10/02/13 Prosciutto with Marsala Wine

"Chi la vuole cotta, chi la vuole cruda." (Who wants it cooked, who wants it raw. Each one of us usually wants things done differently.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Velvety Lentil Soup
  -Risotto with Cream and Leeks
  -Prosciutto with Marsala Wine

"Ciao ciao!" "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: Velvety Lentil Soup

Velvety Lentil Soup
Vellutata Di Lenticchie


7 oz (200 grams) green lentils
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) red lentils
2 baby onions, halved
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 fresh thyme sprig
7 fl oz (200 ml) double cream
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper


Soak the lentils in cold water for 3 hours and drain.

Place the lentils, onions, garlic and thyme in a saucepan.

Pour in 1 and 3/4 pints water, bring to a boil, then cover and cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 30-40 minutes.

Remove the thyme.

Reserve 3 tablespoons of the lentils.

Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process to a puree.

Pour into a soup tureen and whisk in the cream.

Season with the nutmeg and salt and pepper.

Stir in the reserved lentils and serve. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Risotto with Cream and Leeks

Risotto with Cream and Leeks
Risotto con Panna e Porri


For the Vegetable Stock:
3 cherry tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 turnips, coarsely chopped
2 leeks, trimmed and coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 potatoes, coarsely chopped
2 onions, coarsely chopped
1 celery stick, coarsely chopped

For the Risotto:
4 small leeks, thinly sliced, white parts only
6 fl oz (175 ml) single cream
1 oz (25 grams) butter
12 oz (350 grams) risotto rice
Salt and pepper
Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated, for serving


Prepare the Vegetable Stock:
Place all the vegetables in a large saucepan, pour in 1.5 liters (2 and 1/2 pints) of water, add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil.

Lower the heat and simmer gently for about 20-25 minutes.

Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly, then strain into a bowl pressing down well on the vegetables with a wooden spoon.

Prepare the Risotto:
Melt the butter in a saucepan.

Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5-6 minutes.

Add 1 tablespoon water and simmer for another 20 minutes, adding more water if necessary,

Bring the vegetable stock to a boil in another pan.

Stir the rice into the leeks.

Add a ladleful of the hot stock and cook, stirring, until it has been absorbed.

Continue adding the stock, a ladleful at a time, and stirring until each addition has been absorbed. This will take 18-20 minutes.

When the rice is tender, stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with Parmigiano cheese. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Prosciutto with Marsala Wine

Prosciutto with Marsala Wine
Prosciutto Al Marsala


For the Prosciutto:
6 and 1/2 lbs (3 kg) Prague ham or other smoked ham
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery sticks, diced
18 fl oz (500 ml) dry Marsala wine
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 oz (80 grams) butter
1 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprig, chopped
Salt and pepper

For The Sauce:
7 fl oz (200 ml) hot meat stock
3 and 1/2 fl oz (100 ml) dry Marsala wine
1 teaspoon corn flour
1 oz (25 grams) butter


Prepare the Prosciutto:
Cut off the skin and part of the fat from the ham and place the ham in a snug-fitting pan.

Add the Marsala wine and leave to marinate for about 6-7 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350?F (180?C) Gas Mark 4.

Drain the ham, reserving the marinade, and tie neatly with kitchen string.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large roasting tin.

Add the ham and cook, turning carefully, until lightly browned all over.

Add the vegetables, parsley and salt and pepper.

Transfer to the oven and roast, basting frequently with the cooking juices and the reserved marinade, for 2 hours.

Remove the ham from the roasting tin and keep warm.

Prepare the Sauce:
Pass the vegetable and the ham juices through a food mill into a pan.

Add any remaining marinade and the stock and bring to a boil.

Boil until slightly reduced.

Mix the corn flour to a paste with 2 tablespoons cold water in a bowl.

Stir the mixture into the sauce and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, then remove from the heat.

Whisk in the Marsala wine and butter.

Untie the ham and carve into fairly thick slices.

