08/31/11 Balsamic-Grilled Radicchio with Pecorino Cheese

"Un cattivo accordo meglio di una buona causa." (A bad agreement is better than a good lawsuit.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Balsamic-Grilled Radicchio with Pecorino Cheese
  -Gnocchi with Wild Boar
  -Fettuccine with Zucchini, Arugula, Basil, and Lemon

"Buona sera..." Was everyone's summer full of happiness and good health? If it was, you deserved it. Enjoy this week's recipes.

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Balsamic-Grilled Radicchio with Pecorino Cheese

Balsamic-Grilled Radicchio with Pecorino Cheese
Radicchio alla Griglia con Balsamico e Pecorino


1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon (packed) finely grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
4 large heads of radicchio, each quartered through core end

1 cup Pecorino Romano cheese shavings


Whisk olive oil, vinegar, garlic, rosemary, orange peel, and crushed red pepper in large bowl.

Add radicchio and toss to coat.

Marinate 15 minutes.

Prepare barbecue (medium heat).

Drain marinade into small bowl.

Place radicchio on grill; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Grill radicchio until edges are crisp and slightly charred, turning occasionally, about 6 minutes.

Transfer radicchio to serving platter.

Drizzle with reserved marinade and sprinkle with cheese shavings. Makes 8 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Gnocchi with Wild Boar

Gnocchi with Wild Boar
Gnocchi al Cinghiale


1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 stalks celery, finely diced
2 medium carrots, finely diced
1 medium onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 bay leaves
1 pound wild boar leg or lean shoulder meat, finely diced
8 juniper berries, cracked
3 cups full-bodied red wine
One 28-ounce can peeled whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 pound gnocchi pasta
Chopped fresh parsley and basil for garnish
1 cup (2 ounces) aged Pecorino cheese, grated


In large heavy pot over high heat, heat olive oil.

Add celery, carrots, onion, garlic, and bay leaves.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and caramelized, about 8 minutes.

Add wild boar, juniper berries, and wine and stir to combine.

Cook until all liquid evaporates, about 20 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes and 2 cups water and reduce heat to low.

Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is tender, about 30 minutes.

Cook gnocchi in large pot boiling salted water until 'al dente', about 20 minutes.

Drain pasta and add to stew.

Cook over high heat until heated through, 2-3 minutes.

Stir in fresh herbs.

Sprinkle with Pecorino cheese before serving. Makes 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Fettuccine with Zucchini, Arugula, Basil, and Lemon

Fettuccine with Zucchini, Arugula, Basil, and Lemon
Fettuccine con Zucchine, Rucola, Basilico e Limone


3/4 tsp salt
3/4 lb fettuccine
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs minced garlic
1 medium zucchini, julienne
1 medium yellow squash, julienne
4 or 5 sprigs basil, leaves shredded
1 bunch arugula, coarsely chopped (about 1 and 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp fresh lemon juice


Bring 4 quarts water to a full boil.

Add 1/4 tsp salt and stir in pasta.

Cook 5 to 8 minutes or until pasta is tender but firm.

While pasta cooks, warm olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.

Add garlic, swirl for a moment and reduce heat to low.

Do not let garlic brown.

Add zucchini and yellow squash and saute gently until zucchini softens slightly, about 5 minutes.

Season mixture with 1/4 tsp salt and remove pan from heat.

When pasta is finished cooking, drain pasta.

Using tongs or 2 kitchen spoons, combine pasta thoroughly with zucchini mixture over low heat.

Add basil, arugula, and tomatoes and season with remaining 1/4 tsp salt.

Sprinkle with lemon zest and juice and stir to combine.

Serve immediately. Makes 4 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:

What's Your Best Da Vinci Conspiracy Theory?

Florence - July 2, 2011 - As well as the enduring mystery of the identity of the Mona Lisa, art historians have long theorized about the painting, as well as his other works.

Italian art historian Carla Glori, claimed that the painting identifies the exact location of the landscape which provides the background of the painting.

She believes that a three-arched bridge which appears over the left shoulder of the woman is a reference to the village Bobbio, which is south of Piacenza, in northern Italy.

In October last year Giuseppe Pallanti, an expert on da Vinci, who has spent three decades studying the archives trying to establish Lisa Gherardini's final resting place, claimed that her remains were interred in a dump.

Lisa Gherardini was widely believed to be the inspiration for the painting, was buried in the grounds of Sant-Orsola convent in 1542. But the ground were renovated in the 1980s and during work to build an underground car park, the convent's foundations were excavated and sent to a municipal landfill site on the outskirts of Florence.

In December, members of Italy's National Committee for Cultural Heritage claimed the tiny numbers and letters were painted into the eyes of the Mona Lisa.

In the right eye appeared to be the letters LV which could stand for Leonardo Da Vinci while in the left eye there were symbols.

Silvano Vinceti, president of the committee, said: "It is very difficult to make them out clearly but they appear to be the letters CE or it could be the letter B. You have to remember the picture is almost 500 years old so it is not as sharp and clear as when first painted.

"While in the arch of the bridge in the background the number 72 can be seen, or it could be an L and the number 2."

And in 2007, there were claims that da Vinci's The Last Supper contains a hidden image of a woman holding a child.

The figure allegedly appears when the 15th Century mural painting is superimposed with its mirror image, and both are made partially transparent.

"Ma porca vacca", it's amazing the wonders people come up with when there is so much free time on their hands.

We might not know a lot in this Italian world. If you ask any of the staff writers here to add two numbers together, we would have stop and use our toes and fingers. But at least we are aware that Leonardo da Vinci was a genius...and prankster.

"Oh, si", he is widely believed to have hidden secret messages within much of his artwork but it's not as if one of those messages will reveal how to make the perfect "melanzane alla parmigiana". You don't need Da Vinci to know you're supposed to gently fry the eggplant slices first.

Theories and more theories, "eh cavolo!"

Mona Lisa's smile: If we had a Euro for every theory that has come out, we could eliminate a good number of our useless neighbors. Why the smile? Was she happy? Pregnant? We also have a theory: She was on a gynecologist’s table being examined and a mouse ran out. He lured it out with a piece of Pecorino cheese.

Mona Lisa's missing eyebrows: Where are they? What happened? Maybe, it was this: For centuries some Italian women did not believe in tweezing their eyebrows. Some of them had what we used to call 'uni-brows'. It was fun to watch those uni-brows grow just to see what they progressed into. Mona Lisa lived during the great anti uni-brow revolution of Florence.

"In the right eye appeared to be the letters LV which could stand for Leonardo Da Vinci while in the left eye there were symbols." Hmmm...there is a hidden message there. Could be this:

Dante dunce. LV #1.

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