11/14/07 Pappardelle Bolognese con Verdure from OreganoFromItaly.com

"Quando la pera matura, casca da s." (When the pear is ripe, it will fall itself. All things happen in their own good time.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Garlic Knots
  -Pappardelle Bolognese con Verdure
  -Torta al Limone e Olio

Enjoy the recipes and the complimentary news article report from "Only In Italy.com".

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Garlic Knots

Garlic Knots


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus additional for greasing pan
2 lb frozen pizza dough, thawed
1 garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated (1/2 cup)


Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 400 F.

Lightly oil 2 large (17 by 13 inch) baking sheets.

Divide dough in half. Keep half of dough covered with a clean kitchen towel (not terry cloth). Gently roll out other half into a 10-inch square on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin. (Use your hands to pull corners. If dough is very elastic, cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest about 3 minutes.)

Cut square in half with a pizza wheel or a sharp heavy knife, then cut each half crosswise into 15 strips (about 2/3 inch wide). Cover strips with a clean kitchen towel.

Keeping remaining strips covered, gently tie each strip into a knot, pulling ends slightly to secure (if dough is sticky, dust lightly with flour) and arranging knots 1 inch apart in staggered rows on 1 baking sheet. Keep knots covered with clean kitchen towels.

Roll out and cut remaining dough, then form into knots, arranging 1 inch apart in staggered rows on second baking sheet. Bake, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until golden, 20 to 25 minutes total.

While knots bake, mince garlic and mash to a paste with salt, then stir together with olive oil in a very large bowl. Immediately after baking, toss knots in garlic oil, then sprinkle with parsley and cheese and toss to coat. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes approximately 5 dozen knots.

That's it!

 Recipe: Pappardelle Bolognese con Verdure

Pappardelle Bolognese con Verdure
Pappardelle Vegetable Bolognese


1 oz (28 grams) dried porcini mushrooms (1 cup)
1 cup boiling-hot water
2 medium carrots, quartered lengthwise, then cut into 1-inch pieces
2 celery ribs, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 medium shallots, quartered lengthwise
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup dry red wine
3/4 lb dried pappardelle
1 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (1/2 cup) plus additional for serving


Soak mushrooms in boiling-hot water 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, pulse carrots, celery, shallots, and bell pepper together in a food processor until chopped.

Heat olive oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking.

Add chopped vegetables, rosemary, salt, and pepper and saute, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are golden brown and tender, about 12 minutes.

Lift mushrooms out of soaking liquid, squeeze excess liquid back into bowl (reserve liquid), and rinse mushrooms well to remove any grit.

Finely chop mushrooms, then add to vegetables in skillet along with tomato paste. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, 1 minute.

Add wine and boil until wine is reduced by about half, about 2 minutes.

While sauce is cooking, cook pasta in a 6 to 8 quart pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente'. Reserve 1 cup pasta-cooking water in a heatproof measuring cup, then drain pasta in a colander.

Add reserved mushroom-soaking liquid to sauce and bring to a simmer. Add pasta and 1/2 cup reserved cooking water to sauce, tossing to coat (thin sauce with additional cooking water if necessary).

Stir in cheese and serve immediately. Serves 4.

That's it!

 Recipe: Torta al Limone e Olio

Torta al Limone e Olio
Olive Oil and Lemon Cake


3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for greasing pan
1 large lemon
1 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
5 large eggs, separated, reserving
1 white for another use
3/4 cup plus 1 and 1/2 tablespoons sugar


Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350 F.

Grease 9-inch (24-cm) springform pan with some olive oil, then line bottom with a round of parchment paper. Oil parchment.

Finely grate enough lemon zest to measure 1 and 1/2 teaspoons and whisk together with flour.

Halve lemon, then squeeze and reserve 1 and 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.

Beat together yolks and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add olive oil (3/4 cup) and reserved lemon juice, beating until just combined (mixture may appear separated).

Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture (do not beat) until just combined.

Beat egg whites (from 4 eggs) with 1/2 teaspoon salt in another large bowl with cleaned beaters at medium-high speed until foamy, then add 1/4 cup sugar a little at a time, beating, and continue to beat until egg whites just hold soft peaks, about 3 minutes.

Gently fold one third of whites into yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.

Transfer batter to springform pan and gently rap against work surface once or twice to release any air bubbles.

Sprinkle top evenly with remaining 1 and 1/2 tablespoons sugar.

Bake until puffed and golden and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

Cool cake in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a thin knife around edge of pan and remove side of pan.

