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 04/16/08 Seafood Stew with Tomatoes and Basil from OreganoFromItaly.com

"Campa cavallo, che l'erba cresce." (Be alive horse, because grass grows. While the horse starves, the grass grows.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Pizza con Arugula e Prosciutto
  -Stufato di Frutti di Mare con Pomodoro e Basilico
  -Biscotti di Cannella e Zucchero

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

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       


 Recipe: Pizza con Arugula e Prosciutto

Pizza con Arugula e Prosciutto
Prosciutto and Arugula Pizza

Ingredients:

1/2 cup small to medium Arugula leaves
2 ounces mozzarella cheese (preferably fresh)
All-purpose flour for dusting
Pizza dough for one 9-inch pizza
1/2 cup pizza sauce
3 very thin slices prosciutto

Directions:

At least 45 minutes before baking pizza, put a pizza stone or 4 to 6 unglazed "quarry" tiles arranged close together on oven rack in lowest position in oven and preheat oven to highest setting (500 - 550 F).

Trim any tough stems from arugula and thinly slice cheese.

On a lightly floured surface pat out dough evenly with your fingers, keeping hands flat and lifting and turning dough over several times, into a 9-inch round. (Do not handle dough more than necessary. If dough is sticky, dust it lightly with flour.)

Dust a baker's peel or rimless baking sheet with flour and carefully transfer dough to it.

Jerk peel or baking sheet once or twice and, if dough is sticking, lift dough and sprinkle flour underneath it, reshaping dough if necessary.

Working quickly, top dough with sauce, spreading with back of a spoon to within 1/2 inch of edge. Arrange mozzarella slices evenly over sauce.

Line up far edge of peel or baking sheet with far edge of stone or tiles and tilt peel or baking sheet, jerking it gently to start pizza moving.

Once edge of pizza touches stone or tiles, carefully pull back peel or baking sheet, completely transferring pizza to stone or tiles (do not move pizza).

Bake pizza 6 to 7 minutes, or until dough is crisp and browned, and transfer with a metal spatula to a cutting board.

Scatter arugula over pizza and arrange prosciutto slices on top.

Cut pizza into wedges and serve immediately. Makes one 9-inch pizza.

That's it!


 Recipe: Stufato di Frutti di Mare con Pomodoro e Basilico

Stufato di Frutti di Mare con Pomodoro e Basilico
Seafood Stew with Tomatoes and Basil

Ingredients:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 and 1/4 cups chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
4 teaspoons dried oregano
1 and 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
2 and 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes with added puree
2 and 1/2 cups bottled clam juice
1 cup dry white wine
Two 6 and 1/2-ounce cans chopped clams, drained, liquid reserved
1 lb uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined
One 6-ounce can crabmeat, drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
Cayenne pepper

Directions:

Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat.

Add onion, garlic, oregano and fennel seeds and saute until onion is tender, about 8 minutes.

Add tomatoes, clam juice, white wine and liquid reserved from clams.

Increase heat and boil until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.

Add clams, shrimp and crabmeat. Reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes.

Mix in fresh basil and simmer until shrimp are just opaque in center, about 2 minutes longer.

Season stew to taste with cayenne, salt and pepper. Makes 4 servings.

That's it!


 Recipe: Biscotti di Cannella e Zucchero

Biscotti di Cannella e Zucchero
Cinnamon Sugar Biscotti

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour
2 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Mix flour, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, baking powder and salt in medium bowl to blend.

Using electric mixer, beat 1 cup sugar and butter in large bowl until fluffy.

Add 1 egg; beat well. Add egg yolk; beat well.

Mix in vanilla, then dry ingredients.

Transfer dough to work surface. Divide in half.

Shape each half into 9-inch long, 1 and 1/2-inch wide log.

Transfer logs to baking sheets.

Beat remaining egg in small bowl. Brush logs with egg.

Bake until golden and firm to touch (dough will spread), about 50 minutes.

Cool on baking sheets. Maintain oven temperature.

Mix 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in small bowl to blend.

Using serrated knife, cut logs into 1/2-inch wide diagonal slices.

Place biscotti, cut side down, on baking sheets.

Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon sugar over each biscotti.

Bake until pale golden, about 20 minutes. Cool on racks. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Store in airtight container.) Makes about 40.

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:

Italy Confiscates Phoney Olive Oil

Rome - April 22, 2008 - Italian police have arrested 25 people in the south of the country suspected of selling adulterated vegetable oil as extra virgin olive oil.

Police say sunflower oil was mixed with chlorophyll and beta-carotene to give it olive oil's characteristic color.

Some 15,000 cans, 33,000 labels, 2,800 one-liter bottles of oil and 250 kg of chlorophyll were also seized, along with seven olive oil factories.

Italy is Europe's second-largest producer of olive oil, behind Spain.

"We have confiscated 25,000 liters of this oil, a large portion of which was on the verge of being exported, mainly to the US and Germany," police spokesman Antonio Citarella told news agencies.

The scam involved some 39 people, 14 of whom have been placed under house arrest, who produced olive oil sold under various brands.

The investigation began in October 2006 after several complaints about the quality of olive oil sold in markets in the northern town of Turin.

According to news sources, cheap vegetable oil was purchased from the US and colorants added to bring its color closer to that of real olive oil.

The head of a local consumers' association complained that olive oil was simply the latest food scare to hit Italy.

"After wine and mozzarella, now olive oil - another of our country's specialities - is at the center of a scandal," Primo Mastrantoni was quoted as telling news agencies.

"Ma, che cazzo c' in quest'olio?"

Sunflower oil?
Chlorophyll?
Beta-carotene?

It seems the only feature missing from this incredibly delicious olive oil is a portrait on the bottle/canister of a Pugliese with his shirt half-buttoned, picking olives, and proudly smiling with half of his teeth missing.

"Porca puttana", these people should be beaten every time they go near an olive tree.

The best way to protect yourself against criminal olive oil is to hold several taste tests:

- Take a plain piece of bread and drizzle olive oil on it.
- Try to concentrate on the taste of the oil.
- Compare different oils from time to time.
- You will learn to recognize the distinctive taste of olive oil as compared to vegetable oils.

You should also purchase olive oil produced by a single estate and local mills and NOT by large multinationals. These oils are usually found in better supermarkets and gourmet food shops.

If by chance you try an olive oil and the first thought that comes to mind is the fact your car is overdue for a lube job then, most likely, the olive oil is not genuine. Pass the garbage on to that lovely neighbor/relative/pain-in-the-ass who claims to have been born an Italian food connoisseur.

"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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