07/16/08 Asparagus and Parmigiano Cheese Puddings from OreganoFromItaly.com

"Se si disperdono spine, non camminare scalzi." (If you scatter thorns, don't go barefoot.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Zuppa di Pane e Pomodoro
  -Sformati di Asparagi e Parmigiano
  -Torta di Mascarpone e Limone

Enjoy the recipes and the complimentary news article report from "Only In Italy.com".

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Zuppa di Pane e Pomodoro

Zuppa di Pane e Pomodoro
Bread and Tomato Soup


1/2 cup slivered fresh basil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped red onion
3 and 1/2 cups canned vegetable broth
1 lb plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
Three 3/4-inch-thick slices country white bread (each about 3x5 inches), cubed
Grated Parmigiano cheese


Divide basil and garlic between 2 large soup bowls.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add onion and saute 3 minutes.

Add broth, tomatoes and bread and bring soup to boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until bread is falling apart, about 8 minutes.

Transfer soup to processor. Using on/off turns, blend to coarse puree.

Season soup with salt and pepper.

Ladle into bowls over basil and garlic.

Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Sprinkle with cheese. Makes 2 servings; can be doubled.

That's it!

 Recipe: Sformati di Asparagi e Parmigiano

Sformati di Asparagi e Parmigiano
Asparagus and Parmigiano Cheese Puddings


1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs made from crustless Italian bread
2 lbs asparagus, trimmed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese (about 3 ounces)
1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
1/4 cup all purpose flour

4 large eggs


Butter eight 3/4-cup custard cups or souffle dishes.

Coat with breadcrumbs.

Cut off asparagus tips. Cook tips in large saucepan of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.

Drain; reserve tips and 1 cup cooking liquid. Coarsely chop asparagus stalks.

Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat.

Add onion; saute until tender, about 6 minutes.

Add stalks; saute until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.

Add reserved asparagus cooking liquid. Cover; simmer until stalks are tender, about 12 minutes.

Uncover; cook until liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 5 minutes.

Transfer to food processor; puree.

Add Parmigiano cheese, ricotta and flour. Using on/off turns, process just until blended. Season with salt and pepper.

Whisk eggs in bowl to blend.

Add asparagus puree; whisk to blend.

Stir in all but 16 asparagus tips.

Divide custard among cups.

Place cups in roasting pan. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover; chill puddings and remaining asparagus tips.)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Pour hot water into pan to come 1 inch up sides of cups.

Bake puddings until set, about 35 minutes.

Let stand 10 minutes. Invert onto plates.

Garnish with asparagus tips. Makes 8 puddings.

That's it!

 Recipe: Torta di Mascarpone e Limone

Torta di Mascarpone e Limone
Lemon Mascarpone Cheesecake


3 oz (75 grams) unsalted butter
6 oz (175 grams) Amaretti biscuits (almond macaroons)
14 oz (400 grams) mascarpone cheese
Grated zest of 3 unwaxed lemons and juice of 1 lemon
4 oz (100 grams) superfine sugar
2 eggs separated
2 tablespoons (30 ml) cornflour
Pinch of salt


Preheat the oven to 350 F. (180 C.)

Grease a deep, 8 inch (20 cm) loose bottomed cake tin.

Melt the butter.

Crush the Amaretti biscuits, then mix the crumbs with the melted butter. Put in the bottom of the prepared tin.

Put the cheese, lemon zest and juice, sugar and egg yolks in a bowl and, using a wooden spoon, mix together.

Sprinkle the cornflour over the top and fold in.

In a separate bowl, whisk the whites with the salt until stiff.

Fold into the cheese mixture.

Spread the mixture into the cake tin and smooth the top.

Bake in the oven for 35 minutes until firm to the touch.

Leave to cool in the tin. Serves 8.

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 Criminal Begs For Jail

Naples - June 13, 2008 - An Italian crook begged to go back to jail after telling wardens life behind bars was better than living with his wife again.

Prison bosses had freed Luigi Folliero, 45, to serve the second year of his two-year sentence for theft under house arrest.

But after just two days at home he fled back to Ponte San Leonardo jail, near Naples, and pleaded to go back in his old cell because he could not stand being at home with his wife.

He told wardens: "She never stops moaning and nagging."

"Oh cazzo, non c' lo faccio pi!"

Most Italian women nag because it is in their sick nature to do so. They grew up watching incredibly sympathetic mothers, aunts and grandmothers around them doing it and were taught that it was the best way to handle incompetent Italian men and their occasional inability to function on a normal human level.

Sometimes Italian women nag over some seemingly insignificant and stupid thing in order to work their way onto larger unimportant issues. She knows that it is going to force you to climb the wall and plans on using that anger later to bring up whatever it is that is really bothering her.

Luigi doesn't understand that the sad truth is you have to work on a relationship.

When Luigi met his girl and tried to get her into bed, that wasn't hard work. It was fun!
He was dating and having a great relationship, It wasn't hard work. It was fun!
"Cristo, I can't wait to see my lovely girl!"

Then he got married and 5 to 6 years into it...

"Oh, mio Dio! We have to go see a counselor!"
"Cazzo, she's still here!"
"Porca miseria, she's yelling at me!
"Uffaa, I've got to give a little, she's got to give a little!"


Most married Italian men scream at others not to get married, but they don't listen.
They don't listen!

"But my wife is different..."

And then you have Luigi telling other prison inmates, "There is no difference..."

A marriage is a large tomato field and we all have tomato presses.

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