08/18/10 Smoked Cheese and Sausage Lasagna

"Chi cerca trova." (Who searches, finds. Seek and ye shall find.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Carrots with Gremolata
  -Smoked Cheese and Sausage Lasagna
  -Pear, Chocolate, and Hazelnut Tart

Enjoy your recipes and the rest of the summer season.

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Carrots with Gremolata

Carrots with Gremolata
Carote con Gremolata


2 lbs carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Steam carrots in a steamer set over boiling water, covered, until tender, 5 to 7 minutes.

While carrots are steaming, toss together parsley, garlic, zest, salt, and pepper in a large bowl to make gremolata.

Add hot carrots and oil to bowl and toss. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Smoked Cheese and Sausage Lasagna

Smoked Cheese and Sausage Lasagna
Lasagna Con Formaggio Affumicato e Salsiccia


For the Sauce:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 lb sweet sausages, casings removed
2 ounces sliced prosciutto, chopped

2 cups chopped onions
1 celery stalk, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
One 28-ounce can Italian-style tomatoes in juice, tomatoes chopped, juice reserved
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

For the Lasagna:
Twelve 10 x 2-inch lasagna noodles
One 15-ounce container whole-milk ricotta cheese
2 cups (packed) coarsely grated smoked mozzarella cheese, divided
1 large egg

Extra virgin olive oil


Prepare the Sauce:
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add sausage; saute until browned, breaking up with fork, about 6 minutes.

Add prosciutto; stir 1 minute.

Transfer mixture to bowl.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in same pan over medium-high heat.

Add onions and next 4 ingredients.

Saute until tender, about 5 minutes.

Stir in tomato paste.

Add tomatoes with reserved juice, basil, and sausage mixture.

Reduce heat; simmer until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Prepare the Lasagna:
Cook noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente'.


Arrange in single layer on baking sheet.

Stir ricotta and 1 and 1/2 cups mozzarella in bowl.

Season with salt and pepper; mix in egg.

Brush 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish with olive oil.

Spread 1 cup tomato sauce evenly over bottom.

Arrange 3 noodles atop sauce.

Spread 3/4 cup cheese mixture thinly over noodles.

Spoon 1 and 1/2 cups sauce over.

Repeat with noodles, cheese mixture, and sauce 2 more times.

Cover with 3 noodles.

Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella.

Cover with foil. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Chill.)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Bake lasagna, covered, 40 minutes.

Uncover and bake until heated through, about 15 minutes longer.

Let stand 10 minutes and serve. Makes 8 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Pear, Chocolate, and Hazelnut Tart

Pear, Chocolate, and Hazelnut Tart
Crostata di Pera, Cioccolato, e Nocciola


Easy Tart Crust
1 large egg
2 tablespoons whipping cream
4 large firm but ripe pears, peeled, quartered, cored, each quarter cut lengthwise into 3 slices
3 tablespoons chopped husked toasted hazelnuts
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped milk chocolate
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate
6 tablespoons raw sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt (optional)


Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375F.

Place large sheet of parchment paper on work surface.

Place crust dough atop parchment; roll out dough to 14-inch round.

Transfer parchment with dough to large unrimmed baking sheet.

Whisk egg and cream in small bowl.

Brush center 10 inches of dough with some of egg glaze, leaving 2-inch plain border.

Arrange pear slices in concentric circles atop glaze on dough.

Sprinkle hazelnuts and both chocolates, then 4 tablespoons raw sugar over pears.

Fold dough border over filling to form 11-inch round, pleating loosely and pinching to seal any cracks in dough.

Brush crust with egg glaze; sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons raw sugar, then with 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, if desired.

Bake crostata until crust is deep golden and pears are tender, about 40 minutes.

Transfer baking sheet to rack.

Run long thin knife under crust to free from parchment.

Cool to lukewarm on parchment on sheet.

Using large tart pan bottom as aid, transfer crostata to platter.

Serve lukewarm or at room temperature. Makes 8 to 10 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:

After 40 Years Vatican Decides to 'Let It Be' With the Beatles

Vatican City - April 12, 2010 - The Vatican has finally made peace with the Beatles, saying their drug use, "dissolute" lives and even the claim that the band was bigger than Jesus are all in the past, while their music lives on.

Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano paid tribute to the Fab Four in its weekend editions, with two articles and a front-page cartoon reproducing the crosswalk immortalized on the cover of the band's album "Abbey Road." The tribute marked the 40th anniversary of the band's breakup.

"It's true, they took drugs; swept up by their success, they lived dissolute and uninhibited lives," said the paper. "They even said they were more famous than Jesus," it said, recalling John Lennon's 1966 comment that outraged many Catholics and others.

"But, listening to their songs, all of this seems distant and meaningless," L'Osservatore said. "Their beautiful melodies, which changed forever pop music and still give us emotions, live on like precious jewels."

It is not the first time the Vatican has praised the legendary band from Liverpool. Two years ago, Vatican media hailed the Beatles' musical legacy on the 40th anniversary of the "White Album." And last month the Vatican paper included "Revolver" in its semiserious list of top-10 albums.

Now, L'Osservatore says that the Beatles' songs have stood the test of time, and that the band remains "the longest-lasting, most consistent and representative phenomenon in the history of pop music."

Hey Pope! All you need is love!

It took the Vatican 522 years to admit "mea culpa" on the Spanish Inquisition, and 359 years to come around to admitting that Galileo was correct: It's the sun, NOT the Vatican, at the center of the universe and the Earth revolves around it.

Finally, we come to John Lennon and his "more popular than Jesus" comment. Did he really deserve 42 years of unforgiven condemnation?
"Cacchio", who would have thought Sgt Peppers would be more popular than the Vatican?

Ringo Starr: "Didn't the Vatican say we were satanic or possibly satanic...and they've still forgiven us? I think the Vatican, they've got more to talk about than the Beatles." In other words, Ringo wants beatification to make up for this once he's gone.

But if the Vatican had to condemn someone you would think they would establish a MySpace Inquisition. "Porca oca", nothing like a social media site bursting with incredibly bad music by clueless and talentless musicians.

On a more important note...has the Vatican made peace with the Rolling Stones?
Will the Pope at least declare Keith Richard's survival a miracle?

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