03/11/09 Tuscan-Style Peppered Chicken from OreganoFromItaly.com

"Se si disperdono spine, non camminare scalzi." (If you scatter thorns, don't go barefoot.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Polenta with Mozzarella and Parmigiano
  -Linguine Carbonara
  -Tuscan-Style Peppered Chicken

We sincerely hope all our subscribers and their families enjoy their recipes.

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Polenta with Mozzarella and Parmigiano

Polenta with Mozzarella and Parmigiano
Polenta con Mozzarella e Parmigiano


3 and 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano cheese


Combine milk and cornmeal in large saucepan.

Whisk over high heat until mixture comes to boil.

Reduce heat to medium; simmer until polenta thickens, whisking often, about 15 minutes.

Add rosemary and cheeses; whisk until cheeses melt.

Season with salt and pepper. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Linguine Carbonara

Linguine Carbonara
Linguine alla Carbonara


1 and 1/4 cups grated Parmigiano cheese
3 large eggs
3/4 cup whipping cream

12 ounces linguine

6 pancetta slices, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3/4 to 1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
3/4 cup dry vermouth or white wine


Whisk 3/4 cup cheese, eggs and cream in medium bowl to blend; set aside.

Cook linguine in large pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente', stirring occasionally.

Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

Return pasta to same pot.

Meanwhile, saute pancetta in heavy large skillet over medium heat until crisp.

Add onion, garlic and crushed red pepper.

Saute until onion is translucent, about 8 minutes.

Add vermouth. Simmer until most of vermouth has evaporated, about 8 minutes.

Add onion mixture and egg mixture to pasta.

Toss over low heat until egg mixture thickens and coats pasta, adding reserved cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls if sauce is too thick, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer pasta to large bowl. Pass remaining 1/2 cup Parmigiano cheese separately. Makes 6 to 8 first-course servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Tuscan-Style Peppered Chicken

Tuscan-Style Peppered Chicken
Pepato di Pollo Stilo Toscano


Two 3 and 1/2-lb chickens, halved, backbones removed, excess fat trimmed
8 tablespoons olive oil (preferably extra-virgin)
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper

Lemon wedges


Rub each chicken half all over with 2 tablespoons olive oil, then 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pepper.

Sprinkle generously with salt. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour.

Preheat broiler.

Arrange chicken, skin side down, on broiler pan.

Watching closely to avoid burning, broil chicken 5 to 6 inches from heat source until golden brown, about 12 minutes.

Remove broiler pan from oven.

Using tongs, transfer chicken to plate.

Pour off any pan drippings.

Return chicken, skin side up, to broiler pan.

Broil until skin is crisp and golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Turn chicken over, skin side down again, and broil until cooked through, about 8 minutes longer.

Transfer chicken to platter; let stand 5 minutes.

Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 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:

Berlusconi Vows to Root Out Impressive Civil Service Corruption

Rome - October 9, 2008 - Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi on Thursday launched a drive to stamp out corruption in the civil service.

The premier said Italy had a longstanding problem with corruption among civil servants, partly because of the size of its state administration.

"There is a price to be paid for a sprawling, bureaucratic and bloated public administration like ours," he said, unveiling a new anti-corruption task force.

"Corruption has age-old roots and has taken on a pathological and endemic form which cannot be tolerated and which we aim to root out," the premier told a news conference with Civil Service Minister Renato Brunetta. Berlusconi said the government's new Anti-Corruption and Transparency Service would aim, among other things, to "effectively map out corruptions risks and carry out an in-depth probe into European Union funds".

He said the task force would have an "intelligence-gathering rather than policing role" and would save millions of euros in taxpayers' money. It would seek to produce "a modernized, digitalized and transparent public administration," he said.

Berlusconi said he was familiar with the problems of administrative corruption because of his early experiences as a young construction entrepreneur in Milan.

He said he had to stop building in Milan "because you couldn't build anything (there) unless you went (to officials) with a check in your mouth".

"This, fortunately, occurred many years ago," he added.

Berlusconi is relying on Brunetta to push through the kinds of reforms which have been announced by successive governments only to make little impact.

The feisty minister has already hit headlines for a campaign against "slackers".

Last week statistics were released showing that sick days were sharply down following Brunetta's move to cut pay for suspected malingerers.

Brunetta said the rate of absenteeism had been cut by 45% and "by the end of the year we will effectively have 50,000 more workers" without new hirings.

As part of the drive, Brunetta said turnstiles like those at soccer stadiums would be installed at his ministry to show when staff entered and left their offices.

Berlusconi quipped that news of the move had already produced a visible result. "The surrounding bars are already empty," he said.

Hey, you "grandissima faccia di culo", what Sicilian mountain do I have to move to get a simple identity card renewed?

"Buona Fortuna", asphalt head. A big problem for Italy's public sector is absenteeism, which, of course reduces efficiency and wastes taxpayers money. Absenteeism poses a problem even when state employees are present for most of them work in a comatose state. It can get quite frustrating to have your paperwork processed while you hear the wind whistling through their ears and watch that flustered and irritated look on their face.

Signore Brunetta, who is an economist, is considering a proposal to send senior public sector managers abroad for as long as six months. Supposedly, the idea of managers being sent abroad is so they may come across better ways in which to do things in Italy, and, of course, be able to teach those in other countries a thing or two. Of course, this exchange of ideas will be potentially very frightening!

Italian managers abroad:

"Get here by 8:30 am? What for?"
"No rush. Why do I have to wake up so early for work?"

"An hour for lunch? What for?"
"Our work day ends at lunch."

"The offices are open tomorrow? What for?"
"I can't come in. It's St. Joseph's Day."

"A weekly salary?" What for?"
"I receive 14 monthly salary payments a year."

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