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 05/02/07 Fritto Misto di Verdure from OreganoFromItaly.com

"Buon Giorno!" Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Fritto Misto di Verdure
  -Chicken Saltinbocca
  -Torta di Pinoli

The "Torta di Pinoli" is enjoyed throughout Italy and is best served with coffee. Please try to use fresh pine kernels and store in the fridge to prevent them from becoming rancid. Enjoy the recipes and the complimentary news article report from "Only In Italy.com".

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       


 Recipe: Fritto Misto di Verdure

Fritto Misto di Verdure
Mixed Fried Vegetables

Ingredients:

Vegetables: aubergines, onions, asparagus, cauliflower, courgette flowers, mushrooms
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt

For the batter:
1/2 cup (150 grams) plain flour
One tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Carefully clean and wash all the vegetables; dry and cut into pieces of roughly equal size. Note: Cut the onions and aubergines into rings, the courgettes vertically into sticks, the artichokes into segments, split the cauliflower into single florets. You only need to remove the stalks of the asparagus and the courgette flowers. Clean the mushroom caps with a damp cloth, trim away the root end and scrape the stalk lightly with a knife. The mushrooms should only be coated with flour before frying.

Prepare the batter as follows: using a wooden spoon beat together the flour, olive oil, salt and just enough water to make a fairly thick paste which should be smooth and creamy, leaving ribbon-like trails when it falls from the spoon. If you like a frothier batter, replace the water with the same amount of beer, or use half water and half beer.

Put the batter in the fridge for an hour before using it to coat the vegetables. The greater the difference between the temperature of the hot olive oil and that of the cold batter, the crisper the fry will be.

Dip the vegetables into the batter and fry in plenty of olive oil over a medium heat, until light golden. Do not allow them to become too dark in color as this will give the fry a slightly bitter taste.

Drain and place the fried vegetables on kitchen paper to dry and serve hot, sprinkled with salt and freshly ground pepper.

That's it!


 Recipe: Chicken Saltinbocca

Chicken Saltinbocca

Ingredients:

1 eggplant, cut into 6 thin lengthwise slices
6 chicken scallopine
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, for dredging
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt
6 thin slices mozzarella
3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon marjoram

Directions:

Cook the eggplant slices on a hot grill until browned on both sides, turning once. Dredge the chicken in the flour and shake off the excess.

Melt the butter with 1 tablespoon of the extra-virgin olive oil in a wide skillet; add the chicken. Cook for 3 minutes on one side, turn, season with salt and cook for 3 more minutes.

Place 1 eggplant slice on each piece of chicken, top with 1 slice of mozzarella, and cover; cook until the mozzarella melts, about 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in another skillet. Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper; stir in the oregano and marjoram. Cook 5 minutes.

Serve the chicken hot, with the tomato sauce. Serves 6.

That's it!


 Recipe: Torta di Pinoli

Torta di Pinoli
Pine Nut Tart

Ingredients:

For the Pastry:
5 oz (150 grams) unsalted butter, softened
5 oz (150 grams) superfine sugar
4 egg yolks
12 oz (350 grams) plain white or Italian type 00 flour
Finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
Pinch of salt

For the Filling:
12 oz (350 grams) ricotta cheese
Few drops of vanilla extract
2 fluid oz (50 ml) heavy cream
3 egg yolks
4 oz (100 grams) superfine sugar
4 oz (100 grams) pine kernels
Icing sugar, for dusting

Directions:

To make the pastry, put the softened butter, sugar and egg yolks in a food processor and mix together. Add the flour, lemon zest and salt and mix again. Wrap in greaseproof paper and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 325° F (170° C).

To make the filling, using a wooden spoon, beat the ricotta cheese in a bowl. Add the vanilla extract, heavy cream, egg yolks, sugar and 3/4 of the pine kernels and mix together.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry and use 2/3 to line a 8 inch (20 cm) loose-bottomed flan tin. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Prick the base with a fork and line with a piece of greaseproof paper and baking beans, then bake in the oven for 20 minutes until golden.

Remove the lining and beans.

