07/28/10 Pappardelle with Asparagus and Spiced Butter

"Un nemico è troppo e cento amici non bastano." (One enemy is too many and a hundred friends aren't enough.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Yellow Split Pea Soup
  -Pappardelle with Asparagus and Spiced Butter
  -Chocolate Espresso Cookies

"La fame muta le fave in mandorle." (Hunger makes hard beans sweet.) Enjoy your recipes and the rest of the summer season.

Thanks again for subscribing!

Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Yellow Split Pea Soup

Yellow Split Pea Soup
Zuppa di Piselli Gialli


2 cups dried split yellow peas, picked over and rinsed
6 cups water

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
3 cups water

One 7-ounce container of yogurt
1/2 cup shredded unpeeled cucumber
1 clove garlic, mashed and minced
Scant 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
Big pinch of salt

Chopped olives
More olive oil to drizzle


Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan, add the yellow split peas, and cook for 20 -30 minutes, or until tender.

Drain, salt to taste and set aside.

Add olive oil to a big pot over med-high heat.

Stir in onions and salt and cook until the onions soften, just a minute or two.

Add the cooked split peas and stock/water.

Bring to a simmer and let cook for a few minutes.

Remove from the heat.

Using a large cup ladle half of the soup into a bowl and set aside.

Using a hand blender (or regular blender) puree the soup that is still remaining in the pot.

Stir the reserved (still chunky) soup back into the puree

In the meantime make the yogurt topping by mixing together the yogurt, cucumber, garlic, mint, and salt. Set aside.

Ladle soup into bowls or cups, and serve each with a generous dollop of the yogurt, a drizzle of olive oil, a touch of chopped mint, and a sprinkling of black olives. Serves 3-4.

That's it!

Printer Friendly Version

 Recipe: Pappardelle with Asparagus and Spiced Butter

Pappardelle with Asparagus and Spiced Butter
Pappardelle con Asparagi e Burro Speziato


1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
Pinch of salt

1 stick (4 oz) 100 grams butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

6 medium shallots, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Scant 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon+ fine grain sea salt
Black pepper

1/2 lb (8 oz) 225 grams dried pappardelle pasta
1/2 lb (8 oz) 225 grams asparagus, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds

Splash of cream
1/2 cup (2 oz) 60 grams pine nuts, toasted and chopped
2 tablespoons roughly chopped mint
2 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley


Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil.

In the meantime, use a mortar and pestle to crush the saffron and salt into a fine powder. Set aside.

Place the butter and olive oil in a frying pan and cook the shallots gently for about 10 minutes, or until they soften and the butter browns just a bit.

Stir in all the spices, the salt, and a bit of freshly ground black pepper, remove from heat (but keep warm).

Salt the water generously and cook the pasta per package instructions, or until 'al dente'.

Barely thirty seconds before the pasta has finished cooking, add the asparagus.

Drain and return the pasta and asparagus to the pot.

Stir in the saffron salt.

Pour about half of the spiced butter over the pasta, add a small splash of cream, and toss well.

Serve the pasta in a large bowl, or divided across plates, sprinkle with pine nuts and herbs. Serves 4-6.

That's it!

Printer Friendly Version

 Recipe: Chocolate Espresso Cookies

Chocolate Espresso Cookies
Biscotti Al Cioccolato e Caffè


2 and 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
2 tablespoons freshly ground espresso powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
1/2 cup natural cocoa or cacao powder, not dutched

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (soft to the touch)
2 cups fine-grain natural granulated sugar or 1 and 1/2 cups sugar plus 1/2 cup dark brown sugar

2 large eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
8 ounces chocolate covered espresso beans


Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a medium bowl whisk together the whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cacao powder.

Set aside.

In a big bowl or with an electric mixer beat the butter until it is fluffy and lightens a bit in color.

Beat in the sugar (it should have a thick frosting-like consistency).

Mix in the eggs one at a time, making sure the first egg gets incorporated before adding the next. You will need to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice as well.

Add the vanilla and mix until it is incorporated.

Add the ingredients from the medium bowl to the big bowl in about four waves. Stir a bit between each addition until the flour is just incorporated.

At this point you should have a moist, brown dough that is uniform in color.

Stir in the espresso beans and chocolate chips by hand and mix only until they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Drop the cookies onto baking sheets.

Bake at 375°F for about 10 minutes on the middle rack.

When they are done, pull them out to cool. Makes 2-3 dozen chunky, medium cookies.

That's it!

Printer Friendly Version :: Submit Your Thoughts


 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:

Loving Italian Teen Asks Father For Money To Pay Hitman To Kill Him

Rome - March 23, 2010 - A young Italian woman asked her father for 5,000 euros ($6800) to fund a holiday to the United States then used the money to have him murdered by two hitmen, police said.

Ilenia Moretti's plan unraveled when the second hitman got cold feet and confessed the plan to police.

Miss Moretti, 19, from the small town of Luzzara in northern Italy, told police she had endured years of verbal abuse from her domineering father, Rodolfo, and resolved to have him killed apparently with the blessing of her mother.

