09/17/14 Lemon Chicken

"La cucina piccola fal la casa grande." (A small kitchen makes a house big.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Penne with Sausage and Cabbage
  -Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Bolognese Sauce
  -Lemon Chicken

"Buon weekend!" "GRAZIE". THANK YOU for all that you do. It means the world to us! Don't change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.

Thanks again for reading!

Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Penne with Sausage and Cabbage

Penne with Sausage and Cabbage
Penne con Salsiccia e Cavolo


1 lb Italian sausage, casings removed, cut into small pieces
1 small savoy cabbage (about 1 lb), cut into 6 pieces
3 cups warm Marinara Sauce
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed
1 lb Penne pasta
Freshly grated Pecorino Romano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Place cabbage in a large pot.

Cover with cold water, and bring to a boil over high heat.

Reduce heat to medium and cook until just soft, about 5-7 minutes.


Plunge cabbage into ice water.

Drain again, and pat dry.

Cut into bite-size pieces and set aside.

Heat olive oil with garlic in a large saute pan over medium heat.

Add sausage and saute until cooked through, about 10-12 minutes.

Add cabbage.

Season to taste with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring a few times, about 2-3 minutes.

Add marinara sauce and cook until flavors blend, about 5 minutes.

Cook Penne pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but firm, 7-12 minutes.

Drain, return to pot, stir in some sauce.

Transfer to a platter and top with remaining sauce.

Serve with grated Pecorino Romano cheese. Serves 6.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Bolognese Sauce

Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Bolognese Sauce
Gnocchi di Zucca alla Bolognese


For the Bolognese Sauce:
1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 lb ground beef
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
One 28-oz can peeled whole plum tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Gnocchi:
1 small butternut squash, quartered lengthwise, seeds removed
2 eggs
1 cup flour


Prepare the Bolognese Sauce:
Brown the beef and pork in 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, using the back of a wooden spoon to break the meat up.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cook the onions in remaining 1 tbsp olive oil in another medium skillet over medium heat until soft and golden, about 20 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes and their juices.

Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens.

Drain fat from meat.

Add meat to tomato sauce.

Adjust seasoning, then set aside.

Prepare the Gnocchi:
Preheat oven to 350?F.

Put squash in a baking pan, cover with foil, and bake until soft, about 1 hour.

Remove from oven and, when cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh into a strainer.

Press out as much liquid as you can.

Transfer to a large bowl.

Add eggs, and mash together with a potato masher.

Season to taste with salt.

Work in flour to form a thick, soft dough.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a gentle boil over medium-high heat.

Using 2 tablespoons (1 to scoop, the other to push batter off spoon).

Drop spoonfuls of batter into water.

Cook until gnocchi have risen to surface and simmered for 1-2 minutes.

Transfer with a slotted spoon to a warm platter.

Continue until all batter has been used.

Spoon warm sauce over gnocchi. Serves 4-6.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Lemon Chicken

Lemon Chicken
Pollo al Limone


Two 2 and 1/2-lb. chickens with legs, thighs, and wings separated and breasts quartered on the bone
2 cups fresh lemon juice
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


Place oven rack in the upper third of the oven.

Preheat broiler for at least 15 minutes.

Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and oregano in a large bowl.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Set aside.

Place chicken, skin side down, on a baking sheet and broil for 15-18 minutes.

Turn chicken skin side up and broil until skin is crisp and golden and juices run clear, another 15 minutes more.

Remove chicken from broiler and toss in lemon mixture.

Return chicken to broiler, skin side up, and broil for 3-5 minutes.

Transfer chicken to a platter.

Pour pan drippings into a saucepan.

Add lemon sauce, and bring to a boil over high heat until thickened, about 5-7 minutes.

Stir in parsley.

Drizzle a little sauce on chicken, and serve remaining sauce on the side. Serves 6.

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:

Leave the Gun...and Even the Cannoli

Venice - October 1, 2013 - A proud Italian who was so irritated with what he saw displayed in a window shop in Venice decided to take a photo and send it to the Palermo edition of Italy's largest-circulation daily newspaper; a fake Sicilian cannoli advertised as the real thing.

"It represents a damage to the entire Sicilian pastry tradition and an insult to tourists who think they are tasting one of the best products of that tradition," he wrote to the paper.

The cannoli on display in the Venice store are made with puff pastry and filled with whipped cream. A real Sicilian cannolo is made with crispy dough and filled with sweet and creamy ricotta cheese.

Cannoli are so important in the culinary tradition that they have been included in the list of "Italian traditional food products" by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies of the Italian Government.

"Disgraziati", no shame. If you're expecting a rant against those Venetians, forget it. Not in today's issue. (Give us a chance to finish dusting the office.)

"Si", we realize it's insulting to us Sicilians, but if you suggest to a Venetian that he/she shouldn't burn their bridges the typical arrogant response you'll get is, "Oh, minchia, that's ok! I have a boat right outside. Next topic!"

Those Venetians are who they are. But, "mamma mia", our Italian compatriots who emigrated to the United States are another story.

The cannoli versions with which Americans are most familiar tend to involve variations on the original concept of the Sicilian dessert. This is definitely due to the adaptations made by bored Italians who emigrated to the USA in the early 1900s...and jokingly claimed the limited availability of important ingredients.

Cannoli (warning: can only be found on the black market):
2 quarts whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup superfine sugar
Confectioner's sugar (for dusting)
and crispy tube-shaped shells

"Oh, no, no, noooo...it's not the same. Per favore, please, don't insist. It's not the same."
The bull crap sounds familiar, doesn't it?
And what's insulting is they'll say it with a straight face.

Pete (American baker): "How about a custard of sugar, milk, and cornstarch?"
Gaetano (emigrant comic): "Hmmm...si. It could work. Try the corn."
Pete: "Still doesn't taste right. We can flavor it with vanilla or orange flower water."
Gaetano: "Ah, ah, ok. Water with the flower."
Pete: "By the way, my wife had a great uncle from Salerno who came over on the boat after the war."
Gaetano: "If she says so..."

Note: If we may defend Italians for a quick moment. Italians don't lie. They just say things that, one generation later, turn out to be untrue.

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