07/09/08 Grilled Chicken with Arugula and Lemon Vinaigrette from OreganoFromItaly.com

"Meglio un uovo oggi che una gallina domani." (Better an egg today than a hen tomorrow.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Pasta con Ragu di Vitello, Salsiccia e Porcini
  -Bistecca ai Ferri con Rucola e Parmigiano
  -Pollo alla Griglia con Arugula e Vinaigrette al Limone

Enjoy the recipes and the complimentary news article report from "Only In Italy.com".

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Pasta con Ragu di Vitello, Salsiccia e Porcini

Pasta con Ragu di Vitello, Salsiccia e Porcini
Pasta with Veal, Sausage and Porcini Ragu


1 cup water
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms*
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, peeled, finely chopped
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
8 ounces sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
8 ounces veal stew meat, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dry red wine
28 ounces chicken broth

One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes in juice
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, lightly crushed

1 lb fresh pappardelle or purchased fettuccine
Freshly grated Parmigiano cheese


Bring 1 cup water and mushrooms to boil in small saucepan. Remove from heat. Let stand 15 minutes.

Strain soaking liquid through paper-towel-lined sieve into bowl.

Coarsely chop mushrooms. Set liquid and mushrooms aside.

Heat olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add onion, carrot, 1/4 cup parsley and garlic.

Saute until vegetables are tender but not brown, about 5 minutes.

Push vegetables to side of skillet. Add sausage and cook until brown, breaking up with back of fork, about 4 minutes.

Add veal and saute until brown, about 5 minutes.

Add wine. Increase heat to high and boil until wine is almost evaporated, about 5 minutes.

Add 1 cup chicken broth; boil 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add reserved mushroom liquid. Simmer until liquid is almost absorbed, about 5 minutes.

Transfer mixture to processor.

Using about 4 on/off turns, process just until coarsely chopped. Return mixture to skillet.

Mix in tomatoes with juices, bay leaves, sage, fennel seeds and porcini mushrooms.

Reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered until sauce thickens, breaking up tomatoes with fork, adding remaining chicken broth 1/2 cup at a time and stirring occasionally, about 1 hour.

Season with salt and pepper. (Ragý can be made 2 days ahead. Cool slightly.

Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled.)

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente', stirring occasionally. Drain.

Add sauce to pasta pot and rewarm over medium heat.

Add pasta and toss to combine. Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons parsley. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Note: *Dried porcini mushrooms are available at Italian markets, specialty foods stores and many supermarkets.

That's it!

 Recipe: Bistecca ai Ferri con Rucola e Parmigiano

Bistecca ai Ferri con Rucola e Parmigiano
Grilled Steak with Arugula and Shaved Parmigiano


3 large garlic cloves
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Two 1 and 1/2-lb porterhouse steaks (each about 1 1/2 inches thick)
6 cups loosely packed Arugula (about 4 ounces)

1 2-ounce piece Parmigiano cheese
Lemon wedges


Blend garlic, 2 teaspoons olive oil and black pepper in small food processor (or mash on plate with back of fork) to form paste.

Pat steaks dry with paper towels.

Rub garlic paste over both sides of steaks.

Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes or refrigerate up to 8 hours.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat).

Grill steaks to desired doneness, about 9 minutes per side for medium-rare.

Transfer steaks to cutting board. Let stand 5 minutes.

Cut steaks on slight angle into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

Arrange arugula on platter.

Top with steak slices.

Pour any accumulated juices over steaks; sprinkle with salt.

Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over steaks.

Using vegetable peeler, shave Parmigiano into strips over steaks. Serve with lemon wedges. Makes 4 servings.

That's it!

 Recipe: Pollo alla Griglia con Arugula e Vinaigrette al Limone

Pollo alla Griglia con Arugula e Vinaigrette al Limone
Grilled Chicken with Arugula and Lemon Vinaigrette


4 packed cups baby Arugula leaves
2 packed cups baby spinach leaves
6 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. skinless and boneless chicken breast, cut into 4 pieces
Cooking spray, preferably olive oil


Heat grill to medium-high heat. If using a ridged grill pan indoors, set over high heat until very hot.

