07/10/07 Chicken Tonnato D'Este from OreganoFromItaly.com

"Sposa bagnata, sposa fortunate." (Rain on the day you get married brings good luck.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Risotto Castagne Con Erbe
  -Baccala alla Vicentina
  -Pollo Tonnato D'Este

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

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

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 Recipe: Risotto Castagne Con Erbe

Risotto Castagne Con Erbe
Chestnut Risotto With Herbs


2 cups (500 grams) chestnuts
1.5 cups (400 grams) rice
5 ounces (150 grams) sausages
1 spring onion
2 tablespoons single cream
1 tbs (20 grams) butter
3.5 tbs (70 grams) Parmigiano cheese, grated
1 bay leaf
1 cloves
Stock or stock cube


Peel the chestnuts and boil them in lightly salted water containing one bay leaf and a few cloves. When they are well cooked, take them off the stove and remove the inside skins.

Put aside 15 of the nicest looking, whole chestnuts and rub the others through a sieve. Brown the very finely sliced spring onion in a little butter, and add the chestnut puree, the cream and the rice. Cook the risotto, using the hot stock.

Take a small frying pan and brown the crumbled sausage in the remaining butter for a few minutes. Add the whole chestnuts which were put aside, turn the heat down to its lowest setting and simmer for a short time.

When the rice is ready, season it with the parmesan cheese, arrange it in a ring shape on a round serving dish, and put the sausage and whole chestnuts with their sauce in the middle. Serves 6.

That's it!

 Recipe: Baccala alla Vicentina

Baccala alla Vicentina
Vicenza Style Cod Fish


1 lb stockfish (dry cod)
2 fresh anchovies, unsalted, skinless and boneless
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 tbs fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
1 and 1/4 cups onions, sliced
1 cup milk
2 cups extra virgin olive oil
Salt (a pinch)
Fresh ground black pepper


Cod should be cleaned, skinless and boneless. If using salted stockfish, pre-soak in cold running water for at least 24 hours, and wash pieces individually every 8 hours. Anchovies should be fresh or defrosted frozen.

Saute onions in olive oil until transparent.

In a bowl, mix the parsley, garlic and anchovies.

With a fork, spread some of the mixture on each piece of fish, sprinkle with cheese and roll up.

Slice rolls into pieces about 1 and 1/2 inches wide and coat in flour mixed with a little cheese and pepper. Shake off excess.

Place fish bits in an oiled shallow roasting pan and cover with sauteed onions. Season with salt and pepper, add milk and bake in oven preheated to 140 C (275F) for 4 hours, turning fish occasionally and adding olive oil if necessary. Remove from oven, top with more parsley and serve immediately. Serves 4.

That's it!

 Recipe: Pollo Tonnato D'Este

Pollo Tonnato D'Este
Chicken Tonnato D'Este


4 and 1/4 cups chicken stock
6 chicken breast halves, skinned
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup dry white wine
4 flat anchovy fillets
1 tb oil from anchovies
1 can water packed tuna, (7 oz.), drained
2 tb lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1 tb capers, drained (garnish)
2 tb chopped fresh parsley (garnish)
1 lemon, sliced (garnish)
Salt and pepper to taste


Bring 4 cups of chicken stock to a boil in a covered saucepan.

Poach chicken breasts for 15 minutes and allow to cool in the stock.

For the tonnato sauce, in a blender or processor, combine the mayonnaise, wine, 1/2 cup stock, anchovies, oil from anchovies, tuna, lemon juice and oregano and process until well blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Remove bones from chicken breasts and cut meat into 1/2" thick slices.

Layer on serving platter, so that they overlap slightly. Pour tonnato sauce over all.

Sprinkle capers and parsley on top and garnish with lemon slices. Serve cold or at room temperature. Serves 6.

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:

Old Farmers Defeat Russian Ninja

Rovigo - June 12 - Two elderly Italian farmers have ended the reign of terror of a bow-and-arrow-wielding Russian 'ninja' bandit who spread fear across northeastern Italy for weeks.

Police had been vainly scouring the countryside for the black-clad villain, his head wrapped in a black bandana, a powerful bow in one hand and a knife strapped behind one leg. The sinister figure struck isolated farms at dusk, forcing farmers to hand over cash and valuables at arrow-point. Victims were usually so afraid that they didn't report the attack until the next day.

The ninja's spree ended after his sixth raid on Monday night, when the feisty oldsters gave him more than he'd bargained for after he smashed down a door and leaped into their house. Undaunted by the fearsome intruder, 73-year-old Luigi Zampieri started shouting at him to get out. His brother Giovanni, 71, ran down the stairs with his hunting rifle and took a tumble on the last step that let off a shot, scaring the ninja off.

"The fellow took fright and ran away, slipping on the broken glass from the door, then hopped on a bicycle and went hell-for-leather through the cornfields, riding his bike as if it were a horse," Giovanni said.

"I took another potshot at him for good measure". "In situations like that you get all your old strength back".

Police raced to the scene and trailed the robber to an abandoned farmhouse where he gave himself up without a fight. As well as his bow and knife, police found three daggers in a knapsack along with a night scope he used to scout targets and a head-torch for breaking into unlit premises.

The man was identified as Igor Vaclavic, 32, a former infantryman in the Russian army.

Quizzed by police about his chosen get-up and weapons, Vaclavic claimed to have been "inspired by my idol Robin Hood".

A police inspector said: "I've seen a lot of things in my long career but this takes the cake".

"Ninja Robin Hood?! Ma Vaffanculo!"

As if farmer Luigi and his trusty sidekick, Giovanni, haven't gone through enough in their lives (Nazis, Mussolini, Mafia, floods, droughts, missing vegetables). Now, you deal with confused and drunk Russians riding bicycles through cornfields at night. It can't be possible that so much was lost in the Russian translations of Errol Flynn movies.

Most farmers like Luigi and Giovanni are tough, rugged and quiet people but this experience must have slightly changed the expressions on their stone faces. It's a miracle Giovanni didn't throw out his hip on that last step!

Of course, the possibility of something wacky like this happening again are 1 in a 16 in Italy (depending which insane province you're from) but, rest assure, reasoning will not stop them from keeping the farm animals locked in and circling the farm house with tractors, cars and donkey carts like covered wagons.

"Ah! You never know!"
"Today, Russian ninjas, tomorrow, Chinese Zorro!"

And who the hell is going to believe this story at the town piazza?

A revolting stampede from fed-up sheep is more believable!

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