11/19/08 Braised Beef With Barolo from OreganoFromItaly.com

"L'occasione fa l'uomo ladro." (With the right opportunity, a man will turn into a thief.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Clam and Potato Soup
  -Trout Mould
  -Braised Beef With Barolo

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Clam and Potato Soup

Clam and Potato Soup
Zuppa di Vongole e Patate


3 and 1/4 lb (1.5 kg) clams, scrubbed (Manila are great)
2 potatoes, diced
4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
3 and 1/2 fl oz (100 ml) dry white wine
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 fresh rosemary sprig
1 tablespoon fresh chervil leaves
4 country-style bread slices
Salt and pepper


Get rid of any clams with broken shells or that do not shut immediately when tapped.

Place the clams in a large frying pan, add the wine and cook over a high heat for about 5 minutes until the clam shells open.

Drain the clams, reserving the cooking liquid, and get rid of any that remain closed.

Remove the clams from their shells and strain the cooking liquid through a fine strainer.

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan.

Add the celery, onion and carrot and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until lightly browned.

Add the tomatoes, potatoes, reserved cooking liquid and 2 pints (1.2 liters) of water.

Bring to a boil and add the rosemary and chervil.

Then lower the heat and simmer for about an hour.

Add the clams and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove and discard the rosemary sprig.

Put a slice of bread on the base of each of four soup bowls and ladle in the soup. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Trout Mould

Trout Mould
Trota Salmonata


For the Fish:
2 and 1/4 lb (1 kg) sea trout, filleted and skinned
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon potato flour
8 fl oz (250 ml) double cream
Butter, for greasing
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 tomato, peeled and diced, for garnishing
Salt and pepper

For the Stock:
A few white fish heads, gills removed
1 onion
1 carrot
1 leek

For the Vegetables:
1 oz (25 grams) butter
2 carrots, cut into thin strips
2 celery sticks, cut into thin strips
2 leeks, cut into thin strips
2 zucchini, cut into thin strips

For the Sauce:
1 tablespoon potato flour
Pinch of saffron threads
3 and 1/2 fl oz (100 ml) dry white wine
1 oz (25 grams) butter 


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

Grease six dariole moulds with butter.

Prepare the Stock:
Place the fish heads, onion, carrot, leek and a pinch of salt in a saucepan.

Pour in 1 and 3/4 pints (1 liter) water, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Strain into a clean pan, set over a high heat and cook until it reduces by half.

Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Coarsely chop the fish fillets, place in a food processor, season with salt and pepper and process it to a puree.

Add the egg yolks, potato flour and all but 1 tablespoon of the cream.

Pour the mixture into the prepared moulds, place in a roasting tin and add boiling water until it rises about halfway up the sides.

Bake for about 25 minutes.

Leave to stand for 5 minutes before turning out.

Prepare the Vegetables:
Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the carrots, celery, leeks and zucchini and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and keep warm.

For the sauce, stir the potato flour into the cooled fish stock.

Bring to a boil over a low heat, stirring constantly.

Add the saffron and reserved cream, bring back to a boil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the wine and simmer gently for a few minutes.

Remove from the heat, stir in the butter and spoon a thin layer of the sauce on to a warm serving dish.

Arrange a layer of vegetables on the dish and turn out the trout moulds on top.

Sprinkle with the parsley and garnish with the tomato.

Serve immediately with the remaining sauce. Serves 6-7.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Braised Beef With Barolo

Braised Beef With Barolo
Brasato Al Barolo


2 and 1/4 lb (1 kg) topside or another fairly lean cut
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 and 1/2 oz (40 grams) butter
l oz (25 grams) prosciutto fat, chopped
Pinch of cocoa powder
1 teaspoon rum (optional)

For the Marinade:
1 bottle Barolo wine
2 carrots, sliced
2 onions, sliced
1 celery stalk, chopped
4 fresh sage leaves
1 small fresh rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
10 black peppercorns


Tie the meat neatly with kitchen string, place in a dish and pour in the wine for the marinade.

Add the carrots, onions, celery, sage, rosemary, bay leaf, peppercorns and a pinch of salt and leave to marinate for 6-7 hours.

Drain the meat, reserving the marinade, and pat dry with kitchen paper.

Heat the olive oil, butter and prosciutto fat in a saucepan, add the meat and cook over a high heat, turning frequently, until browned all over.

Season with salt, pour in the reserved marinade, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 1 and 1/2 hours until tender.

Remove the meat from the pan, untie and carve.

Arrange the slices, slightly overlapping, on a warm serving dish.

Discard the herbs from the cooking liquid and pass it through a food mill, then stir in the cocoa and rum if desired.

Pour the sauce over the meat and serve. Serves 6.

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:

Spirit of Mussolini Still Lives

Rome - September 29, 2008 - The rehabilitation of the wartime dictator is gathering momentum as neo-Fascists flex their muscles on the city streets.

