06/23/10 Salmon and Spinach Tart

"A ogni uccello il suo nido bello." (To every bird, his own nest is beautiful. There's no place like home.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Gorgonzola Sauce
  -Lentil and Leek Soup
  -Salmon and Spinach Tart

"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: Gorgonzola Sauce

Gorgonzola Sauce
Salsa al Gorgonzola


11 oz (300 grams) mild Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
3 and 1/2 oz (100 ml) whole milk or 2 tablespoons single cream
1 tablespoon grated horseradish
Salt and pepper


Cream the Gorgonzola cheese in a bowl, then gradually beat in the cream or milk.

When the mixture has a creamy texture, season with salt and pepper and add the grated horseradish.

Mix well and serve. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Lentil and Leek Soup

Lentil and Leek Soup
Zuppa di Lenticchie e Porri


1 lb and 2 oz (500 grams) cooked lentils, drained
3 slices pancetta, cut into thin strips
1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 milk bread slices
Freshly ground black pepper


Put the pancetta into a saucepan and cook over a low heat until tender.

Add the lentils and cook for another 10 minutes.

Transfer half the mixture to a food processor and process to a puree.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan.

Add the leek and cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes until lightly browned.

Remove the leek from the pan and add the slices of bread.

Cook until golden brown on both sides.

Put the slices of bread and the leek into four soup plates and ladle in the puree and the lentils.

Season with a pinch freshly ground black pepper and serve. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Salmon and Spinach Tart

Salmon and Spinach Tart
Crostata di Salmone e Spinaci


4 salmon fillets
2 and 1/4 lbs (1 kg) spinach
1 and 1/2 oz (40 grams) butte (plus extra for greasing)
2 oz (50 grams) plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
18 fl oz (500 ml) whole milk
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) Gruyre (or Swiss or Gouda) cheese, grated
3 and 1/2 fl oz (100 ml) double cream
7 oz (200 grams) Pate Brisee, thawed if frozen
Salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 160C (325F) Gas Mark 3.

Grease a quiche or tart tin with butter.

Place the salmon in a saucepan, add water to cover and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil.

Lower the heat and poach for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the spinach, in just water clinging to its leaves after washing, for 5 minutes.

Drain well, squeezing out as much liquid as possible, and chop.

Drain the salmon, reserving 1/2 pint (300 ml) of the cooking liquid, and flake.

Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour, milk, reserved cooking liquid, nutmeg, and thyme and season with salt and pepper.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese, cream, spinach, and salmon.

Roll out the pate brisee into a round on a lightly floured surface and line the prepared tin.

Prick the base all over with a fork, line with baking parchment and fill with baking beans.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove the beans and parchment.

Spoon in the spinach and salmon mixture, roll over the pastry edges slightly and prick with a fork.

Increase the oven temperature to 180C (350F) Gas Mark 4 and bake for another 30 minutes. Serve warm. Serves 6.

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:

Berlusconi Ruins Another Bed

London - February 26, 2010 - Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi bought a bed once owned by his hero Napoleon and asked for it to be widened.

The playboy PM snapped up the "priceless" four-poster bed, complete with canopy and bronze eagle heads, from an antiques dealer pal. But he immediately demanded it be enlarged to accommodate a king-size mattress.

Annamaria Quattrini, who sold him the bed, said: "Silvio is a very dear friend. I have known him for 25 years and met him when he came into my shop looking for a desk for his villa.

"For its symbolic value, I would say the most important piece I have ever sold him was a bed that belonged to Napoleon, naturally in the style of an emperor.

"It had a large canopy, bronze fittings and eagles on the four corners it's beautiful and I hope he has sweet dreams on it.

"But it caused us our first argument because he wanted it widened."

Ms Quattrini, whose shop is in the center of Rome, refused to say how much the perma-tanned billionaire media tycoon paid for the bed but said it was "priceless".

She added: "When the bed was delivered as he requested he was delighted and he gave me a kiss and said it was beautiful. He is a real charmer but nothing happened between us."

Berlusconi's family newspaper, il Giornale, reported the bed was for his new house at Lesmo near Milan. Berlusconi has often compared himself to Napoleon and Italian newspaper cartoons often illustrate him as the tiny French emperor.

During a TV interview in 2006, Berlusconi said: "Only Napoleon did more than me, but at least I am taller than him."

And last year his long-suffering wife Veronica Lario, 53, who is divorcing him, said he was "inspired by the spirit of the Emperor Napoleon". One Napoleonic historian in Rome, who asked not to be named, said she would be "horrified" if Berlusconi had altered the 200-year-old bed.

She said: "It is a piece of history."

Giulia Gorgone, of the Napoleon Museum in Rome, said: "Pieces of furniture owned or used by Napoleon are few and far between, but some do exist.

"We often get to hear about them but we can never buy them as they are so expensive."

Last year escort Patrizia D'Addario, 42, revealed she had been paid to spend the night with Berlusconi and described how she had slept in a "four poster bed with drapes" that Vladimir Putin had given him. Ms D'Addario described how several escorts girls had been invited to orgies held at Berlusconi's official residence in Rome, Palazzo Grazioli.

We wonder if our readers are aware Italy gave birth to Berlusconi and Napoleon (he was born on the island of Corsica and his family originated from Italian nobility). Italy spawned them. IT CREATED THEM!

"Minchia", it’s too late again. We can't abandon a lonely child who's more irresponsible than himself.

"Only Napoleon did more than me, but at least I am taller than him." No, he isn't. It's a popular myth that Napoleon was short, in fact the little crackpot was 5'6 ft tall which was average height for the time. But Silvio is on record as fluctuating between 5'4 and 5'6 ft tall...depending on the lifts in his shoes and the relative humidity for the day.

When two megalomaniacs ramble:

Napoleon: "France has more need of me than I have need of France."
Silvio: "I am the Jesus Christ of politics. I am a patient victim, I sacrifice myself for everyone." (2006 campaign rally)

Napoleon: "If you want a thing done well, do it yourself."
Silvio: "Do it my way and earn more money." (2003, when asked for advice for Italians trying to escape poverty)

Napoleon: "The French complain of everything, and always."
Silvio: "They have lost their minds; they really have come to the end of the line, indeed they have gone beyond it." (2005, on those who criticized him for making a joke about AIDS)

Napoleon: "In politics... never retreat, never retract... never admit a mistake."
Silvio: "They're not gaffes. I've made no gaffes." (2008, on his gaffes)

Napoleon: "From sublime to ridiculousness there is only one step."

Don't look now but there's a chuckle-faced nitwit who's one step away from doing something ridiculous with an 'escort' in your expensive bed.

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