05/23/12 Swiss Chard and Ricotta Gnocchi

"Chi non risica non rosica." (Nothing ventured, nothing gained.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Red Onion and Rosemary Focaccia
  -Swiss Chard and Ricotta Gnocchi
  -Roast Rack Of Lamb

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Red Onion and Rosemary Focaccia

Red Onion and Rosemary Focaccia
Focaccia Cipolla Rosse e Rosmarino


3 tb chopped red onion or shallots, plus extra slices for the top
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 package of dry active yeast
Zest of one lemon
1 tsp honey
3 tb extra virgin olive oil
1 and 1/2 cups cold water
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 and 1/2 tsp salt
2 and 1/2 tb fresh chopped rosemary
Salt and pepper


Pour the warm water and honey into the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment.

Add package of dry active yeast and swirl around. Allow the yeast to foam for about 10 minutes.

Add the cold water, lemon zest, 2 tb olive oil, salt, rosemary and onions.

Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the flour. Once all the flour is in the bowl, switch the paddle to the bread hook attachment.

Knead on low speed for about 10 minutes.

Pull the dough away from the sides and rub the bowl down with some extra olive oil.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours.

Remove the plastic wrap and turn the mixer back on for 30 seconds.

Divide the dough into two pieces and press with your fingers into two 9-10 inch round pans.

Cover both pans with a clean, damp towel.

Allow the dough to rise again for about another 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Before baking use the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and brush the tops of the loaves.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and decorate with thin onion slices.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops are golden-brown. Number of servings (yield): 2 loaves.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Swiss Chard and Ricotta Gnocchi

Swiss Chard and Ricotta Gnocchi
Gnocchi di Bietola e Ricotta


For the Gnocchi:
1 bunch (about 1 pound) Swiss chard
1 large egg
1 pound ricotta cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 teaspoons salt
1 and 1/2 to 1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

For the Sauce:
3 to 4 tablespoons butter
1/3 to 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Prepare the Gnocchi:
Remove Swiss chard leaves from stems.

Wash leaves thoroughly in several changes of cold water.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Add the Swiss chard and cook uncovered until leaves are tender, 3 to 5 minutes.

Drain the chard and cool.

Squeeze leaves with hands to remove as much water as possible.

Place leaves on a cutting board and chop them very fine (the leaves can also be chopped in a food processor; do not puree them). Makes approximately 2/3 cup of chopped Swiss chard.

Break egg in a large bowl and beat it with a fork.

Add chard and mix well with egg.

Add ricotta cheese, Parmigiano cheese, salt and 1 and 1/2 cups of flour.

Mix well with hands until ricotta and flour are evenly incorporated and mixture sticks together into a rough dough.

Transfer mixture to a wooden board and knead lightly, gradually adding remaining flour if dough sticks heavily to board and to your hands.

Knead dough 2 to 3 minutes, dusting it lightly with flour if needed, until dough is smooth, pliable and just a bit sticky.

Cut off a piece of dough, about size of an orange.

Flour hands lightly (do not flour working area or dough will not slide smoothly).

Using both hands, roll out piece of dough with a light back-and-forth motion into a roll of about the thickness of your index finger.

Cut roll into 1-inch pieces.

Hold a fork with its tines against a work board, curved part of fork facing away from you.

Starting from curved outside bottom of fork, press each piece of dough with your index finger firmly upward along length of tines.

Let gnocchi fall back onto work surface.

Repeat with remaining dough until all gnocchi have been formed.

Line a large tray with a clean kitchen towel and flour towel lightly.

Arrange gnocchi on towel without crowding them.

They can be cooked immediately or kept in refrigerator for several hours.

Bring a large pot of boiling water to a boil.

Add 1 tablespoon of salt and gnocchi.

Cook uncovered over high heat until gnocchi rise to surface of the water, 1 to 2 minutes.

Prepare the Sauce:
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

Remove gnocchi with a large slotted spoon or a skimmer, draining off excess water against side of pot, and place in skillet.

Season lightly with salt and add about half of the Parmigiano cheese.

Stir over medium heat until gnocchi and butter are well combined.