His monuments still dominate Rome's skyline; his name is chanted at football matches and a notorious episode of his rule was recently re-enacted, complete with men dressed as SS stormtroopers. The rehabilitation of Benito Mussolini, Italy's wartime dictator, may not yet be complete but it is not for want of trying.

Yesterday urban planners and architectural historians from across Italy gathered in Rome to honor the "glories" of Fascist architecture. The conference, at Latina, a model "new town" created in reclaimed marshland south of Rome by Mussolini in 1932, is the brainchild of Giorgio Frasinetti, the head of urban planning at Predappio, the town in Emilia-Romagna where Il Duce was born and is buried.

Mr Frasinetti admitted that Fascism had its "ugly" aspects but he insisted that the buildings erected throughout the country under Mussolini should not be seen as an embarrassment, but deserved "re-evaluation". The move follows the restoration of an obelisk bearing the word "Dux" (Duce) outside the Olympic Stadium in Rome and of Mussolini's Rome residence, the Villa Torlonia. This month a "wartime enactment association" wearing Nazi uniforms re-created the rescue of Mussolini by SS commandos at Campo Imperatore in the Abruzzo mountains, where he was held after being deposed in September 1943. Massimo Castelli, head of the association, insisted that the event arose solely from a "passion for military history".

There is, however, growing disquiet on the Left and among Jewish and Roman Catholic groups. They fear that neo-Fascists are taking advantage of a perceived shift to the right in Italy since elections last April, which brought to power a coalition headed by Silvio Berlusconi. It includes not only the anti-immigrant Northern League, but also Alleanza Nazionale, the reformed descendant of Mussolini's Blackshirts.

Mussolini's tomb at Predappio has become a shrine for neo-Fascists, who have grown increasingly assertive, plastering Rome with far-Right posters and massing on football terraces and at political rallies with their close-cropped hair and black shirts.

In April, Gianni Alemanno of Alleanza Nazionale was elected Mayor of Rome, the first rightwinger to hold the office since the Second World War. Recently, critics have accused Mr Berlusconi who last week announced plans to merge his Forza Italia with Alleanza Nazionale next year of encouraging racist attacks on immigrants by blaming gypsies and illegal immigrants for street crime.

All the more surprising, then, that the man who has cried "enough" is Gianfranco Fini, the head of Alleanza Nazionale, who once described Mussolini as "the greatest statesman of the 20th century". The Speaker of the Lower House of Parliament told a meeting of Azione Giovani, the Alleanza Nazionale youth wing, that the Italian Right had to be "unambiguously anti-Fascist".

What is at stake for Mr Fini is his calculated transformation of the postwar remnants of the Fascist Party into a mainstream, democratic, conservative party and a springboard for power.

He faces formidable resistance, however, in the form of Alessandra Mussolini, the granddaughter of the Duce, who is heading a grassroots revolt. Ms Mussolini, a former model and actress who has forcefully defended her grandfather's reputation since entering politics in 1992, and who is the niece of Sophia Loren, appeared in Parliament recently wearing a striking T-shirt reading "Proud to be on the wrong side", a reference to those who fought for Fascism rather than Resistance during the war.

"Oh, non mi scazzare i coglioni!" It's amazing the amount of free time the world financial crisis has brought to this pizza republic.

"This month a "wartime enactment association" wearing Nazi uniforms re-created the rescue of Mussolini by SS commandos at Campo Imperatore in the Abruzzo mountains, where he was held after being deposed in September 1943." Are we insane? Has sanity left us? Is anybody reading this stupid newsletter? Why aren't Italians running out into the streets rioting over this?

"Cacchio", how could anyone have taken this man seriously? This is an imbecile who would ward off the evil eye by touching his testicles. What does this tell you? It tells us, for hygiene reasons never shake hands with a fascist.

Obviously, he was right in touching himself because it derived from a famous political slogan used by fascists and plastered on walls and buildings everywhere in the country.

"Mussolini ha sempre ragione" or "Mussolini is always right!"

Influenced by the concepts of the Roman Empire, with Benny viewing himself as a modern day Roman Emperor, he dreamt of making Italy a nation that was "great, respected and feared" throughout Europe, and indeed the world.

It was his dream to make the Mediterranean mare nostrum ("our sea" in Latin), and he established a large naval base on the Greek island of Leros to enforce a strategic hold on the eastern Mediterranean.

He succeeded in attacking and annexing the African country of Ethiopia, setting up a puppet regime in Albania and ruthlessly consolidated Italian power in Libya, which had been a colony (loosely) since 1912. An occupation and colonization of a country which costed the Italians 5 billion Euros as part of a 2008 "so sorry" pact signed between Gaddafi and another modern day Roman Emperor, Berlusconi.

Benny: "The truth is that men are tired of liberty." No, the truth is Italians are tired of everything; neo-fascists, neo-nazis, communists, soccer, the traffic, etc. Who needs the aggravation?

Why don't they pursue something more promising like professional ice skating?

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