08/03/11 Spicy Veal Involtini

"L' erba del vicino sempre piu verde." (The neighbor's grass is always greener.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Risotto with Spinach and Basil
  -Spicy Veal Involtini
  -Trout with Tarragon Butter

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Risotto with Spinach and Basil

Risotto with Spinach and Basil
Risotto con Spinaci e Basilico


1 and 1/2 cups (loosely packed) fresh baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup (loosely packed) fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup (loosely packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 garlic clove, sliced
2 cups chicken broth
2 and 1/2 cups water

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium leek (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced
1 and 1/2 cups short-grain rice (such as Arborio) or medium-grain rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese plus additional for serving


Blend first 5 ingredients in processor until thick paste forms.

Bring broth and 2 and 1/2 cups water to simmer in saucepan over medium heat.

Reduce heat to very low; cover to keep warm.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat.

Add leek; saute until soft, stirring often, about 10 minutes.

Add rice; stir until heated through, about 3 minutes.

Add wine; simmer until absorbed, stirring often.

Add warm broth mixture 1 cup at a time, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding next and stirring often, until rice is tender but still firm to bite, about 20 minutes.

Cover; remove from heat.

Let stand 3 minutes.

Uncover; stir in herb paste, 1/4 cup Parmigiano cheese, and 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately in warm bowls, passing additional Parmigiano cheese alongside. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Spicy Veal Involtini

Spicy Veal Involtini
Involtini di Vitello Piccante


Twelve 3 to 4-ounce veal scallops
7 tablespoons butter, room temperature, divided
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


Working in batches and using meat mallet, pound veal scallops between sheets of plastic wrap into thin ovals, each about 3 to 4 inches wide.

Sprinkle both sides of scallops lightly with salt.

Mix 4 tablespoons butter and parsley in small bowl.

Spread 1 teaspoon butter mixture evenly over 1 side of each veal scallop.

Starting at short sides, roll up veal, enclosing butter mixture.

Fasten ends of veal scallops with toothpicks to secure.

Spread flour on plate.

Whisk eggs, garlic, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, cinnamon, pepper, cloves, and nutmeg in medium bowl to blend.

Dredge veal scallops in flour; shake off excess.

Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter with olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-low heat until butter foams but is not brown, about 3 minutes.

Turn veal rolls in egg mixture to coat well and add to skillet.

Increase heat to medium-high and cook until rolls are browned on all sides and cooked through, turning frequently, about 10 minutes.

Transfer to work surface; remove toothpicks.

Cut rolls crosswise into slices.

Divide veal involtini among plates and serve. Makes 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Trout with Tarragon Butter

Trout with Tarragon Butter
Trota con Burro Dragoncello


Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1 teaspoon (packed) chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 teaspoon tarragon vinegar

2 whole trout (8 to 9 ounces each), cleaned, boned, butterflied


Preheat oven to 425F.

Spray rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray.

Mix next 4 ingredients in small bowl.

Season butter with salt and pepper.

Place trout, opened flat and skin side down, on prepared sheet.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Spread half of butter over each.

Bake until just opaque in center, about 8 minutes.

Transfer to plates. Makes 2 servings.

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:

Italian President To Stay Awake And Keep An Eye on Amanda Knox Trial

Perugia - June 15, 2011 - Italian president Giorgio Napolitano is following the legal case of American student Amanda Knox who is appealing her conviction for killing her English housemate in 2007 while studying in Italy.

"I am keeping track of developments in this complex story," president Napolitano said through a diplomatic advisor on Tuesday.

He was responding to an open letter from Italian politician Rocco Girlanda, who asked the president to intervene to avoid international controversy over what he claims was an unfair trial.

Girlanda heads Fondazione Italia USA - an organization that aims to strengthen ties between Italy and the United States - and wrote of book on Knox.

Girlanda says prosecutors mishandled the case and is seeking an investigation.

Knox, her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito and African immigrant Rudy Guede were jailed for murdering Knox's housemate Meredith Kercher, a British exchange student in November, 2007.

Knox and Sollecito together return to a Perugia court on 21 June to jointly appeal against the 25 and 26 year prison sentences handed to them for murdering Kercher, who was found semi-naked with her throat slit in the cottage she shared with Knox in Perugia.

