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 11/26/08 Cod and Mushroom Tart from OreganoFromItaly.com

"La superbia è figlia dell'ignoranza." (Pomposity comes from ignorance.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Spaghetti Amatriciana
  -Pumpkin Pie
  -Cod and Mushroom Tart

Best wishes for a happy and healthy Thanksgiving to all our subscribers. Enjoy your recipes.

Thanks again for subscribing!

Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       


 Recipe: Spaghetti Amatriciana

Spaghetti Amatriciana
Spaghetti all'Amatriciana

Ingredients:

3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) pancetta, diced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 lb and 2 oz (500 grams) tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
1 fresh chili, seeded and chopped
Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
12 oz (350 grams) spaghetti pasta
Salt and pepper 

Directions:

Add olive oil to a flameproof casserole pan, add the pancetta and cook over a low heat until the pancetta fat runs.

Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until lightly browned.

Add the tomatoes and chili, season with salt and pepper, cover and cook for about 35-40 minutes, adding a little warm water if necessary.

Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of salted, boiling water until 'al dente', then drain and toss with the sauce in a warm serving dish. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie
Pasticcio di Pasta di Zucca

Ingredients:

For the Bechamel Sauce:
2 oz (50 grams) oz butter
2 oz (50 grams) plain flour
18 fl oz (500 ml) whole milk
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
Salt and pepper

For the Pie:
7 oz (200 grams) cooked pumpkin
2 oz (50 grams) dried mushrooms
1/2 shallot, chopped
1/2 carrot, chopped
1 oz (25 grams) butter, plus extra for greasing
11 oz (300 grams) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 egg, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper 

Directions:

Prepare the Bechamel Sauce:
Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat.

Whisk in the flour.

Pour in all the milk, whisking constantly until it starts to boil.

Season with salt, lower the heat, cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for at least 20 minutes. Bechamel sauce should not taste like flour.

Remove the saucepan from the heat.

Taste and add more salt if necessary and season with pepper and/or nutmeg.

If the sauce is too thick, add a little more milk.

If too runny, return to the heat and add 2 slices of butter mixed with an equal quantity of plain flour.

Note: For a richer bechamel sauce, replace half the milk with the same amount of double cream; for a lighter béchamel sauce, add half milk and half water.

Prepare the Pie:
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 the butter in a frying pan.

Add the shallot and carrot and cook over a low heat until softened, then add the mushrooms.

Cover and cook for about 15 minutes until tender, then stir into the bechamel sauce.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas Mark 6.

Grease an ovenproof dish with butter.

Meanwhile, process the pumpkin with a pinch of salt in a food processor.

Transfer to a bowl and combine with the flour.

Stir in the egg to bind into a dough.

Knead quickly and roll out on a lightly floured surface into a fairly thin sheet.

Cut out 10-12 rectangles.

Bring a pan of salted water to a boil.

Add the pumpkin rectangles and cook for a few minutes, then drain.

Arrange the rectangles in alternate layers with the mushroom sauce and bake for a few minutes. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Cod and Mushroom Tart

Cod and Mushroom Tart
Crostata di Merluzzo e Funghi

Ingredients:

For the Bechamel Sauce:
2 oz (50 grams) oz butter
2 oz (50 grams) plain flour
18 fl oz (500 ml) whole milk
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
Salt and pepper

For the Pate Brisee (thawed if frozen):
9 oz (250 grams) plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
6 oz (175 grams) butter, diced and softened
1 egg, lightly beaten
Salt

For the Tart:
6 cod fillets, skinned
2 and 1/4 lb (1 kg) mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) Gruyere cheese (or Swiss cheese and Gouda), grated
1 large onion, halved
18 fl oz (500 ml) dry white wine
2 cloves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprig (leaves only)
1 oz (25 grams) butter, plus extra for greasing
2 tablespoons double cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper

Directions:

Prepare the Bechamel Sauce:
Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat.

Whisk in the flour.

Pour in all the milk, whisking constantly until it starts to boil.

Season with salt, lower the heat, cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for at least 20 minutes. Bechamel sauce should not taste like flour.

Remove the saucepan from the heat.

Taste and add more salt if necessary and season with pepper and/or nutmeg.

If the sauce is too thick, add a little more milk.

If too runny, return to the heat and add 2 slices of butter mixed with an equal quantity of plain flour.

Note: For a richer bechamel sauce, replace half the milk with the same amount of double cream; for a lighter béchamel sauce, add half milk and half water.

Prepare the Pate Brisee:
Sift the flour and add a pinch of salt into a mound on the work surface and add the softened butter.

Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.

Shape into a mound, make a well in the center and pour in the beaten egg and 2 tablespoons of water.

Knead lightly by hand (your hands should be cold) or using a metal palette knife.

Wrap the pastry in cling film, flatten gently with a rolling pin and chill in the refrigerator for about an hour.

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

Divide the pastry into several pieces.

Roll out on a lightly floured surface and use to line boat-shaped, oval or round tartlet tins.

Line with baking parchment or greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans.

Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Remove the tins from the oven, remove the beans and parchment or paper and leave to cool before filling.

Note: The quantity of pastry given here is also enough for two 9-inch (23-cm) round pies. Halve or double the quantity according to requirements.

Prepare the Tart:
Pour 18 fl oz (500 ml) of water and the wine into a saucepan.

Stud the onion with the cloves, add to the pan and bring to a boil.

Add the cod fish and cook over a low heat for about 20 minutes.

Remove the cod with a fish slice and boil the stock to reduce slightly, then set aside.

Sprinkle the cod with the marjoram, thyme, and parsley.

Season with pepper.

Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the mushrooms and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F) Gas Mark 3.

Grease a tart or quiche tin with butter.

Prepare the bechamel sauce using half milk and half fish stock, then stir in the mushrooms, cheese of your choice, cream, and eggs.

Season with salt and pepper.

Roll out the pate brisee on a lightly floured surface and line the prepared tin.

Prick the base all over with a fork, line with baking parchment and fill with baking beans.

Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and increase the temperature to 180°C (350°F) Gas Mark 4.

Remove the parchment and beans.

Chop the fish and sprinkle evenly over the pastry case.

Cover with the bechamel sauce mixture and return to the oven for another 40 minutes. Serve warm. Serves 6.

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:

The Picnic in St Mark's Square Is Over!

Venice - October 6, 2008 - People have started obeying orders not to stop and snack in Venice's famous St Mark's Square, officials said Monday.

"The picnic's over," said city decorum pointman Augusto Salvadori. "Today there was no one lying around eating in St Mark's".

Six city cops have been deployed to enforce the 'anti-bivouac' ordinance, Salvadori said. He voiced the hope that soon they won't be needed any more.

"Tomorrow we'll see multi-lingual signs go up detailing what is allowed in the square, and hopefully people will get the message."

"If need be, we're always here to remind them".

Among other things, the signs will point people to the Royal Gardens as a better place for snacking. Salvadori said the next front on the clean-up drive will be the graffiti that is despoiling palazzi and monuments.

"They cause enormous damage and we plan to get compensation from these so-called 'writers'," he said, announcing the arrival of 70 new surveillance cameras to join the 35 already in operation.

But the clean-up czar denied reports that the city drive was also aimed at preventing kids using chalk to mark the squares for skipping games.

"That's nonsense. I agree perfectly that children should have space to play in Venice," Salvadori said after traffic wardens were reported to have scolded children for drawing patterns for the traditional game of 'campagnon'. He said the city planned to open up more areas where children could play.

Venice authorities said last week they would launch an international competition for schemes to stop mass tourism spoiling St Mark's and the city's other famous squares. Venice launched its decorum drive two years ago to fight a modern wave of scruffiness and lax behavior it said was dragging its image down. Among other things it has employed so-called 'City Angels', a band of young women, to tell tourists to put their shirts back on, stop putting their feet in fountains and have their picnics away from the most popular sites.

The city has also launched a drive to rid St Mark's of the pigeons many people associate with it by banning feed vendors and taking other moves to shoo the birds away. Authorities said last week the anti-pigeon measures were proving "an unqualified success". The square's pigeon population was down from its historic levels of 20,000 to a bare thousand.

"Just a few months after the feed ban most of the square is free of the animals who have moved off to find food on the islands," said Venice Artistic Superintendent Renata Codello. She said the birds had "almost completely disappeared" from the logge on Palazzo Ducale (the Doge's Palace), once their favorite gathering spot.

The animals, which have been judged a health hazard and threat to city monuments, had also decamped from St Mark's Basilica, allowing the historic church's facade to be cleaned.

Since when does eating a candy bar that costs 6 Euros (plus tip) appear as if one is enjoying a mini-picnic? "Hey, non mi rompere le palle!"

"Tomorrow we'll see multi-lingual signs go up detailing what is allowed in the square, and hopefully people will get the message."

Do you understand, you good-for-nothing tourists?
Venice wants to know if you got the message? (il messaggio?, le message?, die Nachricht?, el mensaje?) The party and picnic is over!

Rule: The tables in the Piazza are there for a reason!

Caffè Florian in St. Mark's: What's the brilliant logic behind high menu prices but no customers. Is one supposed to sit at one of the 60 empty tables and say, "Minchia, I was at the Florian. I left a kidney when I finished my cocktail but I saw the table of Goethe, Byron and Proust."

It would cost you less if you bring a chair, classical music and a nice bottle of Barolo to Byron's grave.

Rule: Music costs so don't listen!

"Excuse me waiter, Giuseppe, faccia di culo, whatever your name is...Two glasses of crappy house red wine (17 Euros for two), a tiny bottle of fruit juice that could barely nourish a mouse (8.50 Euros) and 12 Euros for listening to the chamber music (3 Euros per ear)?"

"Ah, you forgot the 6.50 surcharge because I'm wearing a hearing aid?"

It would cost you less if you buy a bottle of wine in a Venice bottega, chug it down in one of the aisles and dance over to the square to enjoy a lovely evening.

"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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