Place on a warm serving dish and serve covered with the sauce. Serves 10.

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:

Convicted Sicilian Mobster Freed Thanks To His Allergies To Vegetables

Rome - March 23, 2012 - A convicted Mafia mobster has been freed early from his 15 year jail term thanks to his allergies to the vegetables on the prison menu.

Millionaire Michele Aiello, 56, told the judge at a special appeal hearing he was intolerant to beans, peas, spinach and all other types of greens offered to inmates serving time in prison.

Lawyers acting for the businessman provided medical certificates as evidence in their argument for Aiello to be released after serving little more than a year of his original sentence.

He was arrested in Palermo in Sicily in 2010 and charged with being the financial genius behind a Mafia money laundering operation.

It saw him lending his name and that of relatives to dozens of companies and properties so cash from criminal activity could be recycled and laundered.

Police said Aiello laundered more than 800 million Euros (+1 billion USD) for jailed Mafia Godfather Bernardo Provenzano, who was caught in 2006 after almost 40 years on the run. The two were said to be 'close associates' with the mobster investing personally in the businessman's numerous activities.

Aiello had been serving his sentence in a maximum security jail at Sulmona in central Italy where a spokesman admitted the menu was 'mainly vegetable based'. Dishes included 'pasta with beans, rice with peas, cuttlefish with peas and minestrone soup.'

His lawyer Sergio Monaco said: 'The menu that was being offered to my client was completely incompatible with his medical condition. There were far too many vegetables being served and he is intolerant to them and it affects his health.'

In her ruling judge Laura Longo said: 'The prison food offered does not permit a diet adequate for the inmate and according to article nine of the Italian penal code prison food must be adequate, healthy, sufficient for the age, gender, state of health, work season and climate.

'In this case continuing with the prison diet raised the possibility of the inmate have a hemolytic reaction and that is absolutely not permissible.

'There is a serious and concrete risk to his health if he remains in prison and eats the menu offered and he therefore cannot remain inside.'

She then ruled that he should be given house arrest in his home town of Palermo.

Today there was amazement in Italian newspapers and in TV and radio reports carrying the story calling judge Longo's decision 'astonishing' and 'incredible'.

One outraged reader posted on a popular news website: 'I'd be very happy to have that menu every day! Can't they just take the vegetables out and serve him plain pasta and rice?

'There are thousands of people who would love to eat as well as this convicted Mafia mobster does.'

Last year it emerged that one Godfather was able to enjoy champagne and lobster dinners while serving his time in a Palermo jail.

"Porca di quella"...hold on folks (news staff looking out the window, sheep looking back at staff).

We had to go look outside the window for a moment.
We were almost sure Italy was crumbling around us!

"'Fanculo", come on, it's 2012! We can't afford to have these heinous and shameless incidents continuing!

Look, we're not safe anywhere, Judge Laura! On any given day you bend over to help someone, somebody else stabs you, steals your groceries, violates your wife and steps on your hat! Have a good day!

We need metal detectors at the entrance of the Leaning Tower of Pisa!
We need cops waiting in the monumental fountains with skin diving outfits!
We need snipers ready to take out 90% of the vendors at the open Napolitani markets.

We could go out in the main piazzas and try to get some solidarity and empathy from our wise elders...but we wouldn't want to ruin the concentration of their blank stares.

We could go down to the schools to let our future generations know there is no future in organized crime...but they'll get a hold of this story and insist again that vegetables are bad for you.

"There is a serious and concrete risk to his health if he remains in prison and eats the menu offered and he therefore cannot remain inside." "Minchia", so true. We should apologize for being so inhuman. Why don't we get braces for his fellow jail mates with crooked teeth? Let?s improve their smiles.

"Vaffanculo", throw Michele in the electric chair, put a lasagne in his lap and cook it up while he?s frying so the electricity doesn't go to waste.
Make it a vegetable lasagne to make it even more disrespectful.

And Judge Laura should quit and hand over her robes to Zorro. Have a good day.

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