08/19/09 Sausages with Black Grapes

"Dai nemici mi guardo io, dagli amici mi guardi Iddio!" (I can protect myself from my enemies; may God protect me from my friends!) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Frittata with Cheese, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Basil
  -Penne with Lemon Cream and Prosciutto
  -Sausages with Black Grapes

Enjoy your recipes and the rest of the summer season!

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Frittata with Cheese, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Basil

Frittata with Cheese, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Basil
Frittata con Formaggio, Pomodori Secchi e Basilico


10 large eggs
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 and 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese (about 6 ounces)
10 drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano cheese


Preheat broiler.

Whisk eggs and cream in large bowl to blend.

Stir in feta cheese, tomatoes, onions, basil, salt, and pepper.

Melt butter in large ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

Add egg mixture; do not stir.

Cook until eggs start to firm and sides and bottom begin to brown, lifting sides occasionally to let uncooked egg run underneath, about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle with olives and Parmigiano cheese.

Transfer skillet to broiler and cook until eggs start to puff and brown, about 2 minutes.

Using flexible spatula, loosen edges and bottom of frittata.

Slide out onto plate.

Slice frittata into wedges.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Penne with Lemon Cream and Prosciutto

Penne with Lemon Cream and Prosciutto
Penne con Crema al Limone e Prosciutto


2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
3 large shallots, minced
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups frozen green peas, thawed
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

12 ounces Penne pasta

12 thin slices prosciutto
Freshly grated Parmigiano cheese


Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat.

Add shallots and saute until translucent, about 2 minutes.

Add broth.

Simmer over medium-high heat until mixture is reduced to 1/4 cup, about 2 minutes.

Add cream, lemon peel, orange peel, and cayenne.

Simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 3 minutes.

Add peas; simmer just until heated through, about 2 minutes.

Stir in mint and lemon juice.

Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

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

Drain; return pasta to pot.

Toss pasta with sauce to coat.

Divide pasta among plates or bowls.

Drape prosciutto slices atop pasta and serve, passing Parmigiano separately. Makes 4 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Sausages with Black Grapes

Sausages with Black Grapes
Salsicce con l'Uva


2 large yellow onions, halved and slivered
2 cups black grapes (Concord, Globe, or any other ripe black variety), rinsed well
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 to 8 sweet Italian sausages (1 or 2 sausages per person)


Preheat oven to 375F.

In a large roasting pan or skillet mix the slivered onion and grapes together with your hands.

Drizzle some olive oil over them and sprinkle with several generous pinches of salt and pepper.

Mix again and spread out the mixture evenly.

Nestle the sausages in the onion-grape layer, but don't let them be completely covered.

Put the pan in the oven and roast for 30 to 40 minutes, until the onions have cooked down considerably, the grapes are soft, and the sausages are plump and browned on top, even a little bit crusty.

Pierce one of the largest sausages. They are ready when the juices run clear.

Spoon a bed of onions and grapes onto a serving platter or individual plates, top with the sausages, and serve. 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:

Gov't. Minister Asks Italians To Drop Pineapple

Milan - December 18, 2008 - Italy's agriculture minister is urging Italians to keep imported pineapples off their holiday tables but says drinking espresso is still OK.

Luca Zaia denied Thursday that his appeal to get Italians eating foods grown locally was protectionist.

"It's not a campaign against pineapple. It's a symbol of a product that travels 2,500 kilometers to arrive at our tables, while in Italy we cultivate 4,500 typical products," he told reporters in a telephone interview.

While coffee-loving Italy also imports beans for one of their favorite beverages, Zaia said he isn't issuing a similar appeal, because there are no local alternatives.

"At Christmas, people should eat typical Italian products, like zampone and cotechino," Zaia said, referring to two sausage-like northern Italian holiday specialties traditionally served with lentils. Zampone is a pig's foot stuffed with pork meat and cotechino is pig's skin stuffed with pork meat.

A typical holiday food basket, a common gift among friends in Italy, often includes tropical fruit, alongside local specialties such as zampone, cotechino and panettone sweet holiday bread.

If looking for a more suitable alternative to pineapple, "people could eat oranges, mandarins, apples and kiwi," Zaia said, noting Italy is a leading producer of kiwi.

Italian agriculture contributes 60 billion Euros (84.35 billion USD) to the country's gross domestic product, Zaia said, with more than 1 million farms producing.

"There isn't a head of state or agriculture minister in the world who doesn't want to give a hand to the agriculture producers. There's nothing scandalous," Zaia said.

Hey "Minister Cacasenno!" The Italians cut the umbilical cord long ago when the first Italian Republic failed!

"At Christmas, people should eat typical Italian products, like zampone and cotechino," For our health conscious readers, Zampone is heart disease on a plate.

The most common dinner for the Zampone is New Year's Eve served together with lentils. According to tradition, the lentils are considered "denari" or coins. The tradition is that each lentil represents a coin to be earned during the year and the Zampone is the designer purse.

Zampone is usually a 75% meat to 25% fat mix. Additionally the snout and other pieces considered delicacies may be included. The meat, coarsely chopped or ground, is then mixed with salt, pepper, cloves, garlic, nutmeg and some red wine. The pigskin or "cotenna" is cleaned with vinegar and the pig foot is left on. Finally the meat mixture is placed in the skin, wound and tied and then left to cure.

"Cacchio", if it's not the gas that will keep you up and dancing all night, the espresso will.

"It's not a campaign against pineapple. It's a symbol of a product that travels 2,500 kilometers to arrive at our tables..." Two can play at this stupid game. Why not export our Zampone and the side dish of "coins" to Brazil where the pineapple is native? It will go great with a pot of espresso.

Dottor Frank N. Beans: "Your cholesterol level is over 375, Signore Minchione."

Signore Minchione: That's right! I'm a Zampone addict and proud of it. I'm a true Italian who is proud of his heritage.

Dottore: Ah, I see where this is going. May I suggest you dramatically cut back on the "purses" and eat more fruit...like pineapple?

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