04/06/11 Pesto Chicken Breasts

"In bocca al lupo." (Into the mouth of a wolf. Break a leg!) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Poached Eggs with Arugula and Prosciutto
  -Cannellini and Pasta Salad with Grilled Tomatoes and Olives
  -Pesto Chicken Breasts

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 Recipe: Poached Eggs with Arugula and Prosciutto

Poached Eggs with Arugula and Prosciutto
Uova in Camicia con Rucola e Prosciutto


1 cup finely chopped green onion tops
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup minced fresh Italian parsley
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

Four 1/2-inch-thick slices country-style sourdough bread, each about 4 x 6 inches
3 ounces arugula leaves (about 4 cups)
8 thin slices prosciutto (about 4 ounces)

8 large eggs
Fresh Italian parsley sprigs


Finely chop the green onion tops by first cutting them lengthwise into long, thin strips.

Combine chopped green onion tops, extra-virgin olive oil, minced Italian parsley, and salt in small bowl; whisk to blend.

Lightly toast 4 sourdough bread slices.

Spread each with 1 tablespoon green onion oil.

Arrange 1/4 of arugula on each bread slice.

Top each with 2 slices prosciutto.

Transfer 1 prepared bread slice to each of 4 plates.

Divide remaining green onion oil equally among four 1 and 1/4-cup custard cups or ramekins.

Using pastry brush, spread green onion oil over inside of each cup to coat (most of mixture will fall back to bottom of cup). This will keep the eggs from sticking, making them easier to unmold later.

Break open 2 eggs into each prepared cup.

Place cups in large skillet.

Pour enough water into skillet to reach halfway up sides of cups.

Set skillet over medium-high heat and bring water to simmer.

Reduce heat to medium-low.

Cover skillet and gently cook eggs until whites are just firm to touch and yolks are set to desired consistency, about 6 minutes.

Using spatula and oven mitt or hand towel as aids, lift cups with eggs from water.

Cut around eggs to loosen.

Turn 2 eggs out onto each prepared bread slice.

Garnish with parsley sprigs. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Cannellini and Pasta Salad with Grilled Tomatoes and Olives

Cannellini and Pasta Salad with Grilled Tomatoes and Olives
Insalata di Pasta e Cannellini con Pomodori Grigliati e Olive


1 and 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise

1 and 1/2 cups small elbow macaroni (about 6 ounces)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 garlic clove, minced
One 15-ounce can cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives or other brine-cured olives
1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley


Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat).

Drizzle 1/2 tablespoon olive oil over cut side of tomatoes; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Grill tomatoes, cut side up, until skin begins to char, about 2 minutes; turn over and grill, cut side down, just until heated through, about 1 minute.


Cut tomatoes into 1-inch pieces.

Cook macaroni in large saucepan of boiling salted water until 'al dente', stirring occasionally.

Drain well.

Transfer macaroni to large bowl; cool.

Mix in grilled tomatoes and any accumulated juices, 2 tablespoons vinegar, basil, and garlic.

Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer salad to large platter.

Mix beans, onion, olives, parsley, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1 tablespoon vinegar in medium bowl.

Season with salt and pepper.

Spoon bean salad over center of macaroni salad and serve. 4 main-course servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Pesto Chicken Breasts

Pesto Chicken Breasts
Petti di Pollo di Pesto


One 7-ounce package refrigerated pesto
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
4 skinless chicken breast halves with bones
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Lemon wedges


Preheat oven to 425F.

Blend pesto, chopped walnuts, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and grated lemon peel in processor just until combined.

Place chicken on large rimmed baking sheet.

Coat all of chicken with pesto mixture.

Drizzle with olive oil.

Bake chicken until cooked through, about 30 minutes.

Transfer chicken to platter.

Tent with foil.

Strain pan juices into small bowl, pressing on solids in strainer to extract as much liquid as possible.

Whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice.

Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon sauce over chicken.

Garnish with lemon wedges 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:

'World's Smallest Apartment' For Sale

Rome - October 4, 2010 - A former porter's closet measuring five square meters (55 sq ft) has gone on the market in Rome at 50,000 Euros ($70,000 USD).

The property, which is being described as the world's smallest apartment, lies in the heart of the Italian capital, which has become one of the world's most expensive cities for property, but is barely large enough to contain a single bed.

The owner of the bijou property says he has been inundated with queries since putting it on the market a few days ago. Presented as a "compact bedsit", it is located on Piazza di Sant' Ignazio, a picturesque square overlooked by an enormous Renaissance church.

One report described it as "little bigger than a wigwam" while a daily newspaper commented: "In Rome, people now live like rats".

The flat consists of a ground floor bathroom with a shower, sink and lavatory and a ladder leading to a sleeping platform just big enough for a single bed. There is a single window, but to open it you have to climb over the bed.

It lies just behind Palazzo Grazioli, the imposing mansion which is rented by Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, as his private residence in the capital.

Real estate agent: The closet is fantastic. It has all new amenities and we'll take back the mortgage on it. But we do advise it's a little tight in space so, keep your dust outside and try not to breathe heavily. And please pay no attention to the pigeons staring in the window, laughing. Italian rat: "Cornuto! How do I get out of this hole?"

Italian real estate is a convoluted and troublesome area, so before you get in contact with "figli di puttane" realtors or real estate agents who have property for sale in Rome you may find it helpful to get to grips with the costs involved in buying property there.

- Real estate agency fees: Expect to pay between 1% and 4% (average 2%) of the purchase price to the agency which took 30 seconds to show you the closet and its blueprints on a "post-it" note.

- Legal fees: Who could forget the Italian rat-bastard lawyers? Solicitors' obligations include the following: drawing up contracts, contacting the notary, paying taxes, and registering the property with the land registry (catasto). Expect to pay about 2% of the closet's cost.

- Notary fees: The "notaio minchione" is responsible for recording the transaction and contacting the relevant authorities. His fees, which closely resemble larceny, are generally about 4% of the declared price.

- Taxes: Registration tax will be a minimum of 4% for first-time buyers who are residents. Ah! Don't forget the state 20% VAT (value added tax) for your closet.

- Local Town Hall Tax: The Imposta Comunale Immobili (ICI) is the council tax and is between 0.4% and 0.7% of a property's value. The local authority decides the actual rate depending on the type, location and size of your closet.

50,000 + 16,350 = 66,350 Euros ($92,000 USD)... "Minchia", wouldn't it be cheaper to buy and assemble a nice living room and bathroom from IKEA and live under one of the bridges along the Tiber river?

"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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