02/07/07 Salsiccia and Lenticchie con Finocchio from OreganoFromItaly.com

"Salve bella gente!" Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Rigatoni Bolognese Con Verdura
  -Orecchiette con Broccoli Rabe
  -Salsiccia and Lenticchie con Finocchio

The "Rigatoni Bolognese" lacks one traditional main ingredient - meat. However, with the hearty vegetables, you'll hardly know it's missing. Enjoy the recipes and the complimentary news article report from "Only In Italy.com".

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Rigatoni Bolognese Con Verdura

Rigatoni Bolognese Con Verdura


1 oz (28 g) dried porcini mushrooms (1 cup)
1 cup boiling-hot water
2 medium carrots, quartered lengthwise, then cut into 1-inch pieces
2 celery ribs, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 medium shallots, quartered lengthwise
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup dry red wine
3/4 lb Rigatoni pasta
1 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (1/2 cup) plus additional for serving


Soak mushrooms in boiling-hot water 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, pulse carrots, celery, shallots and bell pepper together in a food processor until chopped.

Heat olive oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot.

Add chopped vegetables, rosemary, salt and pepper and saute, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are golden brown and tender, about 12 minutes.

Lift mushrooms out of soaking liquid, squeeze excess liquid back into bowl (reserve liquid), and rinse mushrooms well to remove any grit. Finely chop mushrooms, then add to vegetables in skillet along with tomato paste. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine and boil until wine is reduced by about half, about 2 minutes.

While sauce is cooking, cook pasta in a 6 to 8 quart pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente'. Reserve 1 cup pasta-cooking water in a heatproof measuring cup, then drain pasta in a colander.

Add reserved mushroom-soaking liquid to sauce and bring to a simmer. Add pasta and 1/2 cup reserved cooking water to sauce, tossing to coat (thin sauce with additional cooking water if necessary). Stir in Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

That's it!

 Recipe: Orecchiette con Broccoli Rabe

Orecchiette con Broccoli Rabe


1/4 cup virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
12 ounces orecchiette or shell pasta
1 lb broccoli rabe, trimmed, chopped
2/3 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese (about 2 ounces)
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese (about 1 ounce)


Heat olive oil in heavy small saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until beginning to color, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until beginning to soften, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.

Add broccoli rabe and cook until pasta is just tender, but still firm to bite, about 3 minutes. Drain. Transfer pasta and broccoli rabe to large bowl. Pour garlic oil over. Sprinkle with cheeses and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 6.

Note: When trimming the rabe, do not use the big leaves and/or stems for they are too bitter and will ruin the dish.

That's it!

 Recipe: Salsiccia and Lenticchie con Finocchio

Salsiccia and Lenticchie con Finocchio


1 cup dried lentils
4 1/2 cups cold water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 medium (3/4 lb) fennel bulb (sometimes labeled "anise"), stalks discarded, reserving fronds
3 1/2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 1/4 lb sweet Italian sausage links
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar, or to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling


Bring lentils, water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until lentils are just tender but not falling apart, 12 to 25 minutes.

While lentils simmer, cut fennel bulb into 1/4-inch dice and chop enough fennel fronds to measure 2 tablespoons. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a 3 to 4 quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then stir in onion, carrot, fennel bulb, fennel seeds and remaining teaspoon salt.

Cover pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very tender, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, lightly prick sausages in a couple of places with tip of a sharp knife, then cook sausages in remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes.

Transfer to a cutting board.

Drain cooked lentils in a sieve set over a bowl and reserve cooking water. Stir lentils into vegetables with enough cooking water to moisten (1/4 to 1/2 cup) and cook over moderate heat until heated through.

Stir in parsley, pepper, 1 tablespoon vinegar and 1 tablespoon fennel fronds. Season with vinegar and salt.

Cut sausages diagonally into 1/2-inch thick slices. Serve lentils topped with sausage and sprinkled with remaining tablespoon fennel fronds.

Drizzle all over with extra-virgin olive oil. Makes 4 (main course) servings.

That's it!

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 Only In Italy!

"Only In Italy" is a daily news column that translates and 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 Priest Denies Woman Funeral for Living In Sin

The Times - ROME - July 23 - A priest has refused to give an Italian woman a Christian funeral because she had "lived in sin".

Father Giuseppe Mazzotta, parish priest at Marcellinara, in Calabria, southern Italy, said he had denied a Christian funeral to Maria Francesca Tallarico, who died of breast cancer at 45, because she had lived with her partner but never married him. Her partner was separated and had an 11-year-old daughter.

"She lived with her lover, so she was a public sinner," Father Mazzotta said. "I decided not to celebrate an official mass for this woman, who was not in communion with the church."

The priest's decision has underlined the growing power of conservative Catholicism in Italy.

Romano Prodi, the leader of the center-left opposition, who hopes to oust the ruling center-right coalition of Silvio Berlusconi, came under fire from the church and the Right yesterday for suggesting Italy should legally recognize homosexual "civil unions".

Last month, a referendum proposing relaxation of restrictive laws on assisted fertility was roundly defeated. Opposition to the referendum was led by the Pope, prompting the Left to charge the Vatican with interfering in Italian affairs in a throwback to the era of Christian Democratic rule.

The Vatican's call for a boycott was widely heeded, with a turnout reaching only 25 per cent, half the quorum.

Father Mazzotta said he had performed the liturgy of absolution for the dead. He added that he was close to the dead woman's family and had offered them "words of comfort".

Father Antonio Sciortino, editor of popular Catholic magazine Famiglia Cristiana, accused Father Mazzotta of "excessive zeal". Father Mazzotta said his action carried a message that "marriage is a sacrament. We cannot simply pretend".

The church also turned on Mr Prodi for saying he would follow "the French example" and recognize "civil unions" for gays.

"Porca Miseria!" It just goes to show, even after you're dead...it never ends.

So then...Why must Catholics pay money for a Mass that is offered up for deceased relatives and friends when the Bible states that the gift of God is not to be purchased with money? (Acts 8:20).

Apostle Paolo:
"Who serveth as a soldier at any time, at his own charges?"...
"Who feedeth the flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?"...
"So also the Lord ordained that they who preach the gospel, should live by the gospel." (I Cor. 9:7-14).

Now that this has been settled, the Catholic Church can return to more important issues like:
"How cardinals can keepeth their big red cone hats from blowing awayeth in the windeth". (OnlyInItaly 7:18:05)

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