01/16/08 Sausage and Wild Mushroom Lasagne from OreganoFromItaly.com

"Mogli e buoi dei paesi tuoi." (Wives and oxen from your own land.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Peperoni Arrosto con Basilico e Aceto Balsamico
  -Lasagne con Salsiccia e Funghi
  -Vitello Piccata con Pinoli e Capperi

Enjoy the recipes and the complimentary news article report from "Only In Italy.com".

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Peperoni Arrosto con Basilico e Aceto Balsamico

Peperoni Arrosto con Basilico e Aceto Balsamico
Roasted Bell Peppers with Basil and Balsamic Vinegar


3 red bell peppers
3 yellow bell peppers
4 and 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 and 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon matchstick-size orange peel strips (orange part only)
12 large fresh basil leaves


Char bell peppers over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides.

Wrap in paper bag and let stand at least 10 minutes.

Peel and seed. Rinse if necessary; pat dry.

Cut into 3/4-inch-wide strips.

Place in bowl. Mix in olive oil, vinegar and orange peel.

Season with salt and pepper. Let stand 1 hour. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving)

Chop basil; mix into peppers and serve. Serves 8.

That's it!

 Recipe: Lasagne con Salsiccia e Funghi

Lasagne con Salsiccia e Funghi
Sausage and Wild Mushroom Lasagne


For red pepper tomato sauce:
1 lb hot and/or sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 lb white mushrooms, sliced
2 cups finely chopped onion
3 large garlic cloves, minced
3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
1 pinch dried hot pepper flakes
4 red bell peppers, sliced thin
2 lbs plum tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, or to taste

For wild mushroom mixture:
1 and 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 and 1/2 cups hot water
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups milk
Freshly grated nutmeg to taste

Six 7-inch squares instant (no-boil) lasagne
2 cups coarsely grated mozzarella cheese (about 8 ounces)
2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano cheese (about 6 ounces)


Prepare red pepper tomato sauce:
In a heavy skillet measuring at least 12 inches across the top cook sausage over moderate heat, stirring and breaking it up, until cooked through and transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl.

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet and add 1 tablespoon olive oil, white mushrooms, and salt and pepper to taste.

Cook white mushrooms over moderate heat, stirring, until all liquid given off is evaporated and add to sausage. Add remaining tablespoon olive oil to skillet and cook onion with garlic, rosemary, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste until softened.

Stir in bell peppers and tomatoes and cook, covered, over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until peppers are very soft, about 20 minutes.

In a blender or food processor puree tomato pepper mixture in batches, transferring to a large saucepan as pureed, and stir in vinegar.

Add sausage mixture to sauce and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 F. and oil a 13 by 9 inch baking dish.

Prepare wild mushroom mixture:
In a small bowl soak porcini mushrooms in the hot water 30 minutes and drain liquid through a sieve lined with a rinsed and squeezed paper towel into a measuring cup. reserve 1/2 cup soaking liquid and chop porcini fine.

In a heavy saucepan melt butter over moderately low heat. Add flour and cook roux, whisking, 3 minutes.

Add milk and reserved soaking liquid in a stream, whisking, and bring to a boil, whisking.

Stir in porcini mushrooms, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste and simmer over low heat, whisking occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl of cold water soak lasagne squares until softened, about 15 minutes. Drain squares and pat dry between paper towels.

In a small bowl toss together mozzarella and Parmigiano cheese. Spread enough red pepper tomato sauce in prepared dish to coat bottom.

Over sauce in dish layer in this order: 2 lasagne sheets (cut to fit in one layer), a third wild mushroom mixture, a third cheese, and a third remaining red pepper tomato sauce. Repeat twice, reversing order of red pepper tomato sauce and cheese at end of last round of layering so that cheese is on top.

Bake lasagne in middle of oven 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden, and let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serves 6 to 8.

That's it!

 Recipe: Vitello Piccata con Pinoli e Capperi

Vitello Piccata con Pinoli e Capperi
Veal Piccata with Capers and Pine Nuts


2 pancetta slices, chopped
6 ounces veal scallops (about 6 scallops), pounded very thin
All purpose flour (for dredging)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1 tablespoon drained capers
2 teaspoons minced fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
Fresh sage leaves (optional)


Cook pancetta in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Transfer to bowl using slotted spoon.

Season veal with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour; shake off excess.

Add 1 tablespoon butter to pan drippings in skillet and melt over medium-high heat.

Add veal and saute until just cooked through, about 1 minute per side.

Divide veal between 2 plates; tent with foil to keep warm. Add wine to same skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits.

Boil until liquid is reduced to 3 tablespoons, about 2 minutes. Whisk in remaining 3 tablespoons butter.

Mix in pine nuts, capers, minced sage and pancetta.

Season with pepper. Spoon sauce over veal. Garnish with sage leaves if desired and serve. Serves 2.

That's it!

Submit Your Thoughts


 Only In Italy!

"Only In Italy" is a daily news column that translates and 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:

Italy Court Gives Sex Videos Two Thumbs Up

Rome - January 21,2008 - Recording secret videos of sex with your partner is not illegal, Italy's supreme court has ruled.

Rome's highest appeals acquitted a 49-year-old man who, unbeknown to his girlfriend, had recorded and kept films of them having sex, news agencies reported. It overruled two previous verdicts which had given him a four-month jail sentence.

The woman had agreed to the man using a video camera to project live images of them having sex on to the bedroom wall, but did not know he was recording the action.

The court acquitted the man because he had not distributed the films to other people.

When the relationship ended the man gave the videos to his partner in a package accompanied by a note saying: "These are my last thoughts for you."

Dear poor naive women,

Italy. The very idea of this country can rush thoughts of romance and deep passion in the mind of any desperate woman.

What most of you have learned of Italy, you have learned through books, movies, travel documentaries and cackling girlfriends that never know when to keep quiet. Stupendous villas, sensational seasides and little romantic cafes that open up to the passions and desires that lie within yourselves.

Every year our beautiful but wacky country attracts loads of single women from all over in search of romance and adventure.

And Italian men are ready, waiting and willing...

Italian men have been known to comment that foreign women, in particular, American, can sometimes be quite clueless and gullible when it comes to the subject of romance. Love can be more of a game to Italian men, or more descriptively, an art.

When an Italian man finds a woman attractive he feels it is appropriate to tell her so, and possibly in ways that, although an Italian woman would take his words in stride and advise him to be home by midnight so as not to anger his mother, the foreign woman may take literally.

Starting off slowly and moving with caution is not his half-witted way, and words may come from his ludicrous mouth that seem like words of sensual love to a foreign woman, where to him they are simply words of simple praise.

Ladies, an Italian man does not expect to be taken literally for everything he says. The jackass is doing the ritual dance that Italian men have learned so well and practiced since the days of the gladiators. In turn, he can be easily confused by the anger and hurt a foreign woman expresses when she feels that he is not living up to his professed promises.

Does this mean Italian men are liars? Yes.
Will they use the excuse they come from a different culture? Yes, again.

Italy is a beautiful country, rich with art, architecture, ancient history and fun loving people. So, be careful when you wander into the Garden of Eden.

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