12/10/03  Oregano From Italy for your Holiday Dishes!

"Benvenuti e Ciao a Tutti!" How is everyone today?

A special thanks goes out to all our subscribers who wrote us this past week providing us with warm feedback regarding our 1st issued newletter, our oregano, and the Italian recipes featured in the newsletter. All of us at the farm are happy that our oregano helped your favorite dishes and very glad to hear that some of these recipes will be prepared and featured on your Christmas tables.

Speaking of recipes, our homegrown organic oregano will give that special secret touch to those Christmas dishes. It's not crushed, pulverized, or minced! We'll ship you 7 bags of our oregano (still on their branches so that they maintain their full flavor) for just 15.12 Euro to the USA, global priority shipping included!

And this week's complimentary news article from "Only In Italy.com" talks about a startling medical discovery Italian scientists announced these last few days. You'll get a kick out of it!

Thanks again for subscribing and hope everyone starts the Holiday Season on a happy note!


Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Impt: Christmas Ordering Deadlines

Those holiday cooking marathons will soon begin so be prepared by stacking up on our organic oregano. If you would like to order please keep in mind the following deadlines:

USA, Canada, and South America Orders
All orders must be placed by Sunday, Dec. 12, at midnight EST.

European Union Orders
All orders must be placed by Sunday, Dec. 16, at midnight, Greenwich time.

Click here to order!

 Recipe: Zuppa di Cozze

Zuppa di Cozze
Mussel Soup


2 lbs mussels
1 onion
8 garlic cloves
1/4 cup dry white wine
4 large ripe tomatoes
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
6 basil leaves
1 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper (optional)
Extra virgin olive oil as needed
Freshly ground black pepper
Sea salt
Rustic bread for bruschette


To make the bruschette, diagonally slice about 12 pieces of bread, preferably from a baguette or long Italian loaf, and toast.

Slice a garlic clove in half, rub each slice of toast with the garlic, then drizzle some olive oil on each. This will use up about 4 large cloves. Another technique is to heat a sauté pan, brush each bread slice with olive oil, toast each side in the pan until golden brown, and then rub with garlic.

Wash and scrub the mussels, removing the beards and any material attached to the shells. Slice and dice the onion into small pieces. Slice the tomatoes in half, gently squeeze the seeds from them, and then coarsely chop.

Place a large pot on the range over moderately high heat, add ¼ cup of olive oil, the diced onions, at least 4 garlic cloves, and let cook for several minutes until the ingredients begin to wilt. Add the wine, tomatoes, ground black pepper and, if desired, add the chili pepper, then the mussels. Cover the pot and steam for about 15 minutes, stirring the bottom shells from time to time to ensure they are evenly cooked.

When the mussels have finished cooking, stir in the chopped parsley, place the mussel soup in individual bowls and place two slices of bruschette on each bowl, and serve.

That's it!

 Recipe: Insalata di Polpo

Insalata di Polpo
Octopus Salad


24 baby octopus
4 slices lemon peel
2 bay leaves
3 small celery stalks
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup capers
Salt and freshly gound pepper


To clean the octopus, turn out the body and empty it, remove the eyes and the beak at the base of the tentacles, then rinse the octopus under cold running water.

Make a dressing by combining the lemon juice, olive oil, capers and minced garlic. Chop the celery.

Bring a cup of water to boil in a pan, add the bay leaves, lemon peel and octopus. Cook for a moment or two until the octopus is tender.Strain the octopus then place them in a bowl, add the chopped celery, parsley and dressing.

Salt and pepper to taste then toss the octopus salad. Serve warm or at room temperature.

That's it!

 Recipe: Calamari Ripieni alla Liparese

Calamari Ripieni alla Liparese
Stuffed Squid Lipari Style


12 medium squid
1 lb ripe cherry tomatoes
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 onion
1/4 cup capers
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped, pitted Sicilian green olives
1/4 cup grated pecorino cheese
6 basil leaves
Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste


Clean the squid by pulling the tentacles and head away from the body. Remove the mouth from the head at the base of the tentacles. Cut away the head between the tentacles and eyes and discard the mouth and head. Hold the body of the squid under cold running water, peel the outer skin, then squeeze out the insides and pull out the cartilage. Thoroughly rinse the inside of the hood and try not to puncture it.

Chop the tentacles and put them in a mixing bowl with the breadcrumbs, pecorino cheese, capers, green olives and parsley. Salt and pepper to taste. Chop six cherry tomatoes and add them to the stuffing, then evenly mix the ingredients and fill the squid with the stuffing. Seal the open end of the squid with toothpicks and set aside.

Finely dice the onion and cut the remaining cherry tomatoes in half.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over moderate flame and fry the onions until they are transparent. Add the chopped tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste and cook a few moments, the lower the flame, add the squid and basil then cover and simmer for about fifteen to twenty minutes.

Ladle the sauce onto a serving platter and arrange the squid on top and serve.

If desired, heat the sauce and toss with linguine or spaghetti, slice the each of the stuffed squid into three or four pieces and arrange them on top of the pasta.

That's it!

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 It Could Only Happen in Italy!

"Only In Italy" is a daily news column that translates and reports on funny but true news items from legitimate Italian news sources 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:

Cocaine and Ecstasy Cause DNA Mutation - Italy Study

ROME (Reuters) Dec. 5 - Cocaine and ecstasy not only cause addiction and raise the risk of cancer but also provoke genetic mutations, Italian scientists said Friday. "Cocaine and ecstasy have proved to be more dangerous than we had imagined," said Giorgio Bronzetti, chief scientist at the National Center for Research's (CNR) biotechnology department. "These drugs, on top of their toxicological effects, attack DNA provoking mutations and altering the hereditary material. This is very worrying for the effects it could have on future generations," he said. The CNR report, which took more than three years to complete, said animal tests had shown a direct relationship between ecstasy and cocaine intake and the effects on DNA. "In other words, the longer the time frame of drug consumption, the greater the damage to DNA," Bronzetti said.

...According to another study by Italian scientist, Dr. Frank N. Beans, what has proven even more dangerous is the direct and loving relationship Italians have with their cell phones. Not only does it raise the risk of advanced stupidity among them, the thought of not owning the latest model has provoked the feeling of withdrawal around the espresso machine. (FACT: Only in Italy will you find 53 million cell phones for 58 million inhabitants.)

"Only In Italy" Subscribe today and feed your sense of intellectual superiority by reading and wondering how Italy still survives after 50+ governments. Click Here to Subscribe!

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