03/28/07 Risotto ai Pomodori e Mozzarella Affumicata from OreganoFromItaly.com

"Tanti Auguri a Tutti!" Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Clams Posillipo
  -Risotto ai Pomodori e Mozzarella Affumicata
  -Rotolo di Cioccolato e Noci

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

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Clams Posillipo

Clams Posillipo


32 littleneck clams
1/4 cup virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped yellow onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 28-ounce can Italian whole plum tomatoes with juice
1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Scrub the clamshells, rinse thoroughly in cold water, and place in a large pot.

Add cold water to cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the shells open, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the clams to a large bowl. Discard any clams that have not opened.

Strain the cooking liquid through a chinois or a strainer lined with a coffee filter, and reserve 3/4 cup of this liquid as clam broth. Return the clams to the pot, add cold water and stir to remove any remaining sand. Drain.

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium flame and saute the onions and garlic for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent and the garlic is lightly golden.

Coarsely chop the tomatoes and add with their juice to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Stir in the tomato paste if you prefer and add the basil and parsley. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.

Add the reserved clam broth and clams to the sauce and bring to a boil.

Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the clams are heated through.

Spoon the clams and sauce into a large serve bowl, garnish with parsley, and serve immediately. Serves 4.

That's it!

 Recipe: Risotto ai Pomodori e Mozzarella Affumicata

Risotto ai Pomodori e Mozzarella Affumicata
Risotto with Tomatoes and Smoked Mozzarella


For the Sauce:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, peeled and lightly crushed
2 cups canned Italian plum tomatoes with their juice, put through a food mill to remove seeds
2 ounces smoked mozzarella, grated

For the Risotto:
4 to 5 cups basic chicken broth
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely minced yellow onion
2 cups imported Arborio rice or other rice for risotto
1/2 dry white wine
Salt if needed


Prepare the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until it is golden on all sides.

Discard the garlic, add the tomatoes, and simmer for 6 to 7 minutes. Add the mozzarella, stir for less than 1 minute, and turn the heat off under the skillet. (Makes approximately 1 and 1/2 cups of sauce.)

Prepare the risotto: Heat the broth in a medium saucepan and keep warm over low heat.

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When the butter foams, add the onion and cook, stirring, until the onion is pale yellow and soft, 4 to 5 minutes.

Add the rice and stir quickly until it is well coated with the butter and onion, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the wine and cook until it is almost all reduced.

Add 1/2 cup of the simmering broth or just enough to barely cover the rice. Cook, stirring, until the broth has been absorbed almost completely. Continue cooking and stirring the rice in this manner, adding the broth, 1/2 cup or so, at a time for 12 to 13 minutes.

Now add a small ladle of the sauce and cook, stirring, until the sauce has been absorbed.

Keep cooking the rice, adding the sauce a little at a time, until all the sauce has been used up and the rice has a moist, creamy consistency, about 5 minutes.

Taste, adjust the seasoning, and serve.

Note: This risotto doesn't need Parmigiano cheese or butter added at the last moment, since the mozzarella binds the rice. Keep in mind that smoked mozzarella is quite salty, and very probably this risotto will not need additional salt. Serves 4 to 6.

That's it!

 Recipe: Rotolo di Cioccolato e Noci

Rotolo di Cioccolato e Noci
Chocolate Nut Pastries


7 ounces (200 grams) plain white or Italian type 00 flour
Pinch of salt
5 oz (125 grams) unsalted butter
5 oz (150 grams) superfine sugar
1 egg beaten
5 oz (150 grams) dark chocolate
2 teaspoons (10 ml) ground cinnamon
4 ounces (100 grams) chopped hazelnuts


To make the pastry, put the flour and salt into a bowl and rub in 3 ounces (75 grams) of the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Stir in the sugar. Add the beaten egg and use to bind the mixture together.

