06/01/11 Herbed Lamb Chops In Red Wine Sauce

"Il bugiardo vuole buona memoria." (The liar needs a good memory.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Grilled Panzanella Salad with Bell Peppers, Squash, and Tomatoes
  -Herbed Lamb Chops In Red Wine Sauce
  -Amaretto Zabaglione

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Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Grilled Panzanella Salad with Bell Peppers, Squash, and Tomatoes

Grilled Panzanella Salad with Bell Peppers, Squash, and Tomatoes
Insalata di Panzanella alla Griglia con Peperoni, Zucca e Pomodori


For the Salad:
1 and 1/2 pounds assorted bell peppers (about 3 large), cut into 1 and 1/2-inch wide strips
1 and 1/2 pounds assorted summer squash, cut lengthwise into 1/3-inch thick slices
1 medium-size red onion, cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds
One 12 to 14-ounce loaf of good-quality crusty Italian or French bread, some crust trimmed to expose bread, cut crosswise into 1-inch thick slices
Extra-virgin olive oil

For the Dressing:
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound tomatoes, cored, cut into 3/4-inch dice, juices reserved
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup coarsely chopped assorted fresh herbs (such as chives, dill, chervil, and tarragon)
2 tablespoons drained capers


Prepare the Salad:
Prepare barbecue (medium heat).

Brush both sides of bell peppers, squash, onion, and bread slices lightly with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Grill vegetables until tender and brown, about 4 minutes per side for peppers and squash and 3 minutes per side for onion.

Grill bread until browned and crisp, turning occasionally, about 4 minutes.

Cool slightly.

Rub bread with cut sides of garlic.

Tear bread into 3/4-inch pieces; place in very large bowl.

Cut grilled vegetables into 1-inch pieces; add to bread in bowl.

Prepare the Dressing:
Whisk first 3 ingredients in small bowl to blend.

Gradually whisk in 1/3 cup olive oil.

Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Add dressing, tomatoes with juices, and all remaining ingredients to salad; toss.

Let stand 20 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper. Serves 8.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Herbed Lamb Chops In Red Wine Sauce

Herbed Lamb Chops In Red Wine Sauce
Costolette di Agnello alle Erbe in Vino Rosso


For the Sauce:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 pounds lamb neck stew meat or lamb riblets
1 pound onions, coarsely chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
4 and 1/3 cups Pinot Noir or other dry red wine
3 cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons all purpose flour

For the Lamb:
1 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
Three 1 and 1/2-pound well-trimmed 8-rib racks of lamb


Prepare the Sauce:
Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat.

Add lamb and saute until deep brown, turning occasionally, about 18 minutes.

Using tongs, transfer lamb to bowl.

Add onions, carrot, garlic, and herbes de Provence to pot.

Saute until vegetables are deep brown, about 8 minutes.

Add wine and broth to pot; return lamb and any accumulated juices to pot.

Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer uncovered 1 and 1/2 hours.

Strain into large bowl, pressing on solids in strainer to release all stock.

Spoon off any fat from surface of stock; return stock to same large pot.

Simmer until reduced to 1 and 1/3 cups, about 15 minutes.

Mix butter and flour in small bowl to smooth paste.

Whisk paste into stock.

Simmer sauce until slightly thickened and smooth, whisking constantly, about 1 minute longer.

Season with salt and pepper.

Prepare the Lamb:
Stir fresh herbs and pepper in medium bowl to blend.

Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and mix until herbs are sticking together.

Sprinkle lamb racks with salt.

Firmly press 1/3 of herb mixture over rounded side of each rack to cover.

Preheat oven to 350F.

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

Add 1 lamb rack to skillet, herbed side down.

Saute until browned, about 4 minutes.

Turn rack over and saute until browned, about 3 minutes.

Place rack, herbed side up, on rimmed baking sheet.

Repeat, fitting remaining racks on same sheet.

Roast lamb until thermometer inserted into center registers 135F for medium-rare, about 25 minutes.

Let lamb rest on sheet 15 to 20 minutes.

