessary).

Sprinkle the polenta flour into the pan while stirring constantly.

As soon as the polenta thickens, soften it with a drop of the reserved boiling water.

Note: The cooking time ranges from 45 minutes to 1 hour; the longer the cooking time, the more easily the polenta is digested.

Pour the prepared polenta on to a work surface or tray and leave to cool and set, then cut it into slices.

Beat the ricotta cheese in a bowl until smooth.

Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan.

Add the onion and pancetta and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and simmer for another 30 minutes.

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

Grease an ovenproof dish with butter.

Arrange the polenta, ricotta, Parmigiano cheese and tomato sauce in layers in the prepared dish, finishing with a layer of polenta.

Dot with the butter and bake for 20-25 minutes. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Penne with Broccoli Rabe, Tomatoes, and Parmigiano

Penne with Broccoli Rabe, Tomatoes, and Parmigiano
Penne con Broccoli Rabe, Pomodori e Parmigiano


12 ounces Penne pasta
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 bunches broccoli rabe, chopped
8 anchovies, chopped
3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 pound tomatoes, diced
1 cup chopped fresh basil, divided
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 and 1/4 cups grated Parmigiano cheese, divided


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

Drain; return to same pot.

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

Add garlic; saute 30 seconds.

Add broccoli rabe, anchovies, and crushed pepper; saute until broccoli rabe is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes and 1/4 cup basil.

Add vegetable mixture and lemon juice to pasta; toss to coat.

Transfer pasta to large bowl.

Add remaining 3/4 cup basil and 3/4 cup cheese; toss to blend.

Season pasta to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve, passing remaining cheese. Makes 4 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Salted Cod with Olives And Capers

Salted Cod with Olives And Capers
Baccala Con Olive e Capperi


1 and 3/4 lbs (800 grams) salted cod, soaked and drained
2 salted anchovies
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
6 fl oz (175 ml) dry white wine
1 tablespoon capers, drained and rinsed
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) black olives, stoned and chopped


Remove the heads from the salted anchovies, clean and fillet them, and soak in cold water for 10 minutes. Drain.

Cut the salted cod into fairly large pieces.

Chop the anchovy fillets.

Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the anchovies and cook over a low heat, mashing with a wooden spoon.

Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Add the salt cod and cook for 5 minutes on each side.

Pour in the wine and add the capers and olives.

Season with salt if necessary, then simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes and serve. 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:

Clooney Visits His Girlfriend’s Family

Rome - September 20, 2010 - George Clooney and girlfriend Elisabetta Canalis flew to Sardinia this week to meet her parents Cesare a radiologist, and wife Bruna, a housewife.

On the first day of their visit, one of Elisabetta's uncles organized a family luncheon at his house in the couple’s honor, after which came a quick car tour of local scenic sites.

In evening, Clooney, Canalis and her parents went for a quiet dinner in a local restaurant known for Sardinian specialties, "La Rosa dei Venti".

Before his visit ended on the second day, Clooney patiently signed autographs and posed for photos with neighbors of the Canalises'. One of them even handed Clooney a baby for a picture.

"He looked rather awkward with the 7-month infant in his arms, but he posed politely and carefully handed the baby back," A local newspaper quoted one neighbor as telling a local journalist.

"One of the older women there shouted, "Ora tocca a te!" ("Now it's your turn!"). Clooney obviously didn't understand, but everyone turned to look at Elisabetta. She simply smiled," he added.

Elisabetta: "Mamma, Papa...this is Giorgio."
Papa to Mamma (in private and public): "I don't like him...this actor. And I don't trust the figlio di puttana."

Hmmm...visiting the Family. Now, there's a surprise. We couldn't give a rat's "culo" about all his success (yes, we do) but if he really wanted to impress the Family, he should have worn traditional Sardinian garb: hat, shirt with silver and gold buttons, vest made of wool and velvet, white cloth trousers, and a short black skirt.

"Weh, Giorgio, dance in our honor!"

You know, we're curious if Giorgio knows Sardinia is the home to the most beautiful witches in the world. It's true. Every Sardinian village has a witch but visitors can never discover who they really are. That's because it's quite difficult to reach these villages for public transportation in Sardinia is folklore!

A Sardinian witch is a beautiful woman...eh, just like Elisabetta. While most sane Italian mothers pass their heirloom and favorite pasta recipes down to daughters, Sardinian witches pass their secrets down to only one of their daughters, starting from when the girl is very young. She works her magic by creating special chants and dispelling homemade potions, and is paid in household and farm goods...or accompanying a famous actor to the Oscars.

The "filtro di amore" (love potion) is what is most sought after, especially by ugly Italian women. The second most asked-for service is the removal of a "malocchio" (evil eye). This incredibly funny show is performed by dropping a stone into a glass of salted water. Somehow, as the stone sinks the curse is removed or maybe it's the way in which the stone sinks that removes the curse. Either way, it won't compare to the spectacle of the rocks in her head.

Another way a witch can remove a curse is to have someone (like Giorgio) give her some of his intimate apparel, preferably clean. She chants over it in secrecy, returns the clothing, and the curse is supposedly removed. If the curse is actually removed, then payment with a live rooster is happily accepted.

With all the curses that must have been flying in the direction of Elisabetta's house, we wouldn't be surprised if Giorgio left Sardegna with an enormous headache.

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