09/12/07 Polenta alla Gorgonzola from OreganoFromItaly.com

"Al contadino non far sapere quanto buono il formaggio con le pere." (Don't let the farmer know how good cheese is with pears.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Insalata di Porcini e Sedano
  -Polenta alla Gorgonzola
  -Cannelloni al Salmone con Salsa di Limone

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

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Insalata di Porcini e Sedano

Insalata di Porcini e Sedano
Porcini Mushroom and Celery Salad


5 large celery ribs (about 3/4 lb)
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 lb fresh porcini mushrooms
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 (6-oz) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Peel outer strings from celery ribs with a sharp paring knife, then cut ribs on a 45-degree angle into paper-thin slices with slicer.

Stir together 1 quart water and 1 tablespoon salt in a bowl until salt is dissolved. Add celery and soak 15 minutes, then drain in a colander.

Spread celery evenly on a clean kitchen towel. Gently roll up towel and let stand 5 minutes.

Wipe mushrooms with paper towels to remove any dirt or grit. Keeping stems attached, trim any discoloration from stems with paring knife.

Cut mushrooms into paper-thin slices with slicer and transfer to a large bowl. Add celery, lemon juice, oil, pepper, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and gently toss with your hands.

Divide salad among 6 plates. Just before serving, use a vegetable peeler to shave cheese to taste over each salad. Serves 6.

That's it!

 Recipe: Polenta alla Gorgonzola

Polenta alla Gorgonzola
Gorgonzola Cheese Polenta


5 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth
1 and 3/4 cups polenta (coarse cornmeal)
3/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (about 4 ounces)
1/3 cup whipping cream


Bring 5 cups of the chicken broth to a boil in heavy 4-quart saucepan.

Gradually add polenta, whisking constantly. Return mixture to boil.

Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until polenta is tender, stirring frequently and adding more chicken broth by 1/4 cupfuls if polenta is too thick, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add Gorgonzola and cream; stir until cheese is melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 8.

Note: Polenta sets up quite quickly and becomes firmer after cooking, so plan on making it as close to serving time as you can manage.

That's it!

 Recipe: Cannelloni al Salmone con Salsa di Limone

Cannelloni al Salmone con Salsa di Limone
Salmon Cannelloni in Lemon Sauce


For crespelle:
2 large eggs
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For sauce:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 (8-oz) bottle clam juice
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For salmon cannelloni:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
6 (5-oz) center-cut pieces salmon fillet (1 inch thick), skin and little bones discarded


Prepare the crespelle first:
Blend together eggs, water, flour, and salt in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the tarragon.

Lightly brush a 10-inch nonstick skillet with melted butter and heat over moderate heat until hot but not smoking.

Ladle about 1/4 cup of the batter into the skillet, tilting and rotating skillet to coat bottom, then pour excess batter back into bowl. (If batter sets before skillet is coated, reduce heat slightly for next crespella.)

Cook until just set and underside is lightly browned, about 30 seconds, then invert crespella onto a clean kitchen towel in one layer to cool. (It will be cooked on one side only.)

Make 5 more crespelle with remaining batter in same manner, brushing skillet with butter as needed and transferring to towel as cooked, arranging them in one layer.

Prepare the sauce:
Heat butter in a 1 to 2 quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat until foam subsides.

Add flour and cook, whisking, 2 minutes. Add clam juice and water in a slow stream, whisking, then bring to a boil, whisking. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in cream, zest, and pepper, then remove from heat.

Assemble the cannelloni:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425 F. Butter a 13 by 9 inch or other 3-quart glass or ceramic baking dish and spread half of sauce in dish.

Stir together butter (2 tablespoons), shallot, salt, and pepper and spread 1 teaspoon on top of each fillet.

Put a crespella, pale side down, on a work surface, then place 1 salmon fillet, buttered side down, in center of crespella and fold crespella around salmon, leaving ends open.

Transfer to baking dish, arranging, seam side down, in sauce. Make 5 more cannelloni with remaining salmon and crespelle in same manner, arranging in baking dish. Spoon remaining sauce over cannelloni.

Bake until salmon is just cooked through and sauce is bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. Makes 6 main course servings.

