01/18/12 Fried Sole Fillets

"Necessitą č madre dell'invenzione." (Necessity is the mother of invention.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Clams, Beans and Maltagliati Soup
  -Baked Pappardelle with Smoked Mozzarella and Fresh Tomatoes
  -Fried Sole Fillets

"Fa troppo freddo :(" Yes, it is quite cold. Give the scrumptious "Clams, Beans and Maltagliati Soup" to keep warm this weekend. And please share this newsletter, only if you found it useful. Enjoy this week's recipes.

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Clams, Beans and Maltagliati Soup

Clams, Beans and Maltagliati Soup
Zuppa di Vongole, Fagioli e Maltagliati


2 cups dried borlotti or cranberry beans, soaked overnight in cold water to cover generously
2 quarts (8 cups) cold water
2 to 2 and 1/2 pounds small clams
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus additional to drizzle over soup
1/2 cup finely minced yellow onion
1/3 cup finely minced carrot
1/4 cup mixed, finely chopped fresh herbs (parsley, sage, rosemary, mint, marjoram)
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 cups canned Italian plum tomatoes with their juices, put through a food mill to remove seeds
5 ounces dried small tubular pasta, such as ditalini or small bow ties


Drain and rinse beans under cold running water.

Put them in a large pot, add water and place on high heat.

As soon as water comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

In a food processor, puree about half of beans with a ladle of their cooking water until smooth, and return to pot.

Season lightly with salt and pepper and set aside until ready to use.

Soak clams in cold, salted water 20 minutes to purge them, then wash and scrub them well under cold running water.

Discard any clams that are broken or already open and won't close when you touch them.

Put clams in a large skillet with 1/2 cup water.

Cover skillet and cook over high heat until clams open.

Remove them with a slotted spoon to a bowl as they open.

Discard any clams that do not open.

Bring clam cooking juices back to a boil and cook until liquid is reduced by about half.

Strain liquid into a small bowl and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.

Add onion and carrot.

Cook, stirring, until vegetables are light golden and soft, about 6 minutes.

Add herbs and garlic and cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add reserved clam liquid and tomatoes.

Season with salt and pepper.

As soon as sauce begins to bubble, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until sauce is reduced by about half, about 10 minutes.

Add clams to sauce and cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add tomatoes to pot with beans and turn heat to medium-low.

Simmer uncovered 4 to 5 minutes.

Meanwhile bring a medium pot of water to a boil.

Add a pinch of salt and pasta.

Cook uncovered over high heat until pasta is tender but still a bit firm to bite.

Drain pasta and add it to soup.

Turn heat off under pot and allow soup to rest 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve with a light drizzle of olive oil. Makes 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Baked Pappardelle with Smoked Mozzarella and Fresh Tomatoes

Baked Pappardelle with Smoked Mozzarella and Fresh Tomatoes
Pappardelle Pasticciate con Mozzarella Affumicata


6 tablespoons butter
4 medium, ripe tomatoes, diced
2 ounces smoked mozzarella, diced
2 ounces whole-milk mozzarella, diced
10 to 12 fresh basil leaves, shredded
Salt to taste
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese
1 pound Pappardelle pasta


Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C).

Butter a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.

Fill a very large saucepan two-thirds full with salted water.

Bring water to a boil.

Add the pasta.

Bring water back to a boil and cook pasta uncovered until 'al dente'.

While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

When the butter foams, add the diced tomatoes.

Cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring.

Drain the pasta and add to the tomatoes.

Add mozzarella and basil, season lightly with salt and mix well.

Put everything into the baking dish and sprinkle with Parmigiano cheese.

Bake 4 to 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Divide the pasta into 4 portions and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Fried Sole Fillets

Fried Sole Fillets
Filetti di Sogliola Dorati


1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup dry unflavored bread crumbs
2 eggs
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 sole fillets
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Lemon wedges


Spread flour and bread crumbs separately on 2 pieces of aluminum foil.

Beat eggs with salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

Coat fish with flour, shaking off excess.

Dip in beaten eggs, then coat with bread crumbs.

Press bread crumbs onto fish with the palms of your hands.

Let coated fish stand 10 to 15 minutes.

Melt butter with olive oil in a large skillet.

When butter foams, add fish.

Cook over medium heat until golden, 3 to 4 minutes on each side.

Place fish on a warm platter.

Garnish with lemon wedges. Serve immediately.

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:

Italian Cardinal: "Bakers Vs Farmers: "Stop Baking Bread!"

Rome - September 28, 2010 - The Italian National Bakers Federation (FIPPA) on Tuesday voiced its opposition to the decision by Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti to authorize farmers to make and sell bread.

"We have nothing against farmers entering our sector but only if it is under equal conditions and subject to the same rules," FIPPA Chairman Luca Vecchiato said.

"But from one day to the next we find ourselves having to compete with a category which pays more than three times less tax than we do," he added.

"Making matters even worse is the way they can sell their products, at farmers markets which already receive vast incentives and have drawn criticism from various retailer associations," Vecchiato said.

According to the FIPPA chief, "the decree signed by Minister Tremonti sets the stage for a market free-for-all, where the ones who will lose out will be the 350,000 people employed in over 26,000 artisan bakeries".

In a reply to the complaint, the Coldiretti farmers union said that the bread made and sold by farmers will be exclusively produced using domestic flour "while over half the bread on the market today is made using foreign flour without any indication of its origin provided to consumers".

Tremonti's move to expand the number of farm-related products farmers can transform into a final product and sell, Coldiretti added, "is very important because it allows us to recover authentic ingredients, types of bread and production techniques which otherwise would risk extinction".

"This is also an opportunity to boost the consumption of a product which is essential to the Mediterranean diet, the purchase of which statistics show fell a further 2.4% in the first half of 2010," Coldiretti said.

Bread has been one of the fundamental foods of our tables for as long as Italian history has been recorded. We take it quite seriously. The crucial criteria for the perfect Italian loaf is that it is unsweetened, yeast-leavened, and baked fresh into a thick oval loaf with tapered ends. And the flour has to be exclusively "Made in Italy". Just the slightest imperfection could push our cousin, Maurizio, to almost change the expression on his rigid sunburned face at the dinner table (a very quiet guy, doesn't utter a sound).

"But from one day to the next we find ourselves having to compete with a category which pays more than three times less tax than we do..." That's a lot of bull "cazzate" because Italians farmers lose three times more than bakers do in any given year!

Does a baker have to deal with a sheep that wakes up one morning and says to himself, "That's it, I've had enough of this, vaffanculo!", and run off the side of a cliff with a few faithful idiots close behind? "Cacchio", you know how difficult it is to write that off? You never hear about a bakery employee throwing himself in an oven with other employees following suit, do you?

And what's wrong with hard working farmers baking and selling bread? Can you blame our brothers? They've been screaming over the fact that sub-standard versions of our favorite foods are being imported and that consumers like you are being misled by the branding. Take a look at 'Brenner Pass' which runs under the Alps. That's where the "faccia di culo" truckers bring in milk, meat, cheese and other foods from who knows where.

Cousin Nino: "Where did you get the mozzarella I bought from you yesterday, Paolo?
Paolo: "Ah, mamma mia, that came from my uncle Pino's farm from over the hills over there (points out the door). You see? The best there is. Did I ever tell you my Uncle baptized me and helped my poor family open this little bottega?"
Cousin Nino: "Si si, fifty-seven times. Well, Paolo, I opened the package and the mozzarella turned blue...just like the color of your head when I finish baptizing you."

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