01/12/11 Veal Roasted with Shallots, Fennel and Vin Santo

"Le ore del mattino hanno l'oro in bocca." (The morning hours are the most precious of the day.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Wedding Soup
  -Fusilli with Butternut Squash
  -Veal Roasted with Shallots, Fennel and Vin Santo

"Buon giorno!" I'm grateful for your participation with me via this newsletter. Thanks for everything you're doing and I will continue to find recipes to be helpful in your kitchen. Please share this newsletter, if you found it useful. Enjoy this week's recipes.

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Wedding Soup

Wedding Soup
Zuppa Di Nozze


For the Meatballs:
1 cup panko, or 1 slice white bread chopped to crumbs in a food processor
1/2 cup milk
1 lb ground chicken breast
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/3 cup shredded Parmigiano cheese
2 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten

For the Soup:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 carrots, finely chopped
8-10 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine
Handful small pasta, such as macaroni or mini shells
2 large handfuls spinach


Preheat oven to 350F.

Place bread crumbs in a large bowl and pour in milk.

Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix everything gently with a fork.

Use a small cookie scoop to make 2 inch meatballs.

Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, or until fully cooked.

While the meatballs cook, heat olive oil in the bottom of a large pot and add in onion, celery, and carrots.

Cook over medium-low heat until tender, about 10 minutes.

Pour in the stock and bring to a boil.

Add in pasta, and cook for 2 minutes less than it calls for on the pasta instructions.

Reduce the heat to low.

Add in meatballs and spinach. Serves 3-4 people.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Fusilli with Butternut Squash

Fusilli with Butternut Squash
Fusilli con Zucca di Butternut


1 lb fusilli or Penne rigate
1 and 3/4 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 3 and 1/2 cups)
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup water
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (1 cup) plus additional for serving


Cook pasta in a 6 to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente'.

While heating water for pasta, pulse squash in a food processor until coarsely chopped.

Cook garlic in olive oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until pale golden, about 1 minute.

Add squash, water (1 cup), sage, and salt and simmer, covered, until squash is tender, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add butter and stir until incorporated.

Reserve 1 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain pasta and return to pot.

Stir in squash mixture, cheese, and pepper to taste until combined well.

Season with salt and add some of reserved cooking water to moisten if necessary. Makes 4 main-course servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Veal Roasted with Shallots, Fennel and Vin Santo

Veal Roasted with Shallots, Fennel and Vin Santo
Arrosto di Vitello con Scalogni, Finocchio e Vin Santo


1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
One 3 and 1/4-pound boneless veal shoulder roast

2 lbs shallots, thinly sliced
7 and 1/2 cups thinly sliced fresh fennel (from 3 large bulbs)
One 500-ml bottle Vin Santo

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme


Preheat oven to 375F.

Mix salt, dried thyme, and white pepper in small bowl.

Rub 1 tablespoon olive oil over roast.

Rub salt mixture over roast.

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

Add meat and cook until golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes.

Transfer roast to plate.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, shallots, and fennel to same pot.

Saute until vegetables are golden brown, stirring frequently and scraping up browned bits, about 12 minutes.

Add Vin Santo; boil 3 minutes.

Return veal to pot, nestling into vegetables, and top with some of vegetables.

Cover; roast until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of veal registers 165F, about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Transfer veal to platter.

Mix fresh thyme into vegetables.

Season cooking liquid with salt and pepper.

Spoon vegetables and cooking liquid around roast. Makes 6 to 8 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:

Romans Finally Get Bullsh_t Translator

Rome - October 11, 2010 - Lazio, the region around Rome, has started using a 'jargon translator' to help citizens and firms cut through the impenetrable legalese and 'bureaucratese' most Italian public documents are written in.

"How can you expect an unemployed man with a primary-school education to understand what the standard-issue benefit claim is saying," said Regional Labor Councilor Mariella Zezza, who helped put together the 'simplifier'.

"I took a leaf out of my experience as a journalist and started off from the basic five Ws - Who? What? Where? When? and Why? - Zezza said.

Zezza was presenting a ten-million-euro tender for firms to get subsidies for hiring disadvantaged workers. It was the third such announcement to be simplified using Zezza's translator, which has been dubbed 'Tribe'.

Zezza said info for the sight-impaired would be put through Tribe before going into Braille while Tribe-treated documents for immigrants would be translated into a slew of languages.

"Tribe has been online from today on the revamped website of the employment agency with the aim of spelling out how to use procedures and get benefits," said Lazio Governor Renata Polverini.

Italians have been grappling for decades with the Byzantine and tangled lingo used for all kinds of applications and procedures, and many turn to agencies whose sole business is making sense of them.

An Italian president once famously said a tax form contained "lunar" language. That same year there was a rash of suicides among tax consultants.

"Signore e Signori, it’s my firm opinion that the fiscal budget should be apprehended in its entirety, and the authenticity of the outcome is a reality."
"Ma vaffanculo!"

Bureaucracy in Italy is legendary, and not for its efficiency. Just imagine a mule sitting in the middle of the road, blocking traffic, refusing to budge...and laughing. It can be frighteningly slow to get anything processed or done. In fact, our Italian government offices often offer a peculiar two speed system: one for normal applications which will be handled nice and slowly, and another which receives fast track processing but for which you must shell out some cash.

The basic five Ws for understanding our bureaucracy:

Who: Who cares anymore?! "Minchia", if I knew what the hell the electric company wanted to hook up my electricity I'd win $64,000!

What: From what I understood, the state wants to endorse the sale of spray paint and free sneakers for Napolitani.

Where: I have to obtain this paperwork from my local town hall, then bring it to a lawyer to have it deciphered, stop by the provincial office to have it looked at for one minute and then finally have it deposited in some labyrinth in a regional government building. "'Fanculo", looks like I'll need Indiana Jones for help in selling my Vespa!

When: How long?! No no, "coglione", I can't wait until Haley's Comet returns.

Why: I don't know how I wound up on the roof of the house! I was reading this and trying to get through all the 'bureaucratese', and before I knew it, I hypnotized myself! "Look into my own eyes..."

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