01/25/12 Rigatoni with Vodka Sauce

"I frutti proibiti sono i pił dolci." (Forbidden fruit is the sweetest.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Rice and Pea Soup
  -Rigatoni with Vodka Sauce
  -Pan Roasted Chicken

"Buongiorno..." A quick note of thanks for being a part of our growing recipe community. We're over 5,000 members now. Remember, you started it. We've added an extremely popular pasta dish that's too simple to prepare. Enjoy this week's recipes.

Thanks again for subscribing!

Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Rice and Pea Soup

Rice and Pea Soup
Risi e Bisi


8 cups meat broth
1/4 cup butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 pound pancetta, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 and 1/2 cups fresh peas or frozen peas, thawed
2 cups arborio rice
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese plus additional for serving


Prepare meat broth.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter with olive oil in a medium saucepan.

When butter foams, add onion, pancetta and parsley.

Saute over medium heat until pancetta is lightly browned.

Add peas and 1/3 cup broth.

Cook 2 to 3 minutes; set aside.

Bring remaining broth to a boil in a large saucepan.

Add rice.

Cook uncovered over high heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add onion mixture.

Cook 10 to 15 minutes or until rice is tender but firm to the bite.

Stir in remaining butter and 1/3 cup Parmigiano cheese.

Serve hot with additional Parmigiano cheese. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Rigatoni with Vodka Sauce

Rigatoni with Vodka Sauce
Rigatoni alla Vodka


1 and 1/2 cups plain tomato sauce
1/4 cup butter
4 slices (1/4 pound) pancetta, diced
1/3 cup vodka
1/2 cup whipping cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 pound rigatoni pasta
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese


Prepare plain tomato sauce.

Melt butter in a large skillet.

When butter foams, add pancetta.

Saute over medium heat until lightly colored.

Add vodka and stir until it has evaporated.

Stir in tomato sauce and cream.

Simmer uncovered 8 to 10 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper.

Fill a very large saucepan two-thirds full with salted water.

Bring water to a boil.

Add rigatoni.

Bring water back to a boil and cook pasta uncovered until 'al dente', 8 to 10 minutes.

Drain pasta and place in skillet with sauce.

Toss pasta and sauce over medium heat until sauce coats pasta, 20 to 30 seconds.

Serve immediately with Parmigiano cheese. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Pan Roasted Chicken

Pan Roasted Chicken
Pollo Arrosto in Padella


1 (2 and 1/2 to 3 and 1/2-pound) frying chicken, cut into serving pieces
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 sprigs fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup dry white wine


Wash and dry chicken thoroughly.

Melt butter with olive oil in a large skillet.

When butter foams, add chicken pieces, garlic and rosemary.

Brown chicken on all sides over medium beat.

Season with salt and pepper.

Add wine and simmer until wine is reduced by half.

Partially cover skillet.

Cook over medium heat until chicken is tender, 30 to 40 minutes.

Place chicken on a warm platter.

If sauce looks dry, stir in a little more wine.

If sauce is too thin, increase heat and boil uncovered until it reaches desired thickness.

Remove most of the fat from sauce.

Taste and adjust sauce for seasoning then spoon over chicken.

Serve immediately. 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:

Italy Producing Wine 24/7, Non-Stop

Rome - June 13, 2011 - Italy last year overtook France to become the world's biggest wine producer and data for this year show a surge in Italian wine exports, the Coldiretti farmers' union reported.

Citing data from the European Union, Coldiretti said the last harvest produced 49.6 million hectoliters of wine in Italy compared to 46.2 million hectoliters in France.

"It is with great pride that we can say we are the world's leading wine producer, having surpassed France not only in value but also in volume," Italian Agriculture Minister Saverio Romano said.

"This benchmark is also thanks to the excellent performance our wines are having abroad, with a 31% increase in exports to the United States in the first two months of 2011," he added.

"We are also first for quality, with over 60% of the wine we produce bottled with recognized denomination of origin labels. But we can even do better, we must do better," Romano said.

Italy had surpassed France in the past for bulk unbottled wine production, much of which was exported to France where it was used to blend more famous bottled wines like Beaujolais.

Italy overtook France also for the production of sparkling wines with 4.2 million hectoliters of Prosecco and spumante bottled compared to four million hectoliters for French Champagne.

It wasn't tough to overtake France (even for Italy). After all, we're talking about a country whose greatest contribution to cuisine was the souffle...or the flat cake; something puffed up with a lot of hot air and full of fattening crap.

Sometimes ideas or stories take on lives of their own, and some Italian-wine lovers become unconscious and moronic believers in what are the wine equivalent of urban legends. But don't worry, our disciples, we're here to help your loved ones or arrogant friends make less of fools of themselves.

Here are some examples of those myths:

1) Chianti is a cheap wine in straw packaging.

Some very fine Chianti wines have always existed, but they used to represent a tiny minority of all Chianti. Now the red-checkered-tableclothed tables have changed course, taken Fettuccine Alfredo off their embarrassing menus, and offer a majority of Chianti wines of high quality. Chianti Classico, the type of Chianti most commonly found outside of Italy, is particularly ok. Prices have risen with the quality, and now you can easily find $25-$30 bottles of Chianti Classico in decent wine shops. Inexpensive and crappy $10 bottles of Chianti do still exist including some in the ridiculous and flammable straw packaging, but the category as a whole has moved uptown.

2) Italy's best wines are all red.

It's ok, it's an understandable misunderstanding. After all, Italy makes about twice as much red wine as white wine, and most of Italy's most famous wines, Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino, and so forth are red. But certain parts of Italy definitely have what it takes to make fine white wines, and producers in those areas are doing just that. When the Campania region is not juggling a decade-old garbage crisis and the Camorra Mafia, it's producing two terrific whites, Greco di Tufo and Fiano di Avellino.

3) Italian wines should be enjoyed with just Italian food.

Eh, no. Any time you drink the wine of a particular wine region with the food of the same region, the combination is usually suitable and melodic. In the case of Italian food, no wines taste better than Italian wines...even if you drink a hearty wine of the poor and corrupt South with a dish that's typical of a racist Northern region. Luckily, Italy's wines are incredibly food-friendly that their pairing talent extends far beyond the prejudice Italian kitchen.

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