02/17/10 Penne with Artichokes

"L'abito non fa il monaco." (The habit doesn't make a monk. Clothes don't make the man.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Poached Eggs with Artichokes
  -Leeks with Prosciutto
  -Penne with Artichokes

Best wishes to you in whatever you want to try today!

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Poached Eggs with Artichokes

Poached Eggs with Artichokes
Uova Affogate Ai Carciofi


4 eggs
4 artichoke hearts
7 oz (200 grams) pancetta, chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper

For the Sauce:
1 and 1/2 oz (40 grams) butter
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon plain flour
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper


Prepare the Sauce:
Melt the butter in a saucepan.

Stir in the mustard and flour and cook for a few seconds.

Gradually stir in 8 fl oz (250ml) water, alternating with vinegar, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook, stirring constantly, for about 5-7 minutes.

Prepare the Artichokes:
Blanch the artichoke hearts in boiling water for a few minutes.

Drain and slice into eight rounds.

Arrange in a ring on a warm serving dish.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan.

Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until tender.

Drain and sprinkle in the middle of the dish.

Bring a pan of salted water to a boil.

Add the vinegar and poach the eggs for about 3-5 minutes.

Remove with a slotted spoon, place on top of the pancetta and spoon the sauce over them. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Leeks with Prosciutto

Leeks with Prosciutto
Porri al Prosciutto


2 and 1/4 lbs (1 kg) leeks, white parts only
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) cooked ham or prosciutto, sliced
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) butter
2 oz (50 grams) plain flour
18 fl oz (500 ml) milk
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) Gruyère cheese, freshly grated
2 tablespoons Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated
Salt and pepper


Parboil the leeks in salted water for 5 minutes, then drain well.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas Mark 4.

Trim the fat from the ham (prosciutto) and place the fat in an ovenproof dish with 1 oz (25 grams) of the butter.

Melt over a medium heat, then add the leeks in two layers and cook, basting frequently, until lightly browned.

Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, prepare a Bechamel Sauce, using 1 oz (25 grams) of the remaining butter, the flour and milk: Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat.

Whisk in the flour.

Pour in all the milk, whisking constantly until it starts to boil.

Season with salt, lower the heat, cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for at least 20 minutes.

Taste and add more salt if necessary and season with pepper and/or nutmeg.

If the sauce is too thick, add a little more milk. If too runny, return to the heat and add a knob of butter mixed with an equal quantity of plain flour.

Stir the Gruyère into the sauce.

Remove the dish of leeks from the heat, lay the slices of ham on top and spoon the bechamel sauce over them.

Dot with the remaining butter, sprinkle with the Parmigiano cheese and bake for about 10 minutes. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Penne with Artichokes

Penne with Artichokes
Penne ai Carciofi


4 globe artichokes
Juice of 1/2 lemon, strained
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
12 oz (350 grams) Penne pasta
Salt and pepper


Fill half a bowl with water and stir in the lemon juice so it becomes acidulated.

Working on one artichoke at a time, break off the stem, remove the coarse, outer leaves and choke, if necessary.

Cut into quarters, then slice thinly and drop into the acidulated water to prevent discoloration.

Heat the olive oil in a pan.

Add the garlic and parsley and cook over a low heat for about 2 minutes.

Drain the artichokes, add to the pan and mix well.

Cover and cook over a low heat for just a few minutes.

Add 2-3 tablespoons water, season with salt and recover the pan so that the artichokes cook in their own steam.

Meanwhile, cook the penne in a large pan of salted, boiling water until 'al dente', then drain and pour into a serving dish.

Pour the artichoke sauce over the pasta, season with pepper and serve. Serves 4.

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:

All I Said Was, "Christmas Present For Who?"

Genoa - December 22, 2008 - An Italian driver taken to hospital with severe burns on Monday said his mother-in-law set fire to him as they were traveling through a road tunnel near Genoa.

The man, 35, told police the pair had been "chatting about Christmas presents" when the woman, 60, suddenly poured inflammable liquid on him and put a cigarette lighter to it. The mother-in-law burned to death in the fire, which destroyed the vehicle and led to the tunnel being closed for several hours.

Forensics experts are trying to establish what liquid was allegedly used.

The man, who is separated from his wife, suffered second and third degree burns to most of his body. Hospital staff said some of his relatives shouted insults against the dead woman after being told what happened.

AHHH! You "grandissimo figlio di puttana"! What possible sane reason could you give to our readers for being in the vicinity of your separated wife's mother?

What a shame, though. He never had the chance to build better a relationship with his mother-in-law.

Wonder if he ever had the opportunity to say to her, "Rossella, I care for you ("love" would make me vomit) and I appreciate your concern. But, "cazzo", the best way for us deal with our separation is for you to let me do things my own way."

Rossella (to herself): Pazienza. Reflect...don't let this "testa di minchia" get the best of me. I will:

- accept and learn about my son-in-law's generation, culture, age, soccer team and shortsighted and meaningless brain which is naturally different than mine.

- be patient when I experience hostility, suspicion, or distance from my son-in-law. I will try to build a good relationship with him by not reacting immediately to his witless and irrelevant jokes.

- talk openly and honestly about miscommunications, arguments, or other conflicts with my son-in-law and be responsive to his needs and feelings even if I don't understand what is brewing in that thick and empty cranium of his.

Son-in-law: "Well, I couldn't give a rat's "culo" on your advice on what I should get your daughter for Christmas."

Rossella: "Oh Cristo, get ready. Here I come."

"Only In Italy" Subscribe for free and day in and day out, 5 days a week, you'll have laughter, tears and intelligent commentary all blaring at you from your stupid little monitor. Click Here to Subscribe!

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