11/02/11 Chicken Cutlet Parmigiano

"A buona volontą, non manca facoltą." (Where there's a will there's a way.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Three-Mushroom and Prosciutto Dressing
  -Gnocchi with Oxtail Ragu
  -Chicken Cutlet Parmigiano

"Buon Giorno!" All of us at the farm are grateful for your participation with us through this newsletter. Thanks for everything you're doing and we'll continue to find recipes to help your kitchen smell scrumptious. Please share this newsletter, if you found it useful. Enjoy this week's recipes.

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Three-Mushroom and Prosciutto Dressing

Three-Mushroom and Prosciutto Dressing
Condimenti di Tre Funghi e Prosciutto


8 cups 1/2-inch cubes rustic rosemary bread (from one 14 and 1/2-ounce loaf)
1 ounce dried Porcini mushrooms
2 cups boiling water
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
One 3-ounce package thinly sliced prosciutto, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch wide slices
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
1/2 pound small button mushrooms, trimmed
1/2 pound small fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, quartered
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 and 1/2 tablespoon crushed dried rosemary
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chopped green onions, divided
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
1 cup (about) chicken broth


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Spread bread cubes in single layer on large rimmed baking sheet.

Bake until lightly browned and slightly crisp, about 18 minutes.


Combine porcini mushrooms and 2 cups boiling water in medium bowl; let stand until mushrooms are soft, about 30 minutes.

Strain, reserving soaking liquid.

Chop mushrooms.

Heat olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add prosciutto and cook until crisp, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes.

Transfer to paper towels.

Melt butter in same skillet over medium-high heat.

Add button mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, and onion to skillet and saute until soft and brown, about 10 minutes.

Add garlic, rosemary, and porcini mushrooms.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Add wine and boil until almost all liquid evaporates, about 4 minutes.

Transfer to bowl.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Generously butter 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish.

Combine bread cubes, 1/2 cup prosciutto, mushroom mixture, and 3/4 cup green onions in large bowl; toss to distribute evenly.

Add eggs; toss to coat.

Pour mushroom soaking liquid into 2-cup measuring cup.

Add enough chicken broth to soaking liquid to measure 2 cups.

Add broth mixture to bread mixture; toss to coat (mixture will be moist).

Transfer dressing to prepared dish.

Bake uncovered until top is slightly crisp, about 30 minutes.

Sprinkle with remaining prosciutto and green onions. Makes 10 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Gnocchi with Oxtail Ragu

Gnocchi with Oxtail Ragu
Gnocchi al Ragu di Coda di Bue


For the Ragu:
5 pounds 2 to 3-inch pieces oxtails
All purpose flour
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
5 large celery stalks, coarsely chopped
2 large carrots, peeled, chopped
1 large onion, very coarsely chopped
2 cups dry red wine
1 and 1/4 cups canned crushed tomatoes with added puree
4 garlic cloves, chopped
6 fresh parsley sprigs
2 large fresh rosemary sprigs
3 Turkish bay leaves
2 cups beef broth
1 cup chicken broth

For the Gnocchi:
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, diced
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup semolina flour (pasta flour)
4 large egg yolks
1 and 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano cheese, divided
Chopped fresh Italian parsley


Prepare the Ragu:
Preheat oven to 325°F.

Sprinkle oxtails with salt and pepper, then flour.

Heat olive oil in heavy wide ovenproof pot over high heat.

Add oxtails; cook until brown on all sides, about 15 minutes.

Transfer to bowl.

Add celery, carrots, and onion to pot.

Reduce heat to medium-high and saute until vegetables brown, about 15 minutes.

Add wine and tomatoes.

Boil until thickened to chunky sauce, about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle in garlic.

Tie parsley, rosemary, and bay leaves with kitchen string and add to pot.

Return oxtails to pot in single layer.

Add all broth; bring to boil.

Cover pot; place in oven.

Braise oxtails until very tender, about 2 hours.

Transfer oxtails to rimmed baking sheet.

Using potato masher, crush juices and vegetables in pot to coarse sauce.

Pull meat off oxtails and add to sauce.

Season ragu with salt and pepper.

Prepare the Gnocchi:
Butter 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish.

Bring milk, butter, and salt to simmer in heavy large pot over medium-high heat.

Gradually whisk in semolina.

Stir until semolina is very thick and bubbling, about 3 minutes.

Remove from heat; mix in yolks, 1 at a time, then 1 cup Parmigiano cheese.

Place pot over low heat and stir 2 minutes.

Spread semolina in prepared dish.

Cover and chill until firm, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.

Preheat oven to 475°F.

Butter 15 x 10 x 2-inch glass baking dish.

Using 1 and 3/4-inch round cutter, cut out as many semolina gnocchi as possible; arrange in prepared dish.

