12/29/10 Meatballs with Spinach

"Acqua passata non macina piu." (That's water under the bridge.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Ricotta Omelette
  -Meatballs with Spinach
  -Tagliatelle with Onions

"Salve a tutti!" We hope your Holiday Season was filled with the love and joy that you sincerely deserve. Enjoy this week's recipes.

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Ricotta Omelette

Ricotta Omelette
Omelette Alla Ricotta


4 eggs
7 oz (200 grams) ricotta cheese
2 oz (50 grams) cooked ham or prosciutto, chopped
1 oz (25 grams) Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 oz (25 grams) butter
Salt and pepper


Mix together the flour and 1 tablespoon water in a bowl.

Add the eggs and beat lightly.

Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Melt the butter in a frying pan.

Pour in a ladleful of the mixture and cook until set on the underside and soft on the top.

Continue making omelettes in the same way until the egg mixture is used.

Mix together the ricotta and ham (or prosciutto) in a bowl.

Season with salt and, if necessary, dilute with one or more tablespoons warm water.

Sprinkle a little of the Parmigiano cheese over each omelette, spoon on the ricotta mixture and fold.

Arrange on a warm serving dish. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Meatballs with Spinach

Meatballs with Spinach
Polpette Con Spinaci


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

For the Meatballs:
9 oz (250 grams) spinach
9 oz (250 grams) lean minced beef
1 oz (25 grams) Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated
1 egg, lightly beaten
Plain flour, for dusting
1 oz (25 grams) butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


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 floury.

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 a knob of butter mixed with an equal quantity of plain flour.

Prepare the Meatballs:
Cook the spinach, in just the water clinging to the leaves after washing, for about 5 minutes until wilted, then drain, squeeze out as much liquid as possible and chop.

Mix together the spinach, beef, bechamel sauce, Parmigiano cheese and egg in a bowl and season with salt.

Shape the mixture into eight balls and dust with flour.

Heat the butter and olive oil in a frying pan, add the meatballs and cook, turning frequently, until browned all over and cooked through.

Remove with a fish slice, drain on kitchen paper and serve. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Tagliatelle with Onions

Tagliatelle with Onions
Tagliatelle Alle Cipolle


10 oz (275 grams) fresh tagliatelle pasta
14 oz (400 grams) white onions, thinly sliced
1 and 1/2 oz (40 grams) butter
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 oz (50 grams) Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated
Salt and pepper


Heat the butter and olive oil in a large flameproof saucepan.

Add the onions and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5-10 minutes until translucent, then season with salt.

Meanwhile, cook the tagliatelle pasta in a large pan of salted, boiling water until 'al dente', then drain and tip into the saucepan.

Season lightly with pepper and toss.

Remove from the heat and sprinkle with the Parmigiano cheese. 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:

Gaddafi Getting Too Comfortable In Italy

Rome - September 7, 2010 - Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi’s behavior during a trip last week to Italy has stirred controversy. His remarks on Islam angered church officials, and many politicians worried about the Libyan leader’s growing clout in the Italian economy.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi laid out the red carpet for Gaddafi on the Libyan ruler's fourth visit to Italy in just over a year. It marked the second anniversary of a friendship treaty between the African country and its former colonial master.

Gaddafi brought a surprise with him: Bedouin riders mounted on 30 thoroughbred horses, flown in from Libya, performed for the Italian hosts. Nearly the entire government, as well as leaders of the business establishment, were present at what one newspaper quipped was a "circus spectacle," with Gaddafi acting as ringmaster.

Berlusconi had only words of praise for Gaddafi and even kissed his hand.

"It is an advantage for everyone that relations between Italy and Libya have changed and are definitely positive," Berlusconi said. "Those who do not understand this and criticize Libya belong to the past and are prisoners of outdated ideas," he added.