Dear Rocco,

Thanks for your letter. The Fondazione Italia USA and Amanda's family may have a chance of seeing this situation end happily if President Giorgio makes an effort to stop wearing socks with sandals and staying awake long enough each day to follow the trial highlights.

"Baci e abbracci", Only In Italy


Dear Presidente Giorgio,

Here are the Sicilian cliff notes on what the hell went wrong with the case and our comical justice system:

1) 11 Italian lawmakers in Silvio Berlusconi's coalition request a probe of the prosecutor's office. (That's called back-peddling alla Parmigiana.)

2) Amanda was a fat high school student, had acne and was more devoted to rock climbing and backpacking than to dating. Her best friend, Madison Paxton, "She's a little dork who doesn't wear matched socks." (Then our cousin, Maurizio, must be unstable as her. He wears mismatched socks but it's hard to tell because they're always dirty.)

3) Sollecito, a gawky, pale 23-year-old with rimless glasses and zero history with women. His father, a rich urologist, had set him up with the apartment in Perugia. But there was a problem...whenever he used the sink, the pipes leaked and water pooled on the floor. Sollecito was so stumped by the puddles that he called his father for advice on how to get rid of them. ("Papa, after you explain how to stop the magic puddles from appearing, please, explain to me...air.")

4) Amanda returned with Sollecito to the apartment and called the "Carabinieri" to report a burglary. Two officers soon arrived. They weren't Carabinieri, however. They were the postal police. (A comatose, high school unit of the state police responsible for investigating crimes like stolen phones and late mail. Imagine what would happen to them if Italy adds 4 new numbers to the zip code.)

5) Italy's jamboree-like judicial process: no order in court, lawyers and defendants constantly interrupting the proceedings with catcalls, groans, and wild hand gesticulations, the press in the peanut gallery whining like soccer fans at the stadium. (Si, we're just a few months away from drinking, belching, and farting in court.)

6) The prosecution's failure to establish motive or intent. "Well, we live in an age of violence with no motive," said one prosecutor. (So true. Cousin Maurizio is battling an ingrown toe nail. We're afraid he might want to wipe out the local bread baker.)

7) According to the prosecutor, Mignini, things are often touched by Satan. In the Monster of Florence serial-killer case of 2001, Mignini proposed that the suicide of a Perugian doctor was actually a murder committed by a satanic cult, practicing since the Middle Ages, that demanded human organs for their Black Masses. He later accused a hostile journalist of Satanism. In the early stages of the Kercher investigation, Mignini suggested that the victim had been slaughtered during a satanic ritual, but in his closing argument, he only went so far as to refer to Knox as a sex-and-drug-crazed "she-devil." (First, you need to stop watching bad Italian horror films and get out more often. Second, it would have made more sense if you claimed a chocolate loving bear committed the murder.)

8) One officer was certain Knox had lied about taking a shower that morning because "she smelled like sex." (Ok, he got us there. What does sex smell like? Whenever "dirty socks" Maurizio returns home from a night of drinking, his breath always smells like Gorgonzola cheese no matter how many times he washes his mouth out.)

9) Knox signed a confession...written in Italian. It declared that Knox had accompanied pub owner, Lumumba, to her house on the night of the murder. She had been standing in the next room while Lumumba stabbed Kercher to death. When Knox signed the confession, the interrogators all started hugging one another. ("Porca vacca, we did it! Yes, she confessed to the murder...and the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby!")

10) Knox and Sollecito were not formally charged until...a year after their arrests. The prosecution's case leaned heavily on two pieces of evidence. Kercher's bra clasp which was not retrieved until 47 days after the murder, by which point it had been moved across the room and lay in a pile of debris had tested positive for trace amounts of Sollecito's DNA. And a knife,...selected at random by a detective from Sollecito's kitchen drawer, tested positive, albeit at extremely low levels, for Kercher's DNA. (DNA evidence released shows that after 183 attempts to match the material on the lottery-winning knife to Meredith's DNA, there is a less than 1 percent chance that it is hers. So, another 387 attempts will probably be made until they eventually run out of lab supplies, funding, and wind up in the insane asylum.)

"Con amore", Only In Italy

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