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 10/08/08 Roasted Vegetable Lasagna from OreganoFromItaly.com

"A ciascuno il suo." (To each his own.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Spinaci Saltata con Pancetta
  -Lasagne di Verdure Arrosto
  -Melanzana Ripiena con Ricotta, Asiago, Spinaci

Best wishes to all our subscribers wherever you may be in the world. Enjoy the recipes.

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       


 Recipe: Spinaci Saltata con Pancetta

Spinaci Saltata con Pancetta
Sauteed Spinach with Pancetta

Ingredients:

2 lbs spinach, coarse stems removed
1 ounce pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice (3 tablespoons)
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

Cook spinach in 1 inch of boiling salted water in a large pot, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 2 minutes.

Drain in a colander and rinse under cold running water until cool.

Squeeze handfuls of spinach to remove excess moisture.

Cook pancetta in olive oil in a skillet over moderately high heat, stirring, until browned, about 3 minutes.

Add spinach and salt and pepper to taste and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until heated through. Makes 4 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Lasagne di Verdure Arrosto

Lasagne di Verdure Arrosto
Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Ingredients:

1 lb plum tomatoes, cut in 1/4-inch slices
1 lb zucchini, cut in 1/4-inch slices
1 lb yellow squash, cut in 1/4-inch slices
2 red bell peppers, cut in 1-inch strips
2 green bell peppers, cut in 1-inch strips
1/2 lb mushroom caps, cut in 1/4-inch slices
1 tsp salt
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Vegetable-oil cooking spray
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 containers (15 oz each) ricotta cheese
2 tbs bottled pesto sauce
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano cheese
3 cans (14 and 1/2 oz each) diced tomatoes with garlic and onion
12 oven-ready lasagna noodles (1 package)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 475 F.

Toss plum tomatoes, zucchini, squash, peppers, mushrooms, salt, and olive oil in a bowl.

Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and place vegetables on it; roast 30 minutes.

In a bowl, mix egg white, ricotta, pesto, and Parmigiano cheese.

Coat a 9" x 12" baking pan with cooking spray.

Spread 1 can tomatoes on the bottom.

Top with 3 noodles.

Spoon 1 and 1/4 cups ricotta mix over noodles, then a layer of 3 cups vegetables, then 1/2 cup mozzarella.

Repeat this layer, starting with tomatoes.

Add final can tomatoes, three noodles, remaining ricotta mix and vegetables.

Top lasagna with last 3 noodles and 1 cup mozzarella. Cover with foil.

Bake 30 minutes. Makes 12 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Melanzana Ripiena con Ricotta, Asiago, Spinaci

Melanzana Ripiena con Ricotta, Asiago, Spinaci
Eggplant Rolls with Ricotta, Asiago, and Spinach Filling

Ingredients:

For the Sauce:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 large carrot, peeled, chopped
1/4 cup chopped garlic
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree
1 cup chicken stock or chicken broth
1 cup chopped fresh basil (from about 2 large bunches)

For the Rolls:
1 lb fresh or whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Asiago cheese* (about 3 ounces)
3/4 cup chopped fresh baby spinach
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 large egg

2 medium eggplants, unpeeled, each cut lengthwise into eight 1/3-inch-thick slices
1/4 cup (about) extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese

Directions:

Prepare the sauce:
Heat olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add onion, celery, carrot, and garlic; saute until tender, about 8 minutes.

Add wine and cook 3 minutes.

Add crushed tomatoes, stock, and basil; bring to boil.

Reduce heat; cover and simmer 30 minutes to blend flavors. Season with salt and pepper. Cool.

Prepare the rolls:
Place ricotta cheese in strainer set over large bowl.

Let stand until excess liquid drains from cheese, about 2 hours.

Transfer ricotta cheese to medium bowl.

Stir in Asiago cheese, spinach, nutmeg, and cayenne.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Mix in egg.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Oil 2 large baking sheets.

Brush both sides of eggplant slices with olive oil; arrange on prepared sheets.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake until eggplant slices are tender, about 13 minutes. Cool on sheets.

Place 1 eggplant slice on work surface.

Place scant 2 tablespoons ricotta mixture near narrower end of eggplant slice.

Roll up, enclosing filling.

Repeat with remaining eggplant slices and filling.

Spread half of sauce over bottom of 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish.

Arrange eggplant rolls in single layer atop sauce.

Spoon remaining sauce over. (Rolls can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake rolls until heated through, about 20 minutes.

Sprinkle with Parmigiano cheese and serve. Makes 8 servings.