Notes: Sauce can be made a day ahead and cooled, uncovered, then chilled and covered afterwards. Thin with water if necessary.

Cannelloni can be assembled and covered with sauce (but not baked) a day ahead and chilled, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. Bring to room temperature before baking. Crespelle can be made 3 days ahead and chilled, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.

That's it!

Submit Your Thoughts


 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:

Death of Mussolini Trial Ready To Open

Milan - September 26 - A bid by Mussolini's grandson to get a judicial ruling on the death of Il Duce in 1945 comes to a head in a court room in the northern town of Como on Thursday.

Last year Guido Mussolini, the 69-year-old son of the Fascist dictator's son Vittorio, mounted a legal effort to establish "by judicial means, and therefore definitively" the cause of his grandfather's death.

Prosecutors in Como, which is near the village where Mussolini was shot by partisans, have asked for the case to be shelved but Guido Mussolini's lawyer has opposed this. The court is expected to decide on Thursday whether to drop the question immediately or continue with a trial. The circumstances of Mussolini's death have been the subject of much debate, with different historians and political groups giving slightly varying accounts.

Il Duce was arrested near the village of Dongo, not far from Como, on April 27, 1945, as he tried to escape to Switzerland. An Italian resistance fighter recognized him among a truckload of retreating German soldiers even though he had disguised himself by putting on a German army uniform.

According to the standard historical reconstruction, Mussolini was executed on April 28 by order of the National Liberation Committee, a sort of 'government' of the resistance movement. Guido Mussolini says this decision was "unlawful" and that his grandfather should have been handed over to national or international courts.

Some historians appear to agree, saying the leftwing partisans who captured the fleeing dictator had taken the law into their own hands, killing him immediately in order to avoid having to negotiate with allies and foreign powers over his fate.

In a declaration released when he began his battle, Guido Mussolini said he wanted to know "how, when, why and by whom Benito Mussolini was killed".

"I have no desire for vengeance. I just want to know the truth about a case which, in the version given by official history books, seems ridiculous", he said.

Doubts linger over who carried out the execution and the exact sequence of events after the capture. It has also been suggested that foreign secret agents might have been involved, although no evidence for this has emerged. The grandson's lawyer Luciano Randazzo said that no proper judicial enquiry had ever been carried out into the death of Mussolini.

"Historians have put forward 19 different versions of the events but there has been no judicial enquiry to establish the truth", he said.

After his execution, Mussolini's body, along with that of his lover Claretta Petacci and a few other officers, were taken to Milan on April 29 and hung upside down from the roof of a petrol station. Mussolini was buried in Predappio, the town in northern Italy where he was born in 1883. Every year his tomb attracts hundreds of visitors.

"Ma chi cazzo se ne frega!" Sometimes you just have to learn to let go, Guido.

"I have no desire for vengeance. I just want to know the truth about a case which, in the version given by official history books, seems ridiculous". No, Guido. The truth is the official history books were not funny enough. First, the Italians want to know the truth about the following facts about Grandpa Benito:

Is it true he would ward off the evil eye by touching his testicles? Would this mean he walked around with his hand down his pants all day?

On June 2 1946, support for the monarchy had crumbled because the King of Italy had supported Mussolini. So hostile was the public, that the royal family was exiled from Italy forever as punishment. Do you realize the so-called royal family has remained so shell-shocked today, they can't believe they have to fly coach.

Is it true Mussolini never made the trains run on time, contrary to what he declared? You have no idea how many Italians today curse out your grandfather's name every time they get stuck during rush hour.

Is it true, as a youth, Mussolini stood on a hill, demanded God strike him dead, and when it did not happen declared God did not exist? He was court-martialed, shot and hung upside down from a gas station. We don't know how God could have topped that.

Is it true one of Mussolini's favorite drinks was a strawberry sherbet frappe and that, near the end of World War 2, a man named Giuseppe Marscone was lynched by an angry, anti-Mussolini mob because he had ordered the drink? Are you aware of how many Italians get nervous and have to look over their shoulders every time they order this?

Is it true, "Mussolini ha sempre ragione" or "Mussolini is always right", was one of the most famous political slogans of fascist Italy, and was plastered on walls and buildings everywhere in the country? His government office was 90 feet long! How right can you be about that?

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