06/24/09 Trout with Mushrooms and Mussels

"Campa cavallo, che l'erba cresce." (Be alive horse, because grass grows. While the horse starves, the grass grows.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Warm Mushroom Salad
  -Tomatoes Stuffed with Tuna
  -Trout with Mushrooms and Mussels

Enjoy the recipes and have a happy and healthy summer season!

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Warm Mushroom Salad

Warm Mushroom Salad
Funghi In Insalata Tiepida


For the Salad:
7 oz (200 grams) lamb's lettuce
14 oz (400 grams) button or chestnut mushrooms, sliced
2 oz (50 grams) speck, cut into strips
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove
Salt and pepper

For the Vinaigrette Salad Dressing:
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Prepare the Dressing:
Whisk a generous pinch of salt into the vinegar in a bowl.

Add the olive oil and whisk well.

Prepare the Salad:
Heat the olive oil in a pan.

Add the mushrooms, garlic and speck and cook over a high heat for about 2-3 minutes.

Lower the heat, remove and discard the garlic and season with salt and pepper.

Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool slightly.

Divide the lamb's lettuce among four plates and add the vinaigrette dressing.

Place the mushrooms and speck in the middle of each plate and serve immediately. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Tomatoes Stuffed with Tuna

Tomatoes Stuffed with Tuna
Pomodori Ripieni di Tonno


4 tomatoes
4 salted anchovies
7 oz (200 grams) canned tuna in oil, drained
1 tablespoon capers, drained and rinsed
4 fl oz (120 ml) low fat natural yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
5-6 fresh chives, coarsely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon, strained
Salt and pepper
Fresh basil leaves, to garnish


To fillet the whole salted anchovies, cut off the head and tails, and press along the backbones with your thumb.

Soak in cold water for 10 minutes and drain.

Cut off the tops of the tomatoes and scoop out the tomato seeds and flesh, reserving the flesh.

Sprinkle the 'shells' with salt and turn upside down on kitchen paper to drain for 1 hour.

Place the tomato flesh in a strainer and leave to drain.

Chop the anchovy fillets and put them with the tuna, capers, yogurt, parsley, chives and lemon juice in a blender.

Process, then add the tomato flesh, season with salt and pepper and process again until thoroughly combined.

Spoon the mixture into the tomato shells, garnish with basil leaves and keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Trout with Mushrooms and Mussels

Trout with Mushrooms and Mussels
Trota con Funghi e Cozze


1 oz (25 grams) butter, plus extra for greasing
1 oz (25 grams) dried mushrooms
4 small trout, cleaned
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme olive oil, for brushing
1/2 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
12 fl oz (350 ml) dry white wine
12 mussels
Salt and pepper


Scrub the mussels under cold, running water, but not left to soak in water.

Pull off the beards with the help of a short, sharp knife and knock off any barnacles from the shells with the knife handle.

Discard any mussels with broken shells or those that do not shut immediately when sharply tapped.

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) Gas Mark 4.

Grease an ovenproof dish with butter.

Put the mushrooms in a bowl, add warm water to cover and leave to soak.

Season the cavities of the trout with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the thyme.

Brush the fish with olive oil, place in the prepared dish and add the onion, carrot and celery.

Dot with the butter, cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes.

Drain and squeeze out the mushrooms.

Remove the foil from the dish, add the wine and mushrooms and bake for a further 10 minutes.

Add the mussels and bake for a few more minutes to heat through, then serve. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Only In Italy!

"Only In Italy" is a daily news column that translates and 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:

Coca Cola Will Not Take Over Venice

Venice - February 23, 2009 - Coca-Cola is not "buying" Venice, its city council said Monday, reacting to polemics over a planned million-dollar partnership between the drinks giant and the lagoon city.

An Italian daily reported Monday that the city was "selling itself" to Coca-Cola in a 2.1 million-dollar deal that will involve "vending machines in every corner of the city", including St Mark's Square, where tourists are forbidden from picnicking under strict council rules on urban decorum. But Maurizio Calligaro, the council's chief of staff, said the 60 vending machines would not be placed on public soil, let alone near landmarks such as St Mark's.

"Fifteen distributors will be placed on the principal vaporetti landing stages, the others will be inside council carparks and in the limited traffic zone of the mainland. Where's the invasion?" Calligaro said.

He also stressed that the vending machines would not bear the Coca-Cola logo, quashing rumors that the brand name would be plastered all over the city. Venice Mayor Massimo Cacciari, who has long bemoaned a lack of state funds for the upkeep of city monuments and churches, said he was "astounded" by the polemics over the deal, adding that it was no different from others adopted in the past.

"This is a financial strategy that today is simply indispensable for safeguarding our monuments and artistic heritage and is in line with culture ministry guidelines," Cacciari said.

"It follows a strategy we've adopted with other equally prestigious collaborators - Lancia for the restoration of the Ducal Palace, Swatch for the Biblioteca Marciana, Replay for Ca' Rezzonico and Bulgari for the Scala d'Oro".

The mayor added that the idea that Venice could be safeguarded "by philanthropy alone" was unrealistic.

"These idealists who protest against strategies such as (the Coca Cola deal), which by now have been adopted in all the cities of the world, should have the good taste to indicate an alternative, or, even better, provide for the needs of the city from their own pockets," he said.

Cacciari last month warned that Venice's monuments and churches risked falling into ruin because too much state aid is being directed into a controversial project to protect the lagoon city from sinking. The experimental 4.3 billion-euro Moses scheme is scheduled to come into action in 2014 and involves moveable flood barriers that rise from the seabed to block the lagoon from the Adriatic Sea when high tides are forecast.

A longstanding opponent of the costly scheme, Cacciari has warned that there are no guarantees that it will work.

Bob Dylan (When I Paint My Masterpiece):
"Sailin' 'round the world in a dirty gondola"
"Oh, to be back in the land of Coca-Cola!"

"Vaffanculo Bob!"

"Ah, minchia!" Nothing like standing shin-deep in dirty lagoon water paying 5 euros (6.35 USD) for a can of carbonated water with some flavoring and sugar. Well, if one considers the legal fleecing that goes on every day in Venice, what are the alternatives? Harry's Bar?

Harry's Bar is probably the most famous named bar in the world due to its association with people like Ernest Hemingway and Truman Capote. "Cazzo", and who could forget the refined, dignified and grossly overfed Orson Welles who would chug down two bottles of Dom Perignon at one sitting?

Unfortunately, some tourists turn into complete ignorant jackasses and convince themselves they have to go in and have one of their famous "Bellini" concoctions.

"Ah, minchia again!" Nothing like a glass of 3-4 oz of supermarket peach juice and stock sparkling wine for 14 euros (18 USD). And if you're not a jackass enough to order a second round, then the barmen politely point to the flooded piazza outside that awaits you.


One third fresh peach juice,
Two thirds chilled Prosecco sparkling wine.

THE SECRET: Make sure to pour the peach juice into the glass first.

"Huh?! Figlio di puttana..." Disappointing, isn't it?

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