*Available at specialty foods stores and some supermarkets.

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:

Vatican Radio Allegedly Throws Dangerous Things

Rome - September 26, 2008 - On a hillside in Italy's Lazio region, just 25 kilometers north and west of Rome, there is a magnificent array of radio antennas. This veritable garden of electromagnetic transmission hurls short-wave and medium-wave radio signals all over the world as Vatican Radio - The Voice of the Pope.

Vatican Radio was established in 1931 by Pope Pius XI to broadcast the Christian message to any and every country possible. The Vatican was assisted in the effort by none other than Guglielmo Marconi, the renowned scientist often cited as the inventor of radio. Marconi was a celebrated figure by this time and the flipping of the Vatican Radio switch was a major news event of the day.

The current transmission facility built in the 1950s consists of six antenna clusters over a 400 hectare plateau with towers rising up to 106 meters in the air. Nearby, the towns of Cesano and Santa Maria di Galeria are mainly situated amongst verdant hills and open countryside typical of the central Italian provinces.

As the area developed and population increased, charges of environmental negligence leading to health problems began to emerge. Turns out it takes a ton of power to fling "la voce del Papa" around the planet. Some antennas were effectively transmitting at a whopping 600 kilowatts and Willer Bordon, an Italian environmental minister, took measurements that indicated the Vatican transmitters violated Italian radiation standards.

Then local doctors and residents began seeing an atypical increase in cases of childhood leukemia with incidents decreasing in frequency as studies moved away from the antennas. No longer was this just a high powered electrosmog nuisance causing intercoms and cell phones to spontaneously cackle papal missives and scripture. People were getting sick. The battle was engaged in 2000 to shut down the array.

Though much of the epidemiological data was found scientifically inconclusive - small samples, relative rarity of leukemia, difficulties measuring exposure - the Regional Health Department of Italy established a case and brought suit.

Stubbornly, whenever Vatican officials went to court they flashed the Lateran Treaty; a 1929 agreement with Benito Mussolini establishing the Holy See as fully sovereign thus exempting Vatican City from jurisdiction by Italy proper. Judges agreed, but considering electromagnetic waves with respect to borders, the ruling was appealed and Vatican Radio officials went to trial.

In 2005 Cardinal Roberto Tucci and Father Pasquale Borgomeo were ultimately found guilty of throwing dangerous things (there is no term for electromagnetic pollution in Italian law), and given suspended 10 day jail sentences as Vatican Radio worked to reduce their emissions.

This too was successfully appealed and the priests were acquitted last year, but in May of 2008 The Court of Cassation - Italy's Supreme Court if you will - reversed this ruling and will put Tucci and Borgomeo back on trial. Though The Court has yet to publish it's motivation, a scathing public health report indicates the area is still a hazardous place in which to live.

The irony is almost too much to bear. The 'Vicar of Christ', successor to St. Peter, broadcasting words and messages of The Catholic Church in a high-powered manner so as to apparently cause cancer in young children. Though Vatican Radio vehemently insists there is no danger (and vows to prove as much in court), this is a contentious and fascinating trial with subtle and profound implications.

"Hmmm...What law term can we use for electromagnetic pollution without offending the Vatican?"
"I got it, faccia di culo! How about throwing dangerous things?"

36 antennas, 20 transmitters and 8 satellite channels: Transmitting at 600 kilowatts is the Vatican's way of making absolutely sure you hear the Scriptures no matter where you're hiding in the world. Much like a Sunday Mass where the Church uses the amplification system of a rock concert to discourage you from falling asleep.

When you have PCs that switch on in the middle of the night, TVs that change channels without remotes, telephones that spontaneously transmit the Rosary, residents complaining they can hear radio broadcasts through their domestic lamps and leukemia banging at the front door, then it could be time to put down the Bible for a moment and bring down the power generators a notch or two.

"Stubbornly, whenever Vatican officials went to court they flashed the Lateran Treaty; a 1929 agreement with Benito Mussolini establishing the Holy See as fully sovereign thus exempting Vatican City from jurisdiction by Italy proper." "Cacchio", that's like a reminder that your conceited and irresponsible child who's now 79 years old can do whatever he wants and you can't punish him.

They should dig up Mussolini, prop him up in front of those antennas until the 600 kilowatts bring him back to life and force the jackass to revise that treaty.

"Only In Italy" Subscribe for free and day in and day out, 5 days a week, you'll have laughter, tears and intelligent commentary all blaring at you from your stupid little monitor. Click Here to Subscribe!



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