Cool cake to room temperature, about 1 and 1/4 hours. Remove bottom of pan and peel off parchment, then transfer cake to a serving plate. Serves 8.

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:

Italy Angered Over Racist and Clueless German Judge

Cagliari - October 19 - He is a Sardinian - ergo he is entitled to a light sentence for rape. Sardinian public figures and politicians reacted with outrage yesterday to a German court ruling which effectively stated that an Italian defendant's Sardinian origins had to be taken into account when it came to sentencing him for rape.

The Sardinian in question is Maurizio Pusceddu, 29, sentenced one year ago to six years' imprisonment in a court in Buckeburg, Germany. During his trial, Pusceddu had admitted to sequestering, raping, torturing and humiliating his Lithuanian girlfriend over a three-week period, merely because he suspected that she had betrayed him with another man.

In evidence to the police, the unnamed woman reported that not only had Pusceddu locked her up, raped and gang-raped her but that he had also covered her body with cigarette burns, poured vinegar on to her wounds and on occasions urinated on her.

Under German law, Judge Baron Burries von Hammerstein could have issued a sentence of up to 15 years. However, the judge took into account Pusceddu's partial confession, the fact that he had no previous criminal record and, controversially, his Sardinian origins. In his judgement, Baron von Hammerstein wrote: "one must take into account the cultural and ethnic characteristics of the accused. He is a Sardinian. The roles of men and women in his country certainly cannot be used as an excuse but they must be considered as an extenuating circumstance."

The case came to light only this week, one year after the trial in Germany, because Pusceddu has requested that he might serve his sentence in Italy. It was only when his lawyer, Anna Maria Busia, was preparing to present Pusceddu's prison transfer request to a Cagliari court of appeal that she received the full text of Baron von Hammerstein's original ruling.

Even though her client benefited from a reduction of his sentence, allegedly because of his Sardinian origins, Ms Busia still described the sentence as "racist". Junior justice minister Luigi Manconi, himself a Sardinian, called the ruling an "example of differential racism" whilst the president of the region of Sardinia, Renato Soru, commented: "this whole story just shows that there are idiots everywhere".

Former Cagliari footballer and modern-day Sardinian folk hero Gigi Riva expressed his disappointment, saying: "I thought that all those cliches about the island had been long forgotten. Clearly I was wrong."

"Che fortuna, che culo!" Cazzo, he could have reduced his sentence even further if he appeared barefoot in court .

"One must take into account the cultural and ethnic characteristics of the accused. He is a Sardinian." Hmmm...He does have a point. Sardinians speak a language completely incomprehensible to all other Italians, including goats, and celebrate more saints' days than the Vatican.

The drunken kraut must have been referring to another interesting cultural and ethnic characteristic of Sardinia and that is it's the home to the most beautiful witches in the world.

The witches of Sardinia are very secretive. Practically every village has a witch but outsiders can never discover who they really are. This is based on the fact that it is very difficult to reach these villages because public transportation in Sardinia is a lie.

A Sardinian witch is a beautiful woman; almost always married with children. While most sane Italian mothers pass their heirloom and favorite sauce recipes down to daughters, Sardinian witches pass their secrets down to only one of their daughters, starting from when the girl is very young. If she has no daughter, the witch takes her secrets with her to the grave.

However; her clueless husband and family come second to her wacky calling.

When townspeople of questionable intelligence and sanity seek her services, she usually gives them free of charge. She works her magic by creating special chants and dispelling homemade potions, and is paid in household and farm goods.

The "filtro di amore" or love potion is what is most sought after, especially by young ugly women. The second most asked-for service is the removal of a "malocchio" or evil eye. This incredibly mesmerizing act 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 doesn't compare to the performance of rocks in her head.

Another way the witch removes a curse is to have you give her some of your intimate apparel, preferably clean; she makes a chant over it in secret, gives you back the clothing and the curse is supposedly removed. If the curse is actually removed, then payment by live chicken is happily accepted.

This is white magic...funny magic!

But things can get serious if black magic is involved. How much black magic the witches perform is a mystery; it simply isn't spoken of because Sardinians have enough problems of their own.

But if the witch is willing to do black magic, she will go in her kitchen and make a doll out of cork or rags, then stick a pin in the shoulder or the leg. The person who commissioned the curse then risks illegal trespassing and breaking and entering by hiding the doll in a secret place in the cursed one's home, probably on top of a ceiling beam or beneath a floorboard. In short time, the person starts having a series of misfortunes or gets a terrible ache in the shoulder or a dreadful pain in the leg.

And until the doll is discovered and removed from the house or a couple of aspirins are taken, his problems continue.

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