04/26/05 Zuppa di Pesce from OreganoFromItaly.com

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This week's Italian recipes:
  -Polipo alla Luciana
  -Zuppa di Pesce

Give them a try for your next dinner party!

We hope you enjoy the recipes in this week's issue and the complimentary news article report from "Only In Italy.com".

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Angela Reina       

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 Recipe: Polipo alla Luciana

Polipo alla Luciana
Octopus alla Luciana

This preparation is called alla Luciana because it is a favorite among the fishermen of Naples, particularly those from Santa Lucia point (Luciana).


2 lbs. stone octopus
1/2 lb. ripe tomatoes, peeled, chopped and seeded
1 cup olive oil
1 handful parsley
1 clove garlic


Tenderize the octopus by beating with a mallet on a hard, preferably marble, table. Clean, wash and cut into quarters.

Put the octopus into a baking dish or pot (a terracotta pot is preferable for this preparation), add salt and pepper to taste with the tomatoes, olive oil, parsley, garlic and salt to taste.

Seal the pot with aluminum foil fastened with string, and place the cover on top. Cook over low heat or in oven at 425ºF for 1 1/2 hours, shaking the pot occasionally, so that the octopus does not stick to the bottom. Remove from oven.

Polipo alla Luciana may be served in the cooking pot or dished out on a serving platter. Serve hot, warm or at room.

That's it!

 Recipe: Zuppa di Pesce

Zuppa di Pesce
Fish Stew


3 lbs. assorted fish (gray mullet, turbot, St. Peter's, scorpion fish, squid, octopus, shrimps) or any fish with a firm texture
3 tomatoes, chopped
3 cloves garlic
2 sprigs parsley
2 tbs. olive oil


Gut and clean all the fish. Fillet the fish with bone and cut the squid and octopus into pieces while reserving the heads and the bone.

Bring 6 qts. water to a boil in a large pot: add the tomatoes, the fish bones and heads, including the shrimps' heads. Cook for 2 hours, then cool and pass through a fine sieve. Bring this poaching liquid back to a simmer and start adding the fish, one at a time, in order of cooking time. First the squid or octopus, then the scorpion fish, the shrimps, turbot, St. Peter's fish and the mullets. Cook till all fish is done.

Prepare a soffritto with garlic and parsley, add to the fish stew and remove from heat. Finish with lemon juice, place in a large serving platter and serve with toasted country bread.

Note: There are as many variations and as many names to this preparation as there are church bells. Just to mention a few: brodetto, caciucco, ciuppin. The type of fish added also varies; some do not add mollusks, some add bivalves, some claim that at least 13 or 14 different types of fish should be used, others use only one type.

That's it!

 Recipe: Tiramisu



3 egg yolks
3 oz. brandy
6 tbs. sugar
3 doz. ladyfingers
2/3 lb. mascarpone
1 oz. cocoa
1 cup strong espresso
3 oz. crushed amaretti


Beat the yolks with 3/4 of the sugar, add the mascarpone and continue to beat very well until the mixture is smooth. Separate the mixture into two equal portions. To one part, add 1/2 cup of espresso to one portion, and the brandy to the other.

Moisten the ladyfingers with the remaining espresso and make a layer of them in a deep serving dish. Cover with the mascarpone mixture and carry on alternating layers of ladyfingers with layers different-flavored types of mascarpone. The last layer should be mascarpone.

Refrigerate for about 2 hours. Just before serving, mix 1 oz. cocoa powder with crushed amaretti and sprinkle evenly over the top.

Note: Tiramisù may be made with sponge cake instead of ladyfingers. Ladyfingers can also line the side of the mold instead of being placed on the bottom and in between layers. Tiramisù may also be made into a large bowl with ladyfingers lining the bowl. Flavors and shapes can change according to the cook's desire.

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:

Delegates Amble to Laziness Conference.

BBC - Frances Kennedy - August 8 - The pressures and rhythms of modern life often prompt people to seek new ways of unwinding - a course of yoga, a massage or a long stroll.

In Italy, though, a group of people are this weekend proposing a different approach to the problem. Their answer - simply do nothing.

The first National Convention of the Idle is taking place in a village near the Swiss border.

Organizers say they hope the whole concept of idleness can be re-evaluated.

According to one of the organizers, comic actor and writer Gianni Fantoni, idleness is not a vice but a sign of intelligence, as idle people find smart ways of getting the same results with less effort.

He says it is also an elixir of long life in a world of deadlines.

Compulsory siesta

Italy's lazybones will gather, if they can be bothered, in the mountain village of Champoluc, where they can comfortably arrive by cable car.

The event will include an exhibition of idleness through the ages, and a display of objects that reduce effort to a minimum - a dinner suit with shoes and socks incorporated, a rubbish bin with a chute attached, a mould to make snowballs without freezing your fingers and, almost a symbol of the movement, a hammock.

Participants have been promised that the seminar on idleness will last less than half an hour, a long siesta is obligatory and they will receive tips on perfecting laziness.

The organizers will also present a series of 10 commandments on how to avoid effort. These include letting others always make the first move, remembering that exercise is for other people, and never, ever volunteering for anything.

9 proverbs written by lazy Italians:

"Chi ha fretta vada piano!"
Make haste slowly!

"Chi non fa, non falla"
Those who do nothing, make no mistakes.

"Chi va piano va sano e va lontano."
He who goes slowly goes far and surely.

"Il tempo viene per chi sa aspettare."
All things come to those who wait.

"La gatta frettolosa fece i gattini ciechi."
"The hasty cat gave birth to blind kittens."
Haste makes waste.

"Meglio tardi, che mai."
Better late than never.

"Non destare il can che dorme."
Let sleeping dogs lie.

"Quando la pera è matura, casca da sè."
All things happen in their own good time.

"Roma non fu fatta in un giorno."
Rome wasn't built in a day.

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