03/07/07 Trout in Porchetta from OreganoFromItaly.com

"Tanti saluti e auguri!" Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Minestra di Fave e Pomodorini
  -Trout in Porchetta
  -Baci di Dama

Spring is almost here and all of us at the farm sincerely hope it will bring you a fresh outlook on your lives. Enjoy the recipes and the complimentary news article report from "Only In Italy.com".

Thanks again for subscribing!

Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Minestra di Fave e Pomodorini

Minestra di Fave e Pomodorini
Soup with Broad Beans and Cherry Tomatoes


450 grams (1 lb) frozen broad beans
200 grams (7 oz) canned cherry tomatoes
2 teaspoons dried bay leaves, chopped
2 teaspoons dried marjoram
2 tablespoons frozen or fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons dried chives
2 ladles tiny soup pasta (pastina)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Chilli pepper oil, if you like
Grated Parmigiano cheese


Bring to a boil 1 liter (35 fl oz - 4 1/2 cups) salted water; pour in frozen broad (fava) beans together with dried bay leaves and bring to a boil again. Cook for about 15 minutes.

Puree the soup and pour back in the saucepan.

Add cherry tomatoes with their juice, marjoram, parsley and chives.

Season to taste with salt and bring to a boil again.

At this point add the pasta and keep cooking according to the time on the pasta package, stirring now and then.

Remember to keep some boiling water over a low heat; in fact you could have to add other water according to your taste.

Remove from the heat, add olive oil and stir.

Serve with grated Parmigiano and spicy hot; everyone will be able to add one of them or both in his dish directly, if he likes.

That's it!

 Recipe: Trout in Porchetta

Trout in Porchetta


1 whole trout, cleaned (per person)
Wild fennel
Breadcrumbs, from day old ciabatta bread
Assorted wild herbs, left in sprigs
Virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Whole lemon, cut in half
Prosciutto fat, sliced into strips


Stuff each trout with sprigs of wild herbs, lemon, a few pieces of prosciutto fat, salt and pepper

Leave for at least a day for the flavors to be absorbed

Take a shallow tray and lie in the trout, sprinkle some breadcrumbs over, more herbs and, if available, some mountain hay

Bake in a wood oven at high heat or on the BBQ

This is delicious, freshly cooked and served very simply.

Note: If baking in a normal oven where you cannot obtain a scorched flavor, you may choose to accompany it with a salsa piccante or a Sicilian dressing of fresh oregano, olive oil, salt, pepper and red wine vinegar.

That's it!

 Recipe: Baci di Dama

Baci di Dama
Orange and Almond Cookies


4 ounces (100 grams) candied orange peel
4 ounces (100 grams) ground almonds
4 ounces (100 grams) superfine sugar
4 ounces (100 grams) plain white or Italian type 00 flour
6 tbs (90 ml) milk
2 ounces (50 grams) dark chocolate


Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C). Line several baking trays with parchment paper.

Chop the orange peel very finely and put in a bowl. Add the almonds and sugar and sift in the flour, reserving 1 tbs (15 ml). Mix well together, then add enough milk to form a smooth, firm dough.

Roll the mixture into 24 small balls and place, well apart, on the baking trays. Sprinkle with the remaining flour.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.

Melt the chocolate and use a little to sandwich the cookies together in pairs.

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:

Gas Stations Prepare 14 Days of Strikes

Rome - January 26 - Unions representing Italy's gas station operators on Friday announced 14 days of strikes to protest against a government move to deregulate their sector. The first, 48-hour stoppage will take place on February 7-8, the three unions said.

"The government is forcing an entire category of workers into an extremely tough response" they said after Thursday night's cabinet approval of a deregulation bill. Gas station operators are particularly angry at plans to allow shopping centers and supermarkets to distribute gas.

They also oppose the planned abolition of minimum distances between petrol stations and the extension of opening hours. The unions said they were "not prepared to be sacrificed to do a favor to the powerful gas distribution lobby".

