10/23/13 Pumpkin Soup Au Gratin

"Gallina vecchia fa buon brodo." (An old chicken makes great broth.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Sauteed Swiss Chard with Onions
  -Pumpkin Soup Au Gratin
  -Fettuccine with Brussels Sprouts and Pine Nuts

"Tutto bene?" What you do every day in your kitchen matters more than what you do in general every once in a while. So, treat yourself like a royal when you're preparing and cooking.

Thanks again for reading!

Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Sauteed Swiss Chard with Onions

Sauteed Swiss Chard with Onions
Bietola Saltata Con Cipolle


3 pound green Swiss chard (about 2 large bunches)
2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter


Cut stems and center ribs from chard, discarding any tough portions.

Cut stems and ribs crosswise into 2-inch pieces.

Stack chard leaves and roll up lengthwise into cylinders.

Cut cylinders crosswise to make 1-inch wide strips.

Heat olive oil and butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat until foam subsides.

Cook onions and garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, covered, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to soften, about 8-10 minutes.

Add chard stems and ribs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until stems are just tender, about 10 minutes.

Add chard leaves in batches, stirring until wilted before adding next batch, and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4-6 minutes.

Transfer with a slotted spoon to a serving bowl. Makes 8 (side dish) servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Pumpkin Soup Au Gratin

Pumpkin Soup Au Gratin
Crema di Zucca Gratinata


1 lb 2 oz (500 grams) peeled, seeded and chopped pumpkin
3 potatoes, cut into wedges
1 fresh sage leaf
1 and 3/4 pints (1 liter) milk
3 and 1/2 fl oz (100 ml) double cream
4 country-style bread slices
2 tablespoons Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated
Salt and pepper


Pour the milk and 12 fl oz (350 ml) water into a saucepan and bring to a boil.

Add the pumpkin, sage and potatoes.

Season with salt and pepper and bring back to a boil.

Lower the heat to medium and cook for about 40-45 minutes.

Remove the sage leaf.

Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process to a puree.

Pour into a saucepan.

Stir in the cream.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and reheat for another few minutes.

Pour into individual flameproof soup bowls.

Lop with a slice of bread.

Sprinkle with the Parmigiano cheese.

Melt the cheese under a preheated grill. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Fettuccine with Brussels Sprouts and Pine Nuts

Fettuccine with Brussels Sprouts and Pine Nuts
Fettuccine con Cavolini di Bruxelles e Pinoli


1/2 pound dried egg fettuccine pasta
3/4 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed
3 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


Slice Brussels sprouts in a food processor fitted with a slicing disk.

Cook fettuccine in a pasta pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente'.

Heat butter and olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until foam subsides.

Cook pine nuts, stirring, until golden, 1-2 minutes.

Add Brussels sprouts, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Saute over medium-high heat until tender and lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes.

Reserve 1/2 cup pasta-cooking water.

Drain pasta and add to skillet, tossing with enough reserved water to moisten.

Serve with the Parmigiano cheese. Makes 4 servings.

That's it!

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 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:

Italian Town Celebrates First Baby In 67 Years

La Spezia - October 1, 2013 - A hamlet in the Ligurian Riviera hills is celebrating its first baby in 67 years, an arrival that has boosted its population to a whopping six.

Francesco was born last week to Michele and Sabrina Isella, a couple who said they moved to the tiny village of Lissa five years ago "because we love the woods around here".

"We didn't want to start a family in an industrialized zone," Sabrina told a local paper. "We discovered this place and decided to change our lives".

Sabrina teaches middle school in a nearby town while her jobless husband, both from Lecco north of Milan, tends to the trees surrounding their home. "We don't have any problems" they say.

Lissa residents who, like those of many isolated Italian villages, have seen their birthplace become deserted over recent decades, said they saw the blue ribbon on the Isellas' house as "a sign of hope".

Oh, that poor little Francesco. You have to feel for the little eggplant.

"We don't have any problems..."
"Porca vacca", you're living in a village with 3 other people and your husband has decided to pursue the life of Paul Bunyan. This place is chock full of problems.

And talk about burning bridges. The only explanation they all must have in common for living like this is the inherent mistrust of relatives.

And there's no worse feeling than knowing you're not alone. Walk down the street and immediately get pulled into a conversation no matter how much time has gone by (this is where the nincompoop factor kicks in):
"Si, you're right and wrong."
"No, it's ying and yang."
"Be all that you can be."

"I heard Francesco's toilet training has finally hit a turning point. I'm just a bit disappointed I'm the only one around here who shouldn't know he finally hit the bowl right."

You see? This is the type of recklessness that can throw an entire town for a loop.

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