A day earlier, Gaddafi addressed 500 young women hired by a modeling agency and paid $100 each to listen to a lecture on Islam. Gaddafi urged them to convert and said Islam should be the religion of all of Europe. The remarks caused anger. A Vatican official called them a provocation. Some Italian government officials also were disturbed, accusing Gaddafi of having transformed Rome into his own private Disneyland for his senile vanity.

Critics of Gaddafi the onetime sponsor of terrorist groups say the 2008 Italy-Libya friendship treaty has given the Libyan leader a big role in the Italian economy. In the past two years, Libya has invested nearly $40 billion in Italy, according to economic journalist Stefano Feltri.

"It is the most important foreign investor in terms of strategic investments, so they are the only foreign country who can buy shares in companies like our biggest banks and biggest energy firm," Feltri says.

Gaddafi’s Libya is now the largest shareholder in Unicredit, Italy’s biggest bank. It is planning to raise its stake in ENI, the state-owned energy company, to 15 percent, and it has interests in construction, helicopters, telecommunications and insurance as well as in the Juventus soccer team.

Libya is currently the fifth-largest investor on the Italian stock market. And the friendship treaty stipulates that Italy will provide $20 billion worth of infrastructure to Libya.

One key aspect of the treaty has prompted strong criticism from the United Nations and the European Union; the agreement under which Tripoli intercepts and takes back immigrants who try to enter Italy by sea.

Rome has been widely accused of turning a blind eye to human-rights violations in Libyan camps where would-be immigrants are detained. Opposition Parliament member Furio Colombo says 50 percent of those seeking to enter Italy are asylum seekers, and Italy cannot turn them back under international law.

"They wanted someone to perform the dirty work for Italy, paid by Italy but without the Italians being involved and without public opinion knowing anything, to make sure no boats of refugees could pass through," Colombo says.

Now, Gaddafi is saying he should be paid millions by the EU to keep African migrants out of Europe.

Many Italians are wondering what will be the ultimate cost of an agreement with the dictator of a country that has never ratified an international treaty on human rights and who now plays such a key role in Italian business.

"Cornuto", we don't understand this love affair between our chuckle-faced, butt-sucking, unfunny jackass of a Prime Minister and his ugly Libyan girlfriend. How annoying is it that more people read about Gaddafi when he visits this country than during his entire career as supreme dictator "della minchia"?

Look at the history between this sand "coglione" and Italy:

- In 1970 Gaddafi expelled Italians living in Libya and confiscated their property (Libya: "Arrivederci Italiani!").

- In 1985 Italy's Prime Minister Craxi refused the request by U.S. President Reagan to extradite the hijackers of the Italian cruise ship "Achille Lauro" and for the murder of American citizen, Leon Klinghoffer (Italy: Well, at least, they didn't sink the ship. Just cover up the bullet holes, clean up the blood and it's as good as new).

- In 1986 Craxi warned Gaddafi that the U.S. would bomb his country. Craxi not only said no to U.S. flights over Italy, but he used all the channels available to him to warn the dictator, saving his life. (Italy: "Pronto, hello Gaddafi? Buon giorno! How are you? Listen carefully...")

- In 1986 Libya fired two Scuds at the U.S. Coast Guard navigation station on the Italian island of Lampedusa, in retaliation for the failed bombing. The missiles passed over the island, landing in the sea, and caused no damage. (Italy: "Oh, figli di puttane, che minchia fate?!)

- In September 2010 Gaddafi addressed 500 young Italians women hired by a modeling agency and paid $100 each to listen to a lecture on Islam. Gaddafi urged them to convert and said Islam should be the religion of all of Europe. (Italian women: "Is Islam a new modeling agency in Milan? I'll convert if it will help my modeling and 'escort' career. I don't care what I did to the 'Women's Movement'! I'll move where my career takes me. The wind whistling through my head is starting to annoy me!")

- In the past two years, Libya has invested nearly $40 billion in Italy. (Libya: "We want receipts." Italy: "'Fanculo, we're one step away from cooking our pizzas in the sand!")

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