Cut lamb between bones into individual chops.

Arrange 3 chops on each plate.

Drizzle with sauce and serve. Serves 8.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Amaretto Zabaglione

Amaretto Zabaglione


6 large egg yolks
1/3 cup amaretto or other almond liqueur
3 tablespoons superfine or regular sugar
1/4 cup whipping cream


Whisk egg yolks, amaretto, and sugar in medium metal bowl to blend.

Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water.

Whisk mixture constantly and vigorously until thickened and instant-read thermometer inserted into mixture registers 140F for 3 minutes, about 5 minutes total.

Remove mixture from over water.

Add cream and whisk until incorporated.

Serve warm or chilled. Makes about 1 and 2/3 cups.

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:

Ex-Parmalat CEO Tanzi Stripped Of 'Knight Of Labor' Title

Rome - September 20, 2010 - Disgraced Parmalat founder and ex-CEO Calisto Tanzi was stripped on Monday of the 'Knight of Labor' title he was given in June 1984 for his contribution to Italy.

President Giorgio Napolitano signed the act depriving him of the honor on a recommendation from the industry ministry.

Tanzi is on trial in Parma and Milan for his key role in the 2003 fraudulent bankruptcy of the multinational food conglomerate, considered the biggest financial meltdown in modern European history.

Tanzi is on trial in Parma, the seat of company headquarters, on various charges of fraud and related crimes while in Milan he is being tried for market-rigging and misleading the stock market regulators. He was given a 10-year sentence in Milan for market-rigging in December, a sentence which was then confirmed by an appeals court in May.

Tanzi's defense has always been that he was manipulated by banks which, while aware of the group's dire finances, forced him to make acquisitions and issue more bonds so they could recover their loans to the multinational. Parmalat was declared bankrupt in December 2003 after it emerged that four billion euros it supposedly held in an offshore Bank of America account did not in fact exist.

The case escalated, eventually leading to Parmalat's collapse amid debts of some 14.5 billion euros and a fraud scandal which rocked the Italian financial world.

Investigators found that from 1990 until 2002 Parmalat lost money every year except one but nonetheless reported uninterrupted profits and routinely forged documents in order to deceive banks and regulators.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission called the case "one of the largest and most brazen corporate financial frauds in history". Parmalat's bankruptcy - dubbed 'Europe's Enron' - left more than 150,000 investors with virtually worthless bonds.

Parmalat has since been put back on its feet by corporate turnaround expert Enrico Bondi who, first as government-appointed administrator and later as official CEO, shed the group's non-core activities, cut foreign activities and reduced staff.

"Ma vacagare!" You know, whenever I see Parmalat milk in a supermarket I put my hand over my wallet.

What honor could you possibly be stripped of in Italy? Hmmm? I know kids in Palermo who could reproduce the titles for Knights of anything for about 20 Euros, a "panino con la milza" (sandwich with fried cow spleen and cheese), and a beer.

The Parmalat Case: How all Italian hell broke loose in December of 2003:

- Doubts arise over Parmalat’s debts, and Fausto Tonna, chief financial officer, resigns. "How much? Sta minchia, I'm out of here. Ciao!"

- Parmalat misses a 150 million Euro bond payment and it emerges that it cannot service its debts. (To the bankers): "Look, we can't service the debt but we can service you in another way. Did I ever show you a photo of my single sister, Calista?

- CEO Tanzi resigns. "I'm just going out for a quick glass of milk. I'll be right back."

- Bank of America says that a document showing 4 billion Euros in Bonlat's account is forged. "This document is signed by Julius Caesar."

- Parmalat declares bankruptcy, Tanzi is arrested and admits that the hole in Parmalat’s accounts is several billions of Euros. "Ok, va bene. We don't have 4 billion. We've lost 8 billion. So sorry. Mi dispiace."

- Inquiry reveals that the real debt is 14 billion Euros. "It's 8 billion Euros, give or take 6 billion! Ok?! Vaffanculo!"

What a "disgraziato"! Calisto should be forced to drink powdered milk without water for the rest of his life.

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