Pour the filling into the pastry case. Roll out the remaining pastry and cut into 1/2 inch (1 cm) strips, the same length as the tart. Use to make a lattice decoration on the tart by laying half the strips at intervals across the surface and the other half across the first layer. Scatter the remaining pine kernels over the top.

Bake in the oven for 35 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden and the filling is firm to the touch.

Leave to cool slightly, then serve warm, dusted with sifted icing sugar.

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:

French Editor Claims Italy Has a Racist Culture

Rome - August 8 - A leading French journalist has prompted a debate over racism in Italy after he published a claim that Italian customs officials have a 'cretinous attitude' to any non-white person entering the country. The editor-in-chief of the French newspaper Le Monde, Jean-Marie Colombani, accused Italian border police at Venice's Marco Polo airport of 'harassing' his 20-year-old adopted son, a French citizen of Indian origin.

He said he had watched helplessly as his son was subjected to 'totally unjustified humiliation' and had been left 'deeply disturbed' every year for the past five years when his family arrived in Italy for their holidays.

His son's luggage was always searched and he was asked questions about his private life and challenged about his nationality. 'It is almost as if Italy is also falling into a populist atmosphere that is in fashion, with the same old temptation towards xenophobia,' Colombani wrote.

He acknowledged that border police at airports across Europe have intensified security checks since the 11 September attacks in 2001, but, he said: 'German or English police, when they do spot checks, do not display this systematic interest in colored people.'

The open letter offended Italian leaders and members of the public but many non-white Italians and immigrants responded with claims that they are systematically treated as lesser beings.

'I cannot deny this risk [that Italy is sliding into xenophobia],' Italy's Interior Minister, Giuseppe Pisanu, said in a letter to news agencies. 'But I see a culture of welcome and respect for others that is still well rooted in our country.'

Pisanu apologized for any isolated incidents but said his police forces were not racist, inviting visitors to Italy to report any unjustified excesses or harassment.

Justice Minister Roberto Castelli, of the anti-immigrant Northern League party, defended the Italian police for doing their job in times of high security alert, pitying them for having had the misfortune to 'disturb' an intellectual of the 'gauche francaise'. 'How did they dare, these Italians? These macaroni,' he wrote mocking the Frenchman in the same paper.

The Italian press has rejected Colombani's accusation, complaining that racism is not Italy's but Europe's problem. Newspapers pointed out that Israel's Ariel Sharon had called on French Jews to move to Israel to escape rising anti-Semitism in France.

But the success of an anti-Islamic tract by the veteran Italian war correspondent Oriana Fallaci, who says Europe is turning 'into Eurabia', added to fears that unabashed racism is winning an ever-wider audience in Italy. The book, Oriana Fallaci Interviews Oriana Fallaci, sold 500,000 copies in a matter of hours. Stocks of the volume, sold with a noted Italian daily newspaper, were exhausted and a new edition is being prepared.

'I say what I think and that is what people think but almost never say,' said Fallaci. 'They have found someone who gives a voice to their silence.' Many buyers said they read the volume because they wanted to know how extreme the extremist anti-immigrants were becoming.

Racism monitors say non-white Italians and colored immigrants are treated systematically with less respect than white Italians in Italy.

'We are still at a stage in this country where colored people are considered different and treated, if not as inferiors, as children,' said Luciano Scagliotti, representative in Italy of the European Network Against Racism.

"Francese...per favore!"

Italians are not known to be racists. We just like to have a little fun with people who cross our borders.

The French have no sense of humor. On the other hand, Italians think it's very funny that they are trying to rewrite history:

-This is a country that, during the great war, was conquered in a couple of afternoons and turned into the top producing country for the Nazis.

-They still try to convince everyone that they were part of the big invasion. The French weren't part of any invasion. They were already invaded! How can you be part of an invasion in your own country?

-For the love of Napoleone! The French did everything for the Nazis except trim Hitler’s moustache and they would have gladly done that as well.

Italy also laughs at France's contribution to world cuisine. You know what they gave us?
1.) The Souffle: something puffed up with a lot of hot air and full of fattening crap.
2.) Cordon Bleu: sausage and eggs (heart disease on a plate).

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