Wrap in greaseproof paper and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

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:

Women Breaking With Italian Motherhood Myth

January 18 - Modern women are bucking Italian family traditions, giving birth at a later age and opting for fewer kids, according to a report on motherhood released on Wednesday.

The study by the national statistics institute, Istat, found that the myth of the Italian 'mamma' is losing its grip, with women prioritizing studies and work over starting a family.

The average age for women to have their first child has risen from 25 to 29, said Istat, which surveyed 50,000 women who gave birth in 2003.

And although Italy has the lowest female employment rate in Europe, with only 45.3% of women between 15 and 64 holding jobs, a growing number of mothers are realizing that having kids doesn't necessarily mean quitting work. This in turn means that more and more women are looking to their parents and in-laws for help. Around a fifth of population is now either a 'nonna' (granny) or 'nonno' (grandpa), and 57% of these regularly look after their grandchildren, according to Istat.

In fact, over half of all toddlers are left in the care of grandparents when their moms head for work.

According to MP Sandra Cioffi, who chairs parliament’s Bicameral Childhood Committee, this indicates that "the family in this case the grandparents continues to be the fundamental unit in society."

"The fact that 53% of children are left with grandparents shows that they have assumed the role of reconciling domestic responsibilities with work," she said.

But she admitted that for many working parents with young children there was no choice, and called for support structures across Italy to be strengthened. In fact, a frequent complaint among the women questioned was the lack of childcare facilities.

Nearly a third said they would have liked to send their kids to nursery or kindergarten but were unable to, owing to either the distance, the lack of places or the high cost. Another common complaint was the difficulty in trying to balance work, children and domestic tasks, the report found. While women may be shaking off traditional family roles in some respects, in others, few advances have been made.

Nearly two thirds of working moms said they received no help whatsoever around the home. Over half of those who had support relied on cleaners, while just 17% said they could count on their partner to give them a hand.

Finally, the report also confirmed that the Italian stereotype of massive families no longer has much basis in reality. Most of the women questioned said they only wanted one child, or at the very most two, reflected in the fact that there are currently just 1.33 kids born for every Italian woman of fertile age.

"Italy has one of the lowest fertility levels of any industrialized country, the result of a steady decline in births, which has been under way for around a century," the report noted.

"MAMMA! Il cafe è pronto?"

Italy has the lowest female employment rate in Europe. Italian women do not prioritize work or studies over starting a family. The truth is having kids in Italy is a pain in the Italian ass.

There is so much to deal with.
It's less of a hassle to make prosciutto.

Life is Beautiful: "Little Domenico has all the luxuries of an Italian yuppie; a good job teaching at the University, a car, designer clothes, and, of course, a modern cell phone. But in reality, Domenico is a Mamma's Boy, still living at home at 33 and unashamed of it. "It's true that life at home is easier," he says. "I have fewer expenses and my mother still brings me coffee in bed each morning. But I chose to stay put because my relationship with my family is excellent. Until I see a valid reason for leaving, I'll stay."

What would be a valid reason for little Domenico? The laws should have been laid down for little Domenico 33 years ago in the delivery room.

According to Istat, 57% of 'nonni' regularly look after their grandchildren. And then the ramblings begin; "Oh, let me tell you about my childhood. During WWII, my uncle, Luigi, had to pick bugs off his brother Sal just to eat."

Nearly two thirds of working moms said they received no help whatsoever around the home. Over half of those who had support relied on cleaners, while just 17% said they could count on their partner to give them a hand. "Aiuto?" How do you get help from Italian men who pace themselves like a slug?

Italian men are lazy and do complain a bit too much. We once heard my cousin Romeo say some heart touching words to his wife, Juliet; "I love you more than anything else in the world but please, STOP AGING! If you get any older than this, I can't stay with you. Get some help. Call Ponce Deleon. I can't believe I'm married to a 42-year-old!"

"And the unbelievable thing about all this is that I'm getting younger and better looking!"

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