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 03/14/12 Cheese and Prosciutto Calzone

"Il re regna, ma non governa." (The king reigns, but does not govern.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Crostini with Figs and Prosciutto
  -Asparagus, Onion, Cucumber and Herb Salad
  -Cheese and Prosciutto Calzone

"La primavera arrivata!" Thanks again for finding the time to read your Italian recipe newsletter! We'll be connecting with you again in just a couple of days and bringing some more recipes. Enjoy them!

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       


 Recipe: Crostini with Figs and Prosciutto

Crostini with Figs and Prosciutto
Crostini con Fichi e Prosciutto

Ingredients:

1 loaf of ciabatta bread, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 large clove of garlic, peeled and cut in half
Extra virgin olive oil

6 large ripe figs
12 slices of prosciutto
Small bunch of fresh mint
Extra virgin olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Grill the slices of ciabatta bread. While they're still hot, rub them gently with the cut side of the garlic and drizzle with olive oil.

Tear the figs in half.

Drape a piece of prosciutto over each of the hot crostini and squash a piece of a fig on top.

Top off with mint leaves and serve drizzled with a little olive oil, a drop of balsamic vinegar, and some freshly ground black pepper. Makes a dozen.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Asparagus, Onion, Cucumber and Herb Salad

Asparagus, Onion, Cucumber and Herb Salad
Insalata di Asparagi, Cipolla, Cetriolo e Erbe

Ingredients:

For the Dressing:
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the Salad:
3 pounds medium asparagus, trimmed
4 cups thinly sliced green onions
3 cups 1/4-inch cubes peeled seeded cucumbers
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chervil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon

Directions:

Prepare the Dressing:
Whisk first 5 ingredients in small bowl.

Gradually whisk in oil.

Prepare the Salad
Fill large bowl with lightly salted ice water; stir until salt dissolves.

Cook asparagus in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.

Drain, reserving 3 cups cooking liquid.

Transfer asparagus to bowl of salted ice water to cool.

Place green onions in another large bowl; pour hot reserved asparagus cooking liquid over onions and let stand until cool, about 30 minutes.

Drain asparagus and green onions well.

Transfer onions to clean kitchen towel and squeeze dry.

Combine green onions, cucumbers, and herbs in mixing bowl.

Add dressing; toss to coat.

Season with salt and pepper.

Arrange asparagus on platter.

Spoon cucumber mixture over and serve. Serves 10.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Cheese and Prosciutto Calzone

Cheese and Prosciutto Calzone
Calzone Formaggio e Prosciutto

Ingredients:

2 cups grated mozzarella cheese (about 8 ounces)
3 and 1/2 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled
2 ounces prosciutto slices, chopped
2 and 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 garlic clove, pressed
One 13.8-ounce tube refrigerated pizza dough
Extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

Position rack in middle of oven; preheat to 425F.

Toss first 5 ingredients in medium bowl.

Season with pepper.

Unroll dough into rectangle on rimmed baking sheet.

Mound filling crosswise on lower half of dough, leaving 1-inch border on sides.

Fold upper half of dough over.

Crimp edges to seal; fold corners under to form half-circle.

Bake until puffed and brown, about 18 minutes.

Brush with olive oil.

Transfer to platter and cut into 4 pieces. 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:

Italian TV Anchor Records Foreign Correspondent Blues Album

Naples - February 24, 2012 - A veteran Italian television news anchor with a passion for the blues released an album on Friday in which he riffs on his assignments from the Iraq war to the Madrid train bombs to protests in Iran.

Neapolitan Sandro Petrone, a former folk singer in the 1970s who now works for public television channel RAI 2, has filled his album "Last Call: Notes from a Correspondent" with blues, swing and ballads looking back at his career.

"I want to see the world from the mountains of North Tehran, I want to cry blood on the tracks of Atocha, I want to spit sand on the streets of Nassiriyah before the time comes," he sings in one number entitled "Coming Home Blues".

The 12 songs contain extracts from reports and letters by the correspondent from various parts of the world, including Brazil, Iran, Iraq and Liberia.

Petrone returned to music "to express more clearly what he wants to say about lands in tumult, about men and women in tumult, about himself in tumult," said his website filled with pictures of the crooner performing.

"Maybe journalism is more powerful but the art of music can finally reach some hearts," the note said. "When he left music and Naples to be a correspondent and not a singer, the music stayed with him as a companion."

Eh, no offense but we can't stand Napolitano records...which should be of no surprise to any of our readers. (No, sorry. We did not soul search during our extra long hiatus.)

We always get these Napolitano CDs as cheap presents (or as a goof) and we have to constantly throw them out. In fact, my hand hurts from constantly throwing these CDs out.

And, "minchia", why do all Napolitani songs sound exactly alike? We don't know why they put pauses between the songs. It should just be one giant song about Mamma, misery and death.

However, in all fairness, "Last Call: Notes from a Correspondent" must be a brilliant compilation of hits. It had to be produced by the Napolitano, George Martin. Unfortunately, we won't be able to find the time to buy and critique the songs (not even at gun point).

"Petrone returned to music "to express more clearly what he wants to say about lands in tumult, about men and women in tumult, about himself in tumult..." Hmmm...sounds like he is referring to Iran, Iraq and Naples. We've heard about plenty of tourists in tumult after visiting the third land in particular.

And what a coincidence. Foreign correspondents from these countries felt the same way when they came to do a news piece on Naples. One of them had to be inspired to write a blues record too.

"Last Time: That This Correspondent Visits Naples"

"I want to see the world from the mountains of garbage..."
"I want to cry blood after eating hot chili peppers and taralli..."
"I want to spit sand on the streets when I see her with more food caught in her teeth...than I eat the whole day..."
"La-laaa, La-laaa..."

"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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