Top with warm ragu; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Parmigiano cheese.

Bake until heated through, 10 to 15 minutes.

Sprinkle with parsley. Serves 6-8.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Chicken Cutlet Parmigiano

Chicken Cutlet Parmigiano
Cotoletta di Pollo alla Parmigiana


For the Tomato Sauce:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 and 3/4 cups chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup coarsely grated peeled carrots
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
Two 28-ounce cans peeled whole tomatoes in juice

For the Chicken:
10 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
3 cups fresh breadcrumbs (from crustless French bread ground in processor)
2 large eggs
1 cup (about) all purpose flour
6 tablespoons (or more) extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 cups coarsely grated well-drained fresh water-packed mozzarella, divided
1 and 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmigiano cheese, divided
1 and 1/4 cups freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, divided
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram


Prepare the Tomato Sauce:
Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add onions and garlic; saute until onions are soft and golden, about 10 minutes.

Add carrots and thyme; saute until carrots are soft, about 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes with juice; bring to boil, coarsely crushing tomatoes with potato masher or fork.

Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until sauce thickens and is reduced to generous 5 cups, about 1 hour.

Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Prepare the Chicken:
Place chicken breast halves between 2 sheets of plastic wrap.

Using meat mallet or rolling pin, pound chicken breasts to 1/3-inch thickness.

Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt and pepper.

Spread breadcrumbs on plate.

Whisk eggs to blend in medium bowl.

Spread flour on another plate.

Coat both sides of chicken with flour, then eggs, then breadcrumbs.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

Working in batches, add chicken to skillet and cook until brown, about 2 minutes per side, adding more olive oil as needed (chicken will not be cooked through).

Transfer chicken to platter.

Spread 1 cup sauce over bottom of 15 x 10 x 2-inch glass baking dish.

Arrange 1 layer of chicken over sauce.

Spoon 2 cups sauce over.

Sprinkle half of mozzarella, Parmigiano, and Pecorino over.

Repeat with remaining chicken, sauce, mozzarella, Parmigiano, and Pecorino.

Bake until cheeses melt and chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Sprinkle with parsley and marjoram and serve. 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:

President of Rome's Retailing Association Among Dozens Arrested For Tax Evasion

Rome - June 14, 2011 - The president of the retailing association in the Italian capital, Confcommercio, was among over 40 people arrested on Tuesday for alleged tax evasion.

Cesare Pambianchi and 14 other people were detained in prison and 27 put under house arrest in the operation, during which police raided hundreds of companies.

As well as tax evasion, the suspects face charges including money laundering and embezzlement.

Tuesday's operation was part of a probe by Rome prosecutors into an alleged international association involving the owners of various companies and groups who dodged taxes to the value of 550 million euros.

Sixty-five-year-old Pambianchi is accused evading tax on over 300,000 euros of consultancy fees.

"I am displeased. I hope Pambianchi will be able to prove his innocence," commented Rome's mayor, Gianni Alemanno.

Confcommercio issued a statement expressing "full solidarity" and "esteem and faith" in Pambianchi.

"In the hope that Rome prosecutors shed full light on this matter, we repeat that the accusations leveled against president Pambianchi concern his business activities alone and in no way regards Rome's Confcommercio," the statement said.

Pambianchi in 1996 founded the company Profit S.p.A. which currently employs 450 people and owns 20 sports centers and several health farms. He is also a member of the board of directors of Aeroporti di Roma and the Fiera di Roma permanent trade fair.

Look, Italians are not what you would call passionate planners. Forecasting what we will be doing a year therefore, is a game for idiots. Many of us wake up with no idea what awaits us by pasta time:
"Ragazzi, let's get nothing done and onwards to the next cigarette!"

And tell an Italian that the only certainties in life are death and taxes and he'll throw a few Euros at you, thanking you for the wonderful laugh and making his day.

According to statistics, a 1/3 of Italians are semi illiterate. We can't do simple tasks like buying shoes that fit and have very little notion of history and science. But tax evasion is a way of life Italians plan very carefully. We'll go into a cave with goat milk and bread and meditate before we figure out how to pull it off.

According to the latest figures available from the "Agenzia delle Entrate", an equivalent of the Inland Revenue or IRS, more than 124 billion Euros ($181 billion USD), is evaded every year by Italians. For example:

The owner of five Ferraris...that claims an income of 1,000 Euros ($1,460 USD) a month.
A restaurant owner purchases a 750,000 Euro ($1,095,000 USD) home...but declares zero income.
An owner of a large property portfolio...never files tax returns.

Makes you want to run over your accountant with your car, doesn't it?

And believe us, there are Italians hard at work resolving the immortality problem:

"I said I want a 99 year lease on the store front. Of course, everything in cash."
"Don't worry about me. Cazzo, I'll be back to renew."

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