05/25/11 Roast Chicken with Artichokes and Gremolata Butter

"L'amore e cieco." (Love is blind.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Perciatelli with Shrimp and Garlic Breadcrumbs
  -Roast Chicken with Artichokes and Gremolata Butter
  -Scallops with Almonds and Grapes

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Perciatelli with Shrimp and Garlic Breadcrumbs

Perciatelli with Shrimp and Garlic Breadcrumbs
Perciatelli con Gamberetti e Pangrattato d'Aglio


1 and 1/4 lbs uncooked peeled, deveined large shrimp
6 tablespoons drained capers
4 teaspoons (packed) grated lemon peel
8 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs made from French bread
8 garlic cloves, minced, divided
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
12 ounces freshly cooked perciatelli (long hollow pasta)
1 cup pasta cooking water reserved


Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat.

Add breadcrumbs and half of garlic; saute until crumbs are golden and crisp, about 10 minutes.

Transfer to medium bowl.

Sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper.

Heat remaining 5 tablespoons olive oil in same skillet over medium-high heat.

Add shrimp and remaining garlic to skillet; saute until shrimp are just opaque in center, about 3 minutes.

Stir in 1/4 cup parsley, capers, and lemon peel.

Add cooked pasta and 1/2 cup reserved pasta cooking water.

Mix in 1 cup garlic breadcrumbs, adding more pasta cooking water if dry.

Season with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle with remaining garlic breadcrumbs and parsley. Serves 4 to 6.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Roast Chicken with Artichokes and Gremolata Butter

Roast Chicken with Artichokes and Gremolata Butter
Pollo Arrosto con Carciofi e Burro Gremolata


One 5-pound chicken
Two 8-ounce packages frozen artichoke hearts, thawed

5 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
3 garlic cloves, pressed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Preheat oven to 425F.

Mix butter, chopped parsley, lemon peel, and pressed garlic in small bowl to blend.

Season butter mixture with salt and pepper.

Place chicken on heavy large rimmed baking sheet; pat dry with paper towels.

Gently slide hand under chicken breast skin to loosen from meat.

Spread 2 tablespoons seasoned butter under skin and 1 tablespoon over chicken; sprinkle skin with salt and pepper.

Transfer to oven; roast chicken 45 minutes.

Arrange artichokes around chicken; baste with drippings.

Continue roasting until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 180F, about 25 minutes longer.

Transfer artichokes to edge of platter.

Tilt chicken over baking sheet, allowing juices to empty onto sheet.

Place chicken on platter.

Brush 1 tablespoon seasoned butter over chicken.

Pour pan juices into sauceboat; mix in remaining seasoned butter and lemon juice.

Serve chicken and roasted artichokes with pan juices. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Scallops with Almonds and Grapes

Scallops with Almonds and Grapes
Capesante con Mandorle e dell'Uva


16 large sea scallops, side muscles removed
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 and 1/2 tablespoons minced shallots
2/3 cup Champagne grapes (about 4 ounces) or black grapes, halved
1 and 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 and 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley


Sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper.

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in very large skillet over medium-high heat.

Cook butter until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes.

Add scallops; cook 2 minutes per side.

Transfer scallops to plate; tent with foil.

Melt remaining butter in same skillet over medium-high heat.

Add shallots and grapes; saute until shallots are golden, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes.

Stir in lemon juice and any accumulated scallop juices.

Bring mixture to boil; season with salt and pepper.

Stir in almonds and parsley.

Place 4 scallops on each of 4 plates.

Spoon sauce over and serve. 4 first-course 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:

Men Talk 500,000 Euro Cartier Ring Out of Rome Jewellery Store

Rome - October 20, 2010 - Police are trying to track down two men who stole Cartier's most expensive ring, but one thing is clear: the bilingual, elegantly attired thieves were savvy.

Without pulling a weapon, the two men walked off with a 500,000 Euro ($693,000 USD) diamond-encrusted ring Tuesday evening from Cartier's store on Via Condotti, a shopping street near Rome's Spanish Steps, police said.

Police official Paolo Guiso, who is leading the investigation, told news agencies Wednesday that the thieves, speaking Arabic and French, talked their way into seeing several rings after telling the saleswoman they needed a special gift for a wedding. Italian news reports said the thieves were North Africans, but Guiso said that investigators were still trying to determine their nationality.

Cartier's press office in Milan declined to describe the stolen ring or confirm Italian press reports that a 5-carat diamond formed the centerpiece, and that the rest of the piece was encrusted with much smaller diamonds.

On Tuesday night, Rome's police headquarters said the thieves were shown the store's most expensive ring at their request. After an inspection at the store Wednesday, Guiso said the two men worked deftly and quickly.

"One man distracted the saleswoman" and while she was taking out still another ring to show the customers, "the other quickly took the ring," Guiso said.

He said one of the men then left, claiming he needed to find someone who spoke Italian but never came back. The other man also quickly and calmly exited the store. Both apparently blended into a crowd of shoppers outside. Witnesses said Tuesday the pair was seen getting into a waiting sedan with a driver and quickly left the scene.

But Guiso said it hasn't been confirmed the thieves had a getaway car waiting. Police said images from a video surveillance camera are being examined.

This story is dedicated to any of you who have ever strolled down the fashionable Via Condotti in Rome, stopped in front of one of these designer stores, and received that "look" from its employees or the detestable people who shop these stores. This was karma and a "bel vaffanculo!"

Hard to believe one of the oldest scams in the books can still be performed in 2010 and in one of the most expensive streets in the world. You could just imagine the planning between the Arab and French thieves:

French: "Then I'll distract her and you slip the huge ring in your pocket."
Arab: "Are you high?"
French: "No no, it will work. Trust me. These are Italians who are full of themselves."

As far as we're concerned, the employees of that Cartier store ("cazzo", excuse us, boutique) who live their lives like a country club deserved to be bilked. Maybe they'll be less gullible. We say the gentlemen who perpetrated this heist deserve a medal not jail time. They deserve a medal for locating stupid employees. They're doing us a favor. Now, we can identify all of them, flush them out and make sure they don't breed and file a job application again.

The Cartier spokespeople claimed the Via Condotti boutique was closed for more than 24 hours while the police performed their investigations. "Cazzate!" We believe they lost the key to the boutique.

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