05/09/12 Fried Lamb Chops

"Tante volte al pozzo va la secchia ch'ella vi lascia il manico o l'orecchia." (A pitcher that goes to the well often is likely to break.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Ricotta Gnocchi With Mixed Mushrooms and Prosciutto Sauce
  -Broiled Cornish Hens
  -Fried Lamb Chops

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Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Ricotta Gnocchi With Mixed Mushrooms and Prosciutto Sauce

Ricotta Gnocchi With Mixed Mushrooms and Prosciutto Sauce
Gnocchi di Ricotta Ai Funghi Misti e Prosciutto


For the Gnocchi:
1 pound whole-milk ricotta
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

For the Sauce:
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 pound mixed mushrooms (such as white cultivated, brown, chanterelles or shiitake mushrooms) wiped clean and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
4 anchovy fillets, chopped
1/4 pound sliced prosciutto cut into small strips
1/2 cup dry white wine
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Prepare the Gnocchi:
In a large bowl, combine ricotta with flour and salt.

Mix well with your hands to incorporate.

Put the mixture on a wooden board and knead gently into a ball. At this point the dough should be smooth, soft and pliable and just a bit sticky. Knead in a little extra flour if dough is too sticky.

Flour the board lightly and break the dough into pieces the size of a small orange.

Shape pieces into rolls about the thickness of your thumb.

Cut rolls into 1-inch pieces.

Hold a fork with its tines resting against a work surface at a 45 angle and the inside curve toward you.

Take a little dumpling and press it with your index finger against the outside curve of the fork at the tip end.

Quickly slide dumpling up along the length of the tines, pressing with the index finger.

Remove finger and let dumpling fall back onto work surface. (Groves made by fork and finger indentation will absorb the sauce.)

Repeat with remaining dumplings.

Arrange dumplings on a floured tray or large plate.

Prepare the Sauce:
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.

Add mushrooms in batches if necessary to avoid crowding the skillet or the mushrooms will stew instead of browning.

Saute over high heat, stirring, until they begin to color.

Add the garlic, anchovies and prosciutto and stir once or twice.

Add the wine.

Cook and stir until the wine is almost all reduced.

Season with salt and several twists of pepper.

Meanwhile, fill a very large saucepan two-thirds full with salted water.

Bring water to a boil.

Add the gnocchi. When gnocchi come back to the surface of the water cook 20 to 30 seconds.

Remove gnocchi with a slotted spoon or strainer, draining against the side of saucepan.

Place gnocchi in skillet with mushrooms.

Add the butter and the gnocchi, sprinkle with parsley and mix well.

Serve at once. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Broiled Cornish Hens

Broiled Cornish Hens
Pollastrino alla Diavola


4 Cornish hens
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Lemon wedges


Cut Cornish hens lengthwise along entire backbone.

Open out Cornish hens until flat.

Place skin side down on a cutting board.

With a large cleaver or meat pounder, flatten Cornish hens without breaking bones.

Wash and dry thoroughly.

Combine olive oil, salt and plenty of pepper in a small bowl.

Brush Cornish hens on both sides with oil mixture.

Place in a large shallow dish.

Pour remaining oil over hens.

Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours, basting several times with oil mixture.

Preheat broiler or prepare barbecue.

Arrange Cornish hens skin side facing heat.

Cook 10 to 15 minutes. If skin turns too dark, adjust position of Cornish hens.

Turn and baste with marinade.

Cook 10 to 15 minutes longer or until tender.

Season with additional pepper.

Place on warm platter.

Garnish with lemon wedges and parsley.

Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Fried Lamb Chops

Fried Lamb Chops
Costolette di Agnello Fritte


8 single-rib lamb chops
2 eggs
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese
3/4 cup dry unflavored bread crumbs
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Trim all fat from lamb chops.

Beat eggs with salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

Spread flour on aluminum foil.

Combine Parmigiano cheese and bread crumbs in a small bowl.

Spread on a second piece of foil.

Coat chops lightly with flour.

Dip chops in beaten eggs, then coat with bread crumb mixture.

Press mixture onto chops with the palms of your hands.

Let coated chops stand 10 to 15 minutes.

Melt butter with olive oil in a large skillet.

When butter foams, add chops.

Cook over medium heat until meat has a light-golden crust, 2 to 3 minutes on each side.

Drain chops on paper towels.

Place chops on a warm platter.

Season with salt.

Serve immediately. 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:

And Another 1 Billion Euros Seized In Napolitano Mafia Raid

Naples - March 19, 2012 - Police carried out arrest warrants for 60 people, including 16 tax magistrates, and seized around one billion Euros (1.33 billion USD) in assets in an operation targeting the Fabbrocino clan of the Neapolitan mafia, the Camorra.

Prosecutors believe corruption led to dozens of tax disputes being settled against the State and frequently in favor of people linked to the Camorra.

Many of the people arrested have been detained in prison, while others have been put under house arrest, and others still have been forbidden from residing in Naples.

They are suspected of crimes including mafia association for money laundering and the corruption of legal proceedings.

The assets seized include company shares, bank accounts, properties, land and cars.

"Puttana della miseria", another great episode from "Alice in Naples Land".

And what punishment! A Napolitano knows well being forbidden from residing in Naples is much harsher than house arrest. That's like eating Chef Boyardee in a retirement home than Vermicelli with clams at the feast of San Gennaro.

And you can just imagine how the tax disputes were settled:

- "When I was audited many years ago the tax agent told me that he had never seen a Napolitano as honest, proud and precise in his affairs as me, and that I would never have to file a tax return ever again."

- "I took improper deductions on the tax returns I prepared because I was chosen as one of the organizers of the San Gennaro feast. And so, it was my sworn duty to be certain San Gennaro's blood would liquefy in public...and on cue.

- "I had post-traumatic stress syndrome from street combat service in Salerno, which led to the breakup of my social club, caused me emotional turmoil and flashbacks, and interfered with my talent to make wine."

- "After I moved from Salerno to Naples I asked someone in Naples about my Salerno income tax, and was told that the tax I owed Salerno was so small that it wasn't worth worrying about, so I just said "Si e vaffanculo!""

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