11/23/11 Cooked Onion Salad

"Chi non l'occhio vede, col cuor crede." (One who doesn't see with their own eyes believes with their hearts.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Cooked Onion Salad
  -Sausage and Kidney Beans In Tomato Sauce
  -Scallops Venetian Style

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Cooked Onion Salad

Cooked Onion Salad
Insalata di Cipolle Cotte


5 or 6 medium yellow onions
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar


Preheat oven to 350F (175C).

Cut ends off onions and peel.

Fill a large saucepan half full with water.

Bring water to a boil.

Add onions and bring water back to a boil.

Cook over high heat 2 to 3 minutes.

Drain onions and rinse under cold running water.

Pat dry with paper towels.

Put 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium casserole, add onions.

Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until golden.

Remove from oven and cool.

Slice onions.

Place in a salad bowl.

Season with salt and pepper.

Add remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil and vinegar; toss gently.

Serve at room temperature. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Sausage and Kidney Beans In Tomato Sauce

Sausage and Kidney Beans In Tomato Sauce
Salsicce e Fagioli in Umido


1 and 1/2 cups dried white kidney beans or other white beans
2 cups plain tomato sauce
1 and 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausages
1 to 2 cups water
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 garlic cloves, chopped


Place beans in a large bowl.

Add enough cold water to cover beans.

Soak overnight.

Prepare tomato sauce.

Rinse beans under cold running water.

Place beans in a large saucepan.

Add enough salted water to cover.

Bring water to a boil.

Reduce heat.

Cover pan and simmer beans until tender but firm, 40 to 50 minutes.

Wash sausages.

Puncture sausages in several places with a fork.

Put 1 to 2 cups water and sausages in a large skillet.

Bring water to a boil.

Cook 10 to 15 minutes over medium heat, turning sausages during cooking. By the end of cooking time water should have evaporated leaving sausages and some of their fat in the pan.

Add tomato sauce to skillet.

Season with salt and pepper.

Add cooked beans.

Simmer uncovered 5 minutes.

Stir in parsley and garlic.

Cook 5 minutes longer.

Serve immediately. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Scallops Venetian Style

Scallops Venetian Style
Capesante alla Veneziana


1 and 1/2 pounds scallops
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Juice of 2 lemons


Wash scallops under cold running water.

Pat dry with paper towels.

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet.

Add scallops, garlic and parsley.

Season with salt and pepper.

Cook over medium-low heat until golden, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring several times during cooking.

Add lemon juice and mix well.

Place on a warm platter.

Serve immediately. Makes 4 to 6 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:

What's Your Best Da Vinci Conspiracy Theory?

Florence - July 2, 2011 - As well as the enduring mystery of the identity of the Mona Lisa, art historians have long theorized about the painting, as well as his other works.

Italian art historian Carla Glori, claimed that the painting identifies the exact location of the landscape which provides the background of the painting.

She believes that a three-arched bridge which appears over the left shoulder of the woman is a reference to the village Bobbio, which is south of Piacenza, in northern Italy.

In October last year Giuseppe Pallanti, an expert on da Vinci, who has spent three decades studying the archives trying to establish Lisa Gherardini's final resting place, claimed that her remains were interred in a dump.

Lisa Gherardini was widely believed to be the inspiration for the painting, was buried in the grounds of Sant-Orsola convent in 1542. But the ground were renovated in the 1980s and during work to build an underground car park, the convent's foundations were excavated and sent to a municipal landfill site on the outskirts of Florence.

In December, members of Italy's National Committee for Cultural Heritage claimed the tiny numbers and letters were painted into the eyes of the Mona Lisa.

In the right eye appeared to be the letters LV which could stand for Leonardo Da Vinci while in the left eye there were symbols.

Silvano Vinceti, president of the committee, said: "It is very difficult to make them out clearly but they appear to be the letters CE or it could be the letter B. You have to remember the picture is almost 500 years old so it is not as sharp and clear as when first painted.

"While in the arch of the bridge in the background the number 72 can be seen, or it could be an L and the number 2."

And in 2007, there were claims that da Vinci's The Last Supper contains a hidden image of a woman holding a child.

The figure allegedly appears when the 15th Century mural painting is superimposed with its mirror image, and both are made partially transparent.

"Ma porca vacca", it's amazing the wonders people come up with when there is so much free time on their hands.

We might not know a lot in this Italian world. If you ask any of the staff writers here to add two numbers together, we would have stop and use our toes and fingers. But at least we are aware that Leonardo da Vinci was a genius...and prankster.

"Oh, si", he is widely believed to have hidden secret messages within much of his artwork but it's not as if one of those messages will reveal how to make the perfect "melanzane alla parmigiana". You don't need Da Vinci to know you're supposed to gently fry the eggplant slices first.

Theories and more theories, "eh cavolo!"

Mona Lisa's smile: If we had a Euro for every theory that has come out, we could eliminate a good number of our useless neighbors. Why the smile? Was she happy? Pregnant? We also have a theory: She was on a gynecologist’s table being examined and a mouse ran out. He lured it out with a piece of Pecorino cheese.

Mona Lisa's missing eyebrows: Where are they? What happened? Maybe, it was this: For centuries some Italian women did not believe in tweezing their eyebrows. Some of them had what we used to call 'uni-brows'. It was fun to watch those uni-brows grow just to see what they progressed into. Mona Lisa lived during the great anti uni-brow revolution of Florence.

"In the right eye appeared to be the letters LV which could stand for Leonardo Da Vinci while in the left eye there were symbols." Hmmm...there is a hidden message there. Could be this:

Dante dunce. LV #1.

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