05/26/10 Beef and Spinach Roulades

"Tanti galli a cantar non fa mai giorno." (Too many chiefs, not enough warriors.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Cream of Porcini Mushroom Soup
  -Artichokes Napoletana
  -Beef and Spinach Roulades

"A tavola non si invecchia." (You don't age while seated for a meal.) Enjoy your recipes.

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Cream of Porcini Mushroom Soup

Cream of Porcini Mushroom Soup
Crema Di Funghi Porcini


1/2 whole chicken
12 oz (350 grams) porcini mushrooms, sliced
1 carrot
1 celery stick
1 onion
2 oz (50 grams) butter
2 fl oz (50 ml) brandy
2 leeks, trimmed and finely chopped
1 oz (25 grams) plain flour
3 and 1/2 fl oz (100 ml) double cream
Salt and pepper


Place the chicken, carrot, celery and onion in a large saucepan.

Pour in 3 and 1/2 pints (2 liters) water, add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil.

Lower the heat and simmer for about 40 minutes until the chicken is tender.

Melt half the butter in a frying pan, add the porcini mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, for about 7-8 minutes.

Add the brandy and cook until it has evaporated.

Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

Lift the chicken out of the pan and strain the stock.

Cut off the breast meat, slice and set aside.

Remove the remaining chicken meat from the bones and place in a food processor with a ladleful of the stock and two-thirds of the porcini mushrooms.

Process to a puree.

Melt the remaining butter in a saucepan, add the leeks and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

Stir in the flour and gradually stir in the stock.

Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then lower the heat and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Stir in the puree and cook for a further 5 minutes, then pour in the cream.

Pour into a soup pot and garnish with the sliced breast fillets and remaining porcini mushrooms. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Artichokes Napoletana

Artichokes Napoletana
Carciofi Alla Napoletana


8 globe artichokes, trimmed and cut into wedges
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) green olives, stoned and chopped
1 tablespoon capers, drained and rinsed
Juice of 1/2 lemon, strained
3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 lemon, cut into wedges salt and pepper


Half fill a bowl with water.

Stir in the lemon juice, add the artichokes and leave to soak for about 10 minutes.

Drain and pat dry.

Heat the olive oil in a pan.

Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes until golden brown, then remove and discard.

Add the artichoke wedges to the pan and cook over a high heat for about 5 minutes.

Add the olives and capers.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and add 1/4 pint (150 ml) warm water.

Mix well, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes until tender.

Remove the lid and boil off any excess liquid.

Transfer the artichokes to a warm serving dish.

Sprinkle with the parsley and garnish with the lemon wedges. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Beef and Spinach Roulades

Beef and Spinach Roulades
Involtini Agli Spinaci


14 oz (400 grams) spinach
2 oz (50 grams) butter
8 thin lean beef slices
8 thin Gruyère cheese slices
3 carrots, chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
5 tablespoons dry white wine
2 shallots, chopped
1 tomato, peeled and diced
Salt and pepper


Cook the spinach, in just the water clinging to the leaves after washing, for about 5 minutes until wilted, then drain and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

Melt half the butter in a frying pan, add the spinach and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Spread out the slices of beef and pound until thin and even.

Place a slice of cheese on each and divide two-thirds of the carrots and two-thirds of the spinach among them.

Roll up and tie with kitchen string.

Heat the olive oil and the remaining butter in a frying pan, add the roulades and cook, turning frequently, until lightly browned all over.

Add the wine and cook until it has evaporated, then add the shallots and tomato and season with salt and pepper.

Cover and cook over a low heat for 20 minutes.

Add the remaining carrot and cook for 5 minutes, then add the remaining spinach and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Remove the string from the roulades and serve in their sauce. Serves 4.

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:

Most Italian Families Have No Kids

Milan - March 23, 2010 - The majority of Italian families, 53.4%, have no children, according to a new report from the International Family Studies Center (CISF) presented here on Tuesday.

The report found that 21.9% of families have just one child, 19.5% have two, 4.4% have three and only 0.7% have four or more.

According to the report, the primary reason for not having children was economic, with 19.5% of families interviewed citing the lack of money, 8.9% the inability to juggle families and jobs, 0.3% insufficient housing space and 0.3% citing the lack of child service, while 57.8% said it was a personal choice.

The report also looked at the cost of having children and calculated that a child accounted for 35.3% of a household budget.

Looking at the economic crisis, the report found that 16.4% of Italian families were below the poverty line, 18% were just above and 37.2% said they had trouble making it to the end of the month, while 22.4% said they sometimes had trouble, 5.3% had little trouble and 0.8% said they had no trouble at all.

It's true, Italy’s birth rate is quite pathetic.

Despite all our crappy problems, we know how to enjoy life (well, maybe a little too much). We know how to appreciate beauty (both natural and man-made) and our wonderful food. Most of all, we have warm and supportive family relationships. So where does it all go wrong? With Italian women...

The culture of Italy which is traditional, religiously oriented, family-oriented, and also very consumer-oriented does NOT encourage the having of kids because it hasn't helped the typical Italian family adapt to the modern economy. In other words, it does not provide support for Italian women who want to work...thus delaying marriage.

One morning in 2003, in an effort to stop the decline, a labor and welfare minister woke up and proposed the dazzling idea of offering cash for children. The government offered 1000 Euros to every woman who had a second child. The ridiculous bonus was paid to only 190,000 women. The program failed miserably and the minister went back to bed.

Be that as it may, we think the other leading causes of low birth rate in Italy could possibly be the following:
- Not having sex,
- Ugly spouses,
- Cold water.

"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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