In large mixing bowl, combine arugula and spinach. Cover and refrigerate.

In small bowl, whisk lemon juice and salt until salt dissolves. Add ground pepper and whisk in olive oil until combined. Set dressing aside.

One at a time, place each piece of chicken breast between two pieces of wax paper.

Using the flat side of a meat mallet (or bottom of a small, heavy skillet), pound chicken until evenly 1/8-inch thick. If chicken pieces are thick, turning over several times may be necessary.

Coat chicken lightly on both sides with cooking spray. If desired, season lightly with salt and pepper.

Grill chicken until white in center, turning it once, about 3 minutes each side.

While chicken grills, pour dressing over greens. Using tongs, turn until well coated.

To serve, place one piece chicken on each of 4 dinner plates. Mound 1/4 of salad on top of each. Makes 4 servings.

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:

Why Italians Can't Master the English Language

Rome - June 21, 2008 - The chief examiner of Italyís equivalent of A levels has been dismissed over "grave errors" in examination papers, including an English test taken from a Namibian website that critics described as "almost incomprehensible" in places.

Students taking English as part of the maturita exam were given questions on an unlikely text: an online interview by a Yemeni journalist with the German-born owners of a resort at Swakopmund in Namibia. The text, provided for examiners by the State Tourism Institute, was entitled Feel of Home at Villa Wiese - Swakopmund Namibia, described as a "funky guest lodge". It omits definite and indefinite articles and inverted commas, uses have when has is needed, spells budgets as budges and has only a passing acquaintance with good style.

"Pity us poor Italians," said Sergio Perosa, Professor Emeritus of English literature at Venice University. "No wonder so few Italians speak English properly." The errors were spotted by Jean Woodhouse, a veteran teacher of English in Italy who was formerly private tutor to Marina and Piersilvio Berlusconi, the Prime Ministerís children by his first wife.

"If the examiner had been one of my pupils I would have failed him or her," Miss Woodhouse told Corriere della Sera, which published the exam paper with her acid comments. She said that she had only highlighted "the most glaring" errors and infelicities. "Frankly the text should have been thrown in the wastepaper basket."

Students were also asked to explain why the desert was "named as" the West Coast Recreational Area, which Miss Woodhouse corrected to "known" or "called". She also censured the examiner for allowing a sentence beginning with "and" and letting through the tautology "a visit to the Cape Cross Eal Colony is worth a visit" - not to mention failing to spot the missing S in seal.

She was also scathing about a question asking candidates to describe similar places they had visited "using your imagination", when the places were presumably either real or imagined, but not both. Miss Woodhouse scrawled furiously at the end: Gravamente insufficiente! ("Seriously inadequate!") Professor Perosa said that the text had been taken off the web unchecked, and as a result the exam was couched in "a kind of pseudo-English, or what was once called pidgin English. Even the average waiter in Venice speaks English more correctly than this."

Mariastella Gelmini, the Education Minister, said: "I apologize to the students, even though I am not directly responsible for the errors."

"Che cazzo significa, funky guest lodge?" "Vaffanculo, this exam is a festival of ignorance."

Sta pippa, what a mess! Only Siegfried and Roy can clean up the Italian public school system.

Look, we're the furthest things from Oxford professors, but watching a typical Italian high school student do a simple math problem makes you want to run out of the classroom and drive your scooter off a cliff.

Basically achievements in a typical school course are measured by a year-end examination ("esame di profitto"). Most such exams are oral, which can be frustrating and intimidating, and are graded from 0 to 10 by three incredibly brilliant and compassionate examiners who majored in olive picking or astrology.

What? Che cosa?
You need a pencil?
Who do you think you are, Macchiavelli?

Our grandfather says kids are stupid today because they don't go to school.

"They're always on a plane, they go to Monte Carlo, they go to Paris!"
"When do they go to school? Those imbeciles!"

(The kids are going to Monte Carlo instead of school!?)

We asked our grandfather if he went to school:

"I went to school until I was 13 years old, after that my father said it was over!"
"You are not too bright; you have to go to work because you are not going to be a genius!"
"Go to work and produce something!"
"And he was right!"

(You know, if you read between the lunacy, our grandfather makes a lot of good points.)

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