12/26/13 Penne with Turkey, Sausage and Spinach

"Pancia mia, fatti capanna." (My tummy, become a hut. Something said when you're about to eat, in this case, "let's make room...a hut-sized room!) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Green Beans with Pancetta and Sage
  -Baked Fennel
  -Penne with Turkey, Sausage and Spinach

"Buon Natale!" Hope you had a lovely "Natale" and Holiday Season! Thank you again for reading your new recipes. I look forward to connecting further in the coming days.

Thanks again for reading!

Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Green Beans with Pancetta and Sage

Green Beans with Pancetta and Sage
Fagiolini con Pancetta e Salvia


2 and 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
8 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh sage
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided


Line baking sheet with several layers of paper towels.

Cook green beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes, depending on the size of beans.


Spread the beans out on paper towels.

Combine the pancetta and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet.

Saute over a medium heat until the pancetta is crisp, separating the pieces with 2 forks, about 10-12 minutes.

Add sage and stir until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.

Transfer to a plate.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in the same skillet over a medium-high heat.

Add the beans and saute until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Add the pancetta mixture and toss to blend.

Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.

Transfer to large bowl. Makes 10 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Baked Fennel

Baked Fennel
Finocchio al Forno


1 and 1/2 lbs fennel (about 2 large bulbs)
2 cups heavy cream
4 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
1 and 1/2 cups finely grated Parmigiano cheese
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


Remove the fennel stalks, halve them lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch wedges.

Heat oven to 425?F.

In a bowl, toss together the fennel, cream, and 1 cup of Parmigiano cheese.

Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer to a 3-quart baking dish.

Dot with butter.

Cover dish with foil.

Bake for 60 minutes.

Uncover baking dish.

Sprinkle with remaining Parmigiano cheese.

Bake until fennel is tender, about 30 minutes. Serves 6-8.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Penne with Turkey, Sausage and Spinach

Penne with Turkey, Sausage and Spinach
Penne con Tacchino, Salsiccia e Spinaci


1 pound ground turkey
1 pound spicy Italian turkey sausages, casings removed
Two 6-ounce bags fresh baby spinach leaves
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup whipping cream
1 pound Penne pasta
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese, divided


Heat the olive oil in large deep skillet over a medium-high heat.

Add the onions and saute until they begin to brown, about 7-8 minutes.

Add ground turkey and sausages.

Saute until cooked through and they begin to turn golden brown, breaking them up with the back of a spoon and occasionally scraping the bottom of the skillet, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the nutmeg, then cream.

Bring to a simmer.

Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

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

Drain, reserving 1 and 1/2 cups of the cooking water.

Add the pasta to the sauce.

Cook over medium heat, adding the spinach in batches and tossing until they wilt.

Stir in 1/2 cup of cheese and enough cooking water to moisten.

Transfer to a large bowl.

Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese.

Serve. Makes 6 servings.

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:

Pope to Priests: "Those Lectures Are Putting Everyone To Sleep"

Assisi - October 4, 2013 - Too many priests deliver homilies that are boring, interminable and incomprehensible, Pope Francis said.

In improvised remarks during a visit to Assisi, the pope warned his clergy to think carefully about the content of their sermons.

"Enough of these kinds of homilies - endless, tedious, in which you do not understand anything," Francis said at a meeting with clergy in Assisi's Cathedral of San Rufino.

(We're not looking forward to the repeat holy criticism we're going to get after this one...and the next article)

"Grazie, Papa Francesco." It's about time...

The Pope knows. It's no surprise Catholicism has been on a downward trend for years. We're having a problem...and some of us in this room and the characters in the piazza right outside the office are trying to be constructive about it for the good of the Church.

Why can't they put more effort into the speeches and edicts? "Maria Santa," they might as well give it in Latin! Don't they realize no one knows what's going on anymore? And we have old family members and relatives battling the rain and snow to get to the sermons.

We would love to grab our local priests and take them on a faith-based trip to some of these Protestant services where they're doing healings, and people are running up and down the aisles and passing out. See? You don't see these people pacing themselves like slugs on Sunday mornings. Lord have mercy, it's supposed to be a celebration!

It all comes down to content, fellow faithful ones. Content! For example, did you know you could fast from a variety of options other than food? (I don't see why we can't discuss this next Sunday, "Padre Nino".):


1) Escapist fantasies: any material activity you rely on in order to escape from reality, like TV, movies and video games.
(As many of you living in Italian households are aware, there is a constant need to escape from the reality that is your family and intruding relatives. You could give up the TV and movies...and escape to your friend's house for a few days of fasting and bonding. Two birds, one stone...or as we say, two pigeons, one fava bean.)

2) Vices and sins: alcohol abuse, smoking, sexual activity outside of marriage, etc. Other vices include less obvious behaviors like gossiping, swearing, impatience, laziness or stubbornness. (Hold on, you can't technically consider drinking your home made wine as alcohol abuse. After all, an old family recipe created with love and by your own hands is not a sin. But you can avoid all of your swearing and impatience...by simply ignoring your family's gossiping and stubbornness. Again, escaping to that friend's house can help.)

3) Leisure Time: spiritually beneficial activities to your schedule. Commit yourself to spending more time with your family or to performing new acts of kindness for your friends. Any activity you add to your day should be selfless and should replace time you might otherwise waste. (You could stop wasting time at home (God knows you've done enough of that) and perform an act of kindness at that friend's house. You can't be more selfless than baking a 6 layer sausage lasagne for him and the other friends who'll escape and come over later on in the evening for dinner and a card game of "scopa". Ah, don't forget the home made wine.)

See you at Sunday Mass.

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