Beducator; Panissa

bapopik at AOL.COM bapopik at AOL.COM
Fri Apr 15 00:06:04 UTC 2005

I might add this one, from the New York Post (of course).
New York Post, NY - 16 hours ago
By DAVID ANDREATTA. April 14, 2005 -- It seems sex education is a hands-on course at the HS for Health Professions and Human Services ...
"Panissa" was in Wednesday's New York Daily News, 4-13-2005, pg. 49. "Panissa" is not in the OED. My food dictionary has--
Rice to the occasion
Panissa is a delicious alternative to risotto

In the town of Vercelli in northwest Italy, surrounded by golden fields of arborio and carnaroli rice, I made the happy acquaintance of panissa. Our waiter brought antipasti to keep us busy and half an hour later, as promised, we dipped into deeply satisfying bowls of rice mingled with plump beans and sausage, tinted a delicate mauve after simmering in local Barbera wine.
Panissa, unlike its culinary cousin, risotto, hasn't strayed far from home. "Vercelli is in a part of ­Piemonte that's not a tourist destination, so even Italian chefs don't know about it," says Margherita Aloi, a native of that Italian region who's now chef of Arezzo (and soon-to-open Providence).
Along with paniscia, a similar rice dish from a neighboring town, panissa belongs to the cucina povera tradition. It was originally a nourishing one-dish affair eaten by rice field workers, including the mondine — women brought from all over northern Italy because their hands were small enough for the tasks of planting and weeding.
Meme Amosso Irwin, who teaches Italian at Johns Hopkins University, returned from a visit to her Piemonte hometown with a panissa recipe containing a generous quantity of Barbera. It was from a cook for the alpini, Italy's elite alpine troops, and she wondered, "Could this be an addition just for alpini? They put wine even in babies' bottles, or so it's said." Despite her suspicions, every panissa recipe I've seen calls for red wine, most often Barbera.
When he makes panissa, Piemonte native Roberto Donna uses his own sausage preserved the traditional way, in lard. "But it's okay to substitute fresh sausage," says Donna, chef-owner of Galileo in Washington, D.C. "In fact, that's what my grandmother used for our Saturday night panissa."
Cesare Casella, chef/owner of Beppe, notes that some of Italy's best beans, including the Saluggia beans traditional for panissa, come from the same region.
Aloi's version of panissa goes heavy on beans, and this time of year she also puts together a "cleansing" soup of Italian rice and spring greens: dandelions, spinach, even pansies. For generations, the women in her family have made this vitamin-rich soup, believed to help the immune system cope with changeable spring weather.
Like panissa, it's a meal for working people. "People went to the land and didn't have time to prepare dinner every day," says Aloi.
We still don't have time for that, so make a batch and if there's any left, you'll find it waiting like a good friend the next night.
Serves 4-6
Adapted by Margherita Aloi
1 cup dried borlotti or cannellini beans *
1/2 to 3/4 pound sweet Italian sausages and/or cacciatorini (small dried sausages)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 slice thick-cut pancetta, cut in small cubes
1 cup chopped onion
1 rosemary sprig
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 cup carnaroli or arborio rice
1 cup Barbera or other fruity red wine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Shopping Basket
Home cooking, Piedmont-style
654 words
21 March 1984
The Globe and Mail
All material copyright Thomson Canada Limited or its licensors. All rights reserved.

NOSTALGIA FOR THE simple pleasures of the countryside seems to be a chronic condition of the sophisticated city dweller. For that grey period of late March and early April, when the snow is no longer white and the grass not yet green, when the city, in short, looks disheveled and inhospitable, Corrado Silvestri has found a cure.
Signor Silvestri is owner, manager, maitre d'hotel, part-time chef and general factotum at Ristorante San Lorenzo, a very contemporary restaurant in the heart of the old town of York. What he has decided shivering, slushy but refined Toronto needs for the next few Monday and Wednesday nights is a mess of good old Piedmontese home-cookin'. With his mother toiling in the kitchen and a long single table for 30, draped with the red, white and green of the Italian flag, he prescribes Piemonte in Bocca, a mouthful of regional cuisine.
Like Pavarotti, Mr. Silvestri was born in Modena, where everyone loves food and is immune to dieting, and trained as a chef in Turin, the capital of Piedmont. He has always incorporated regional dishes into his regular menus but this time he has gone whole hog. The menus change weekly over the month of festivities. Four courses is the norm, about two too many for the urbanely unenergetic. A different wine from the region partners each course with an exceedingly potent grappa to help wash down the espresso.
The menus are in a dialect which resembles pig Latin. The cooking by Mamma Silvestri is doubtless authentic. Those who are accustomed to the techicolor plating of nouvelle cuisine will be surprised that the food of the good old days was dull to behold at but delicious to taste.
Among the souvenirs of old Piedmont rescued by the Silvestri family are
panissa (a casserole of beans, pork rind, sausage and rice), cottechino (more sausage, more beans), a mixed fry from Alba, chestnut souffle, apples baked in barolo and the following traditional novelties:
Photos. Anything else I can give out for free?...I had asked Gerald Cohen to write to the Tulsa World. I guess he can't write letters, either? It's his personality? If he would have been a history professor, this all would have been resolved by now?
(April 13, 2005)
Read delicious
Searching for blog references to Tulsa, I came across a website called The Big Apple, the core mission (sorry) of which is to provide extensive explanation and evidence for the origins of that fruity phrase, perhaps the best-known nickname for New York City. I'll give you a clue -- it has to do with horseracing. Another clue -- it has nothing to do with "road apples."
The site also features the origins of other city and state nicknames like "the Show-Me State," "the Big Easy," and "the Garden State."
Beyond the nicknames, there's a wealth of New York trivia about buildings, businesses (and their slogans), food and drink, songs, phrases, streets, neighborhoods, and sports teams. Most of the entries feature newspaper or magazine citations, trying to track down the earliest published reference to a name or phrase.
It's a fascinating site, but not very visual. If it's New York City photographs and history you want -- and plenty of both -- you need to visit Kevin Walsh's Forgotten NY.
(Oh, the Tulsa reference? It was a letter to the editor in the March 4, 2005, Tulsa Whirled, perpetuating a myth about the name's origin. A letter correcting the myth was sent to the Whirled, but never published.)
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