In January, she allegedly hired the first assassin; a 22 year old man who she recruited from the nearby town of Mantova. On the night of Jan 8, the alleged hitman, Alex Grantana, cycled 20 miles from Mantova to Luzzara in the dead of night and waited until Mr Moretti, a night porter, emerged from his house to go to work in a local mill.

Mr Grantana allegedly jumped out of the shadows at around 1:30 am and stabbed him in the shoulder with a five-inch-long knife. But Mr Moretti managed to fight off his attacker, disarming him and calling the police.

Detectives were puzzled when Mr Grantana said he attacked Mr Moretti because he did not like him despite the fact that they had never met before. Undaunted by the failure of the assassination attempt, Miss Moretti decided to hire a second hitman. She recruited a young Moroccan immigrant who she met casually in a railway station. But he had second thoughts and went to the police.

His confession led the Carabinieri to re-examine the circumstances of the first attack. They arrested the teenager on suspicion of conspiring in two attempted murders.

"She said she wanted to bring to an end years of intimidation suffered by both daughter and mother," an investigator said.

Police also placed under investigation her mother, Roberta, who allegedly gave the green light for the killing.

We're sure there are many thoughts on this incident circulating in the minds of our readers. Obviously, something's not kosher in this Italian family:

First, what is today's new definition of "enduring years of verbal abuse" if your father, an incredibly successful night porter, gives you 5,000 Euros for a holiday to the other side of the world?

Wouldn't this be a bit more realistic?:

Daughter: "Hey Papa, I would like to...no, I WANT to go on holiday to the USA. I expect 5,000 Euros in cash by the end of the week."
Papa: "Signorina, once again you're having delusions of adequacy...just like your mamma. I would sincerely appreciate if the both of you would stop sucking on my wallet. My career advice is to call up "Dolce e Gabbana" and demand that they let you appear in their fashion ads. But first, learn to stop walking like a mule."

Second, Italy is a deeply Catholic country that views the family as the foundation of society although, the foundation of this family appears to be less stable than a chicken shack. And where is it that mothers and fathers, sons, and daughters come together to argue, to discuss, to bond? Yes, that's right the dinner table.

Daughter to her harassed but very attentive mamma working her way through creating four courses for 'la famiglia': "Mamma, think about it. How can you be married to someone who sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them?"

Third, whether it be art, politics, sport, or murder, in Italy the most important thing is to have passion for what you are doing. But that wouldn't be the case of Signore Alex Grantana...

You bike 20 miles in the dead of night to your victim's home (no energy bars), and out of complete exhaustion the best you can do is stab your victim in the shoulder before being immediately disarmed? Hard to believe he even had the audacity to leave the house.

If he worked for the Mafia he would be the coffee boy, bench warmer, and janitor all rolled into one.

"Only In Italy" Subscribe for free and day in and day out, 5 days a week, you'll have laughter, tears and intelligent commentary all blaring at you from your stupid little monitor. Click Here to Subscribe!

 Caterina Collezione, shop for Italian sterling silver directly from the factory in Italy; wedding gifts, anniversary gifts, flatware, plates, centerpieces, silverware, tea sets, dinnerware and more. All limited editions and made to order.

 Angela's Italian Organic Oregano is grown on a small mountain in Italy; an all natural herb, strictly certified organic, and shipped directly from Italy to you. It's the secret ingredient for all your Italian recipes.

 Adriana's Homemade Italian Gourmet Cookies; Italian gourmet almond, fig, pistachio and sesame cookies baked and shipped from our bakery in Italy to you; all natural, fresh, and baked to order. Great Italian recipes!

 Italian humor and news; visit and subscribe today and feed your sense of intellectual superiority by reading and wondering how Italy still survives after 56 governments in 50 years!
 Only In Italy.com

 Read Past Issues
 What's New?
 Order Our Oregano!
 People are Talking!
 History of Oregano
 Uses of Oregano
 Tour Our Oregano Farm
 Customer Service
 Our Certification
 About Angela
 Our Privacy Policy

 Submit Your Thoughts
 Email Angela

 Subscribe to the OreganoFromItaly.com feed! Subscribe!
 Add to My Yahoo!
 Add to My Google
 Add to My Netvibes

 Follow Angela on FB:

 Baked Polenta with Garlic
 Cauliflower and Lamb Pie
 Couscous with Vegetables
 Gnocchi with Mushroom Sauce
 Marbled Ring Cake
 Orecchiette with Red-Wine Veal Sauce
 Penne with Artichokes
 Porcini Mushrooms with Tarragon
 Rigatoni with Braised Lamb Ragu
 Sausage and Cheese Manicotti
 Spaghetti with Tuna & Fennel
 Veal Bocconcini with Porcini and Rosemary

 More Recipes!

Questions: Need more Italian recipes? How about Italian gift ideas? Or just plain Italian fun?

Subscribe to these interesting newsletters from our closest and trustworthy Italian affiliates located here in Italy? Just click the sites that may interest you and sign up:

 Silver From Italy.com
 Cookies From Italy.com
 Only In Italy.com


Copyright ©2000-2009 FromItaly di Ciccarello. ISSN: 1724-7977. All Rights Reserved. Please read our Privacy Policy

This newsletter is powered by Libero. It no longer uses NOR does it recommend the services of Tiscali S.p.a.