Taste, adjust seasoning and serve with remaining Parmigiano cheese. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Roast Rack Of Lamb

Roast Rack Of Lamb
Carré di Agnello Arrosto


2 racks of lamb
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Leaves from 1 sprig fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon dry unflavored bread crumbs
1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmigiano cheese


Trim all fat from lamb.

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

Brush lamb with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and sprinkle with rosemary.

Season with salt and pepper.

Put remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a roasting pan.

Place lamb in pan.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes to give medium-rare meat.

Bake another 5 minutes for medium to well-done meat.

Combine parsley, garlic, bread crumbs and Parmigiano cheese in a small bowl.

Sprinkle top of lamb with bread crumb mixture and cook 5 minutes longer.

Place meat on a warm platter.

Serve individual chops by cutting down between the ribs. Makes 4 to 6 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:

Italy Tries To Slow Down Ryanair By Overcharging Aviation Fuel

Rome - February 28, 2012 - Budget airline Ryanair is suing Exxon Mobil, the world's second largest company, as part of a multimillion pound lawsuit alleging the oil group overcharged it for aviation fuel.

The London-listed carrier is claiming at least 9M Euros (12M USD) in compensation, plus an unspecified amount for lost profit, after the oil company allegedly hiked prices over a seven-year period, documents filed with London's high court reveal.

The claim, which equates to at least 2% of the airline's 2011 pre-tax profit, follows an Italian competition authority decision in 2006 ruling that Exxon and other aviation fuel suppliers in Italy had breached European competition rules.

The court documents add that the oil companies entered into "a unique and complex agreement, the purpose and effect of which was to share the market for the supply of jet fuel and to prevent the entry of new operators".

Ryanair alleges that the competition ruling means that airlines buying fuel from Exxon in Italy, via its subsidiary Esso Italiana, had "paid higher prices than at comparable airports located outside Italy".

The claim adds: "Ryanair has further suffered loss of profit and interest". Industry experts said that airlines could have used lower fuel prices to cut ticket prices, meaning that the likes of Ryanair might have sold more seats and related services to extra passengers.

An Exxon spokeswoman said: "Esso Italiana can confirm that Ryanair initiated proceedings against it in 2011 regarding historic jet fuel sales in Italy. We do not wish to comment further." Ryanair, which is claiming damages for fuel supplies made between 1999 and 2006, declined to comment.

In 2006 Italian regulators fined six oil companies, including subsidiaries of Exxon and Shell, a total of 315.4M Euros for constructing an arrangement to supply jet fuel to airports. The Italian competition authority found that the companies engaged in an "intense and continuous exchange of information" and coordinated strategies for setting up refueling contracts and keeping the status quo in place in the jet fuel market.

"The higher we soar, the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly." (Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche)
"The higher you soar, the higher the chance of having one of your wings clipped." (Capitalism alla Italiana)

"Porco diesel", it's sickening. We know you'll agree when we scream that people running oil companies are not real humans. No-no, don't dare count them as human beings. They're 1/3 human and 2/3rds foul-smelling ugly cheese...like Taleggio.

"...oil companies entered into "a unique and complex agreement, the purpose and effect of which was to share the market for the supply of jet fuel and to prevent the entry of new operators". "Cazzo", of course it took 8 years for Ryanair to figure out they were being bamboozled! With the language acrobatics the Italian companies perform, you would think they owned a circus in Palermo!

And don't kid yourselves, folks! These "figli di puttane" at Esso Italiana must be in cahoots with the other "figli di puttane" who are losing your airport luggage. We know what's going on here!

What does Esso Italiana want? Hmmm? To bring Italy to a further standstill?
They want Ryanair to turn off engines and glide into Italian airports to save cash on fuel?

Why don't we stop going to work and growing food?
We'll be like wild Africa. We'll wait for care packages to drop out of helicopters.

Exxon spokeswoman: "Esso Italiana can confirm that Ryanair initiated proceedings against it... We do not wish to comment further." That sounds just as comforting as:

Nonna (at the family table for Easter lunch): On behalf of this family, I can confirm that my grandson initiated proceedings against us when he presented that future so-called wife. I do not wish to comment further."

"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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