06/29/11 Panelle

"Donna che piange, uomo che giura, cavallo che suda, tutta impostura." (A woman who cries, a man who swears, a horse that sweats, all imposture.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Chickpea Fritters
  -Gorgonzola Tartlets
  -Potato Gnocchi

All of us at the farm are grateful for your participation with us through this newsletter. Thanks for everything you're doing and we'll continue to find recipes to help your kitchen shine. Please share this newsletter, if you found it useful. Have a great summer season and enjoy this week's recipes.

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Chickpea Fritters

Chickpea Fritters


3 cups water
2 cups chickpea flour
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
2 and 1/4 to 2 and 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Special equipment:
Parchment paper
Deep-fat thermometer


Lightly oil an 8 by 4-inch loaf pan (6-cup capacity) and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang at each end.

Whisk together water, chickpea flour, sea salt, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 2 and 1/2 to 3-quart heavy saucepan until smooth, then cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon (to prevent lumps from forming), until very thick and mixture pulls away from side of pan, 20 to 25 minutes.

Transfer mixture to loaf pan, smoothing top.

Cool, uncovered, then chill, surface of mixture covered with plastic wrap, until firm, at least 3 hours.

Lift chickpea block out of pan using parchment and transfer to a work surface.

Gently flip over block and discard parchment, then pat dry.

Cut block crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices for panelle.

Preheat oven to 300F.

Heat 1/2 inch olive oil (about 2 cups) in a deep 10-inch heavy skillet until it registers 375F on thermometer, then fry panelle in 5 batches, carefully turning occasionally with tongs, until golden and puffed, 3 to 5 minutes per batch, and transfer to paper towels to drain.

Keep warm on a baking sheet in oven while frying remaining batches.

Arrange panelle on a platter and sprinkle with parsley and cheese.

Serve immediately. Makes 10 servings.

Note: Panelle can be fried 4 hours ahead and kept, uncovered, at room temperature.

Reheat on a baking sheet in a preheated 350F oven 10 to 15 minutes.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Gorgonzola Tartlets

Gorgonzola Tartlets
Tartine di Gorgonzola


35-50 Pate Brisee tartlet cases
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) Gorgonzola cheese
7 oz (200 grams) mascarpone cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Salt and pepper

Walnut halves and/or pistachio nuts (for garnishing)


Beat together the mascarpone and Gorgonzola cheeses in a bowl, then stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper.

To serve, spoon the cheese mixture into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and fill the pastry cases with the mixture.

Garnish each tartlet with a walnut half and a pistachio. Makes 35-50 tartlets.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Potato Gnocchi

Potato Gnocchi
Gnocchi di Patate


2 and 1/4 lbs (1 kg) potatoes
1 egg, lightly beaten
7 oz (200 grams) plain flour, plus extra for dusting


Steam the potatoes for about 20-25 minutes or until tender.

Mash with a potato masher while they are still hot.

Stir in the egg, flour, and a pinch of salt and knead to a soft, elastic dough (note: if there is too much flour, the gnocchi will be hard; if there is too much potato, they tend to disintegrate while cooking).

Shape the dough into long rolls just over 2/3 inch (1.5 cm) in diameter and cut into 3/4 inch (2 cm) lengths.

Press them gently against the underside of a grater and arrange on a tea towel dusted with flour.

Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to a boil, add the gnocchi, a few at a time, and remove with a slotted spoon as they rise to the surface.

Drain, put on a warm serving dish and pour your choice of sauce over them. 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:

Clocks in Sicily Running Too Fast For Comfort

Messina - June 11, 2011 - For over a week digital clocks and watches in Sicily are complicating their owners by running more than 15 minutes fast, local media said.

The mysterious time changes caught the attention of two young locals, who set up a Facebook page calling for those affected to come forward.

One of the young men, Francesco Nicosia, told French online magazine Rue89 "I realized something was wrong when I started getting to work earlier. After some investigation I noticed that I wasn't the only one who was on time, which is quite rare here in Sicily."

Explanations involving aliens, poltergeists, volcanic activity on Mount Etna and solar explosions have been put forward. Among the most credible explanations is electrical disturbance caused by underwater cables.

Aliens? "Oh, minchia, where?!"
Poltergeist? "Porca puttana, they're here..."

Believe us, there is nothing more entertaining than watching Sicilians who pace themselves like slugs, get to work 15 minutes early, and think they've entered the Twilight Zone.

"Explanations involving aliens, poltergeists, volcanic activity on Mount Etna and solar explosions..." Is it a coincidence these explanations are also used as excuses by Sicilians for taking the day off?

"...clocks and watches in Sicily are complicating their owners by running more than 15 minutes fast." Yes, complications. You can't have Sicilians showing up early at their public state office jobs. What will the citizens think? It's already inspiring enough watching them work...sort of like watching the making of "Fantasia".

Ah, la Sicilia (like other Southern Italian regions), where 3 employees are hired for each public service job. The first guy, Moe, complains all day about how a solar explosion got him out of bed early. Larry's job is to watch Moe do a half-ass job while Curly stands around with that blank look on his face.

"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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 Italian humor and news; visit and subscribe today and feed your sense of intellectual superiority by reading and wondering how Italy still survives after 56 governments in 50 years!
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