They said the bill would result in the closure of stations and force car owners to travel further for non-gas services.

Consumer groups have applauded the plan, however, arguing it will reduce prices through greater competition. According to the unions, gas distribution has already been deregulated in Italy, since 1998, and there is no justification for a further liberalization. Big gas distributing chains have far less of the market in Italy than in other European Union countries. Italian gas prices are among the highest in Europe.

Earlier this week, Italy's anti-trust authority launched a probe into nine oil companies suspected of price fixing. Thursday's deregulation bill contains a raft of measures including streamlining business start-ups and getting rid of fees for mobile phone top-ups. Praised by consumer groups, the packages seek to rid Italy of the red tape and market rigidities that have made its economy one of the EU's worst performers over the past decade.

"I need benzina!"

What a shock; another strike in Italy.

Gas Stations: There are wonderful gas stations all over Italy, but you must remember that many close for several hours in the middle of the day. You can actually see a gas station with an "open" sign (meaning it is open that whole day) but find that it is closed for lunch (2:00 - 4:00). This may cause a bit of confusion for the unwary driver because he will not know if "Ignazio", the lazy station attendant, is out at lunch, napping behind the station shack, or doing both.

Types of Gas: Italian cars use either unleaded ("benzina verde") or diesel ("gasolio"). Never utter the words, "il pieno" (full tank), to Ignazio. The amount of money you spend will be the equivalent of an extra night at your hotel plus dinner.

Be sure you know what type of gas your car takes because filling a car with the wrong kind of gas will stop it dead in its tracks after you leave the station and have driven awhile. You will have to be towed to a gas station and then have the tank drained while cursing. Don't assume Ignazio would know what gas to put in (his life is difficult enough). Usually there is a sticker on your gas tank cover, either inside or outside, that indicates what gas should be used.

Gas Prices: Italy uses the metric system so a gallon of gas is equivalent to 3.785 liters. The price of gas in February 2007 is about 1.20 Euros therefore; the painful calculations will show that a gallon of gas will set you back 4.54 Euros. That's almost 6 US Dollars for our hard working American tourists.

Now, that's an Italian kick in the head, isn't it?

"Oh, my!", responds the innocent and unwary tourist. "Is it because of all the conflicts happening in the world?"

Close. The gas prices in Italy reflect the ongoing conflicts in the heads of the Italian government. The levels of terrorism and insurgency occurring in their thick and incoherent skulls makes Iraq look like pre-school.

Thanks to these brain cell conflicts, the following current taxes are added to every liter of gasoline you purchase in Italy:

1,90 lire for the Abissinia (Ethiopia) War of 1935; Obviously, this war must be still going on. We would appreciate it if one of our readers in Ethiopia could tell us who is winning.
14 lire for the Suez Crisis of 1956; Egypt against Israel, the United Kingdom and France. Life moved on for these countries but the crisis remained in Italy.
10 lire for the Vajont Dam disaster of 1963; Heavy rains triggered a landslide that destroyed 7-8 towns. The land stopped moving decades ago but not the tax.
10 lire for the Florence Flood of 1966; Florence mopped up, put on dry clothes and moved on!
10 lire for the Belice Earthquake of 1968;
99 lire for the Friuli Earthquake of 1976;
75 lire for the Irpinia Earthquake of 1980; We never realized these 3 earthquakes registered a 14 on the Richter scale.
205 lire for the Lebanon Mission of 1983; Seeing that we returned to Lebanon last year, can we change the tax date to 2006?
22 lire for the Bosnia Mission of 1996; We forgot to leave after the mission was accomplished.
0.02 euro for Autoferrotranviari contract renewals of 2004; If you can pronounce the word, maybe Ignazio will give you a discount at the pump.

And the cherry on the ricotta cake is the 20% Italian state sales tax you pay on these taxes.

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