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 12/22/10 Cod Sicilian Style

"Aiutati che Dio t'aiuta." (Help yourself and God will help you. God helps those who help themselves.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Lentil and Swiss Chard Soup
  -Spaghetti with Broccoli, Chickpeas, and Garlic
  -Cod Sicilian Style

"Buona sera!" We hope our wonderful readers are surrounded by loved ones all throughout the Holiday Season. Enjoy this week's recipes.

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       


 Recipe: Lentil and Swiss Chard Soup

Lentil and Swiss Chard Soup
Minestra Di Lenticchie e Bietoli

Ingredients:

For the Meat Stock:
1 and 3/4 lb (800 grams) beef (no fat), cut into cubes
1 lb 5 oz (600 grams) veal, cut into cubes
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 oz (50 grams) coarsely chopped carrots
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) leeks, trimmed and coarsely chopped
1 celery stick, coarsely chopped
Salt

For the Rest of the Soup:
5 oz (150 grams) lentils, soaked in cold water for 3 hours and drained
12 oz (350 grams) Swiss chard, coarsely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
2 tablespoons tomato puree
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) long-grain rice
Salt and pepper
Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated, to serve

Directions:

Prepare the Meat Stock:
Place the meat in a large saucepan, add cold water to cover and bring to a boil. Cooking and gentle simmering are essential for a great meat stock.

Skim off any residue that rises to the surface and add the carrots, leeks, onion, and celery and season with salt.

Lower the heat and simmer for about 3 and 1/2 hours to 4 hours.

Remove from the heat, strain into a bowl and leave to cool.

Then chill in the refrigerator.

When the fat has solidified on the surface carefully remove and throw away.

Prepare the Rest Of The Soup:
Bring the meat stock to a boil.

Heat the olive oil in another pan, add the onion, garlic, celery and carrot and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until lightly browned.

Stir in the Swiss chard and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add the lentils and tomato puree and stir well.

Pour in the meat stock, bring back to a boil and add the rice.

Cook for another 15 minutes or until the rice is tender.

Season with salt and pepper, ladle into a soup bowl, drizzle with olive oil and serve with Parmigiano cheese. Serves 4-6.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Spaghetti with Broccoli, Chickpeas, and Garlic

Spaghetti with Broccoli, Chickpeas, and Garlic
Spaghetti con Broccoli, Ceci e Aglio

Ingredients:

6 garlic cloves, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for drizzling
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped broccoli (not thawed)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 pound spaghetti
Finely grated Parmigiano cheese

Directions:

Cook garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until garlic is golden, about 1 minute.

Add broccoli and salt and cook, breaking up frozen chunks and stirring occasionally, until broccoli is thawed and crisp-tender, 5 to 7 minutes.

Stir in chickpeas and cook until heated through.

Cook pasta in a 6 to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente'.

Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water, then drain pasta in a colander.

Add pasta and reserved cooking water to broccoli and chickpeas in skillet and cook over moderate heat, tossing, until combined well.

Serve drizzled with additional olive oil. Makes 4 main-course servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Cod Sicilian Style

Cod Sicilian Style
Merluzzo Alla Siciliana

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) salted anchovies, heads removed, cleaned and filleted soaked in cold water for 10 minutes and drained
2 and 1/4 lbs (1 kg) cod, cleaned and boned
1 fresh rosemary sprig, plus extra chopped
2 fresh basil leaves, plus extra chopped
2 oz (50 grams) breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) stoned black olives, to garnish

Directions:

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

Brush an oven-proof dish with olive oil.

Chop the anchovy fillets.

Heat 2 tablespoon of the olive oil in a saucepan, add the anchovies and cook, mashing with a wooden spoon until they have almost completely disintegrated.

Spoon a little of the anchovy mixture inside the cavity of the cod and add the rosemary sprig, basil leaves and remaining olive oil.

Close the cavity.

Spoon the remaining anchovy mixture into the prepared dish, add the fish, sprinkle with chopped rosemary and basil and the breadcrumbs, with salt and pepper to taste and bake for 30 minutes.

Serve surrounded by the olives. 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:

Italians Find The Brain's 'Guilt Spot'

Rome - September 20, 2010 - Italian scientists say they have found the area in the brain that controls feelings of guilt, paving the way for better psychiatric treatment.

The Italian study, published in the international journal Human Brain Mapping, is a breakthrough because it is the fist time the site of a so-called social emotion, not a primal one like anger and joy, has been located.

Using brain scans a team led by Carlo Caltagirone of the Santa Lucia Foundation pinpointed the area where guilt arises in the front and back cingulum (white-matter tract) of the cerebral cortex.

"These brain regions, as is well-known, are involved in higher cognitive functions," Caltagirone said.

The discovery lays the groundwork for a better understanding of individual feelings as well as helping to target therapy to help people recovery from brain injuries, he said.

"Modifications of feelings are frequent after lesions to the brain or even cases of concussion, including non-serious ones.

"An understanding of the neurobiological basis of guilty feelings allows us to improve rehabilitation using cognitive and behavioral intervention".

"Mamma mia, auguri!" Congratulations! Finding the area in the Italian brain that controls feelings of guilt is more difficult than splitting the atom with mozzarella, a long piece of string, a paper clip and an old tractor!

Deep down all of us want to stop feeling guilty because it corrodes our emotional state. But look at the emotional state of Southern Italians. Do we feel guilty? "Cazzo", no. We're happy as pigs in slop. Let us explain...

Southern Italians have all been raised in a code of conduct that "pretends" to place a value on honesty. When we lie or cheat we won't feel guilty inside. As kids we were told that we are "bad" because we stole or lied BUT if you had to because (fill in any reason here) then, it's acceptable.

The Southern Italian society has indoctrinated the importance of "enjoying life" so deeply into the psyche of every child that it grows up feeling not guilty about relaxing. If you just hang around in a piazza or the beach on a weekday, you will not feel a pinch of guilt within you knowing that there are Italians up north hard at work (and whose tax money goes to support the Southerners).

How to overcome feelings of guilt, Sicilian style:

1.) Do not occupy your mind with whatever happened that may cause guilt.
"Per favore, I don't care. Besides, it's a beautiful day. I'm going down to the cafe."

2.) Each time a guilty feeling arises, instead of floundering around in it, take one positive step.
"I still don't care. It's a beautiful day. I'll have a cappuccino, grazie."

3.) Do a good deed. Helping others often helps.
"Beppe, I told her I didn't care. It was a beautiful day. How about a pizza on me?"

"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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