06/20/12 Linguine with Asparagus, Leeks, and Portobello Mushrooms

"Meglio sola che male accompagnata." (Better to be alone than in bad company.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Crostini with Radicchio and Cherry Tomatoes
  -Linguine with Asparagus, Leeks, and Portobello Mushrooms
  -Chocolate Biscotti

"Salve! Come andiamo?" Thanks for reading and being with us! We appreciate the stop for a moment in your busy day to take a look at what Italian recipe could make your kitchen come to life with wonderful sights and aromas. Enjoy the summer and this week's recipes!

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Crostini with Radicchio and Cherry Tomatoes

Crostini with Radicchio and Cherry Tomatoes
Crostini con Radicchio e Pomodorini


1 head of radicchio, core removed, sliced
4-5 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 clove of garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper
Soft cheese (ex. stracchino)
Sliced French bread


In a frying pan heat 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil and gently fry the clove of garlic.

Once brown, remove garlic.

Raise the heat, add radicchio, season with salt & pepper and saute for 3-4 minutes as the radicchio will reduce a bit.

Add the cherry tomatoes and lower the heat to medium-low.

Gently cook everything, letting the tomatoes wilt about for 10 minutes. It may be necessary to add a spoonful or two of water if it looks like its drying out.

Taste & check for salt & pepper.

Turn off heat & allow to cool.

Add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil over the top & mix in.

Toast the bread slices.

Spread layer of soft cheese & spoonful of radicchio mixture.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Linguine with Asparagus, Leeks, and Portobello Mushrooms

Linguine with Asparagus, Leeks, and Portobello Mushrooms
Linguine con Asparagi, Porri e Funghi Portobello


2 large Portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 pound asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 large leeks, sliced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, sliced
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons cream cheese, room temperature
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
8 ounces linguine pasta, cooked and kept warm
1 teaspoon kosher salt


Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a wide pan over medium high heat.

Once hot, add the garlic and leeks and cook approximately 1-2 minutes.

Stir often to keep the garlic from burning.

Add the Portobello mushrooms, tossing to coat in the olive oil and garlic, cooking for another 2-3 minutes.

Stir in the asparagus, along with the lemon juice, cream cheese and butter.

Continue cooking until the asparagus begins to soften up but still maintains a bit of crispiness, about 4-6 minutes.

Toss the linguine into the pan, in addition to the remaining olive oil and salt.

Combine everything well and serve immediately. Serves 6.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Chocolate Biscotti

Chocolate Biscotti
Biscotti al Cioccolato


1 cup (125 grams) almonds, toasted and very coarsely-chopped
3/4 cups (120 grams) chocolate chips
2 cups (280 grams) flour
3/4 cups (75 grams) cocoa powder
4 large eggs
1 cup (200 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350F (180C) degrees.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, beat together the 3 eggs, sugar, and vanilla & almond extracts.

Gradually stir in the dry ingredients.

Mix in the nuts and the chocolate chips until the dough holds together.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Divide the dough in half.

Form each half into a log.

Transfer the logs onto the baking sheet, evenly spaced apart.

Bake for about 25 minutes, until the dough feels firm to the touch.

Remove pan from the oven and cool 15 minutes.

On a cutting board, use a serrated knife to diagonally cut the cookies into 1/2-inches slices.

Lay the cookies cut side down on baking sheets and return to the oven for 15 minutes, turning the baking sheet midway during baking, until the cookies feel mostly firm.

Once baked, cool the cookies completely then store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

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:

Special Italian Company To Continue Oil Imports From Iran...Because It's Special

Rome - March 25, 2012 - Italy's biggest oil company, Eni, obtained a special exemption from oil sanctions against Iran, which enables it to continue receiving Iranian crude despite the EU oil embargos on Tehran, an official said.

The company's CEO Paolo Scaroni told reporters on Friday that the company has obtained a special exemption from the sanctions which enables it to continue receiving Iranian crude despite the EU oil embargo on Iran.

"The amount is in a range of 1.0-1.4 billion USD," he was quoted by a national paper as saying.

Scaroni added that Eni was exempt from the embargo since it was the subject of a "special rule" granted by both the United States and the EU based on which the oil it receives from Iran is considered as the payment for the investments it has already carried out.

He stated that under the agreement, Eni will receive about 10,000 barrels per day of crude oil from Iran.

"The loss of Iranian imports can be painful for the Italian refining sector, which has been traditionally heavily dependent on Russian Urals crude and Iranian oil," Scaroni said.

Italy's crude imports from Iran accounted for 13.7 percent of the country's total oil imports last year, when Iran was Italy's fourth-biggest oil supplier, according to data from the country's oil refining industry body, Unione Petrolifera.

After months of debates, the EU member states eventually reached an agreement in their meeting on January 23 to sanction oil imports from Iran and freeze the assets of Iran's Central Bank within the EU.

Don't you love the way we can get away with just about everything? "Si", we're special.

There's no doubt the USA and the European Union express anger behind our backs on a daily basis with our incompetence, jealousies, ignorance and unwillingness to do our part of the work. But we put on that smirk, lay on the charm, bring out the dish of antipasto with a bottle of Chianti and all is forgotten.

It's like falling in love with a prostitute. "Porca puttana", it's annoying and irritating, but it's almost impossible to get away from her. "Si", she's special.

Have you ever had to deal with our magnificent race? Of course you have otherwise, you wouldn't be reading this moronic newsletter. We know exactly how you feel.

Italians observe, reflect, choose, change their minds, choose again, eliminate, accept, whine, and protest...while the rest of Europe just smiles. EU leaders take advantage of the moment to ask themselves what the meaning of life is and check to see if the financial markets are holding out. "Si", we're special.

It's called "clientelismo", our beloved disciples. The culture of looking after your friends and family, and keeping outsiders out of the loop.

Go ahead, go get Kissinger to help intermediate...and we'll continue swinging that hula hoop around for another half an hour. "Si", we're special.

"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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