12/07/11 Cacciucco

"Bisogna navigare secondo il vento." (As the wind blows, you must set your sail.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Eggs with Fontina Cheese
  -Risotto with Champagne
  -Livorno Style Seafood Soup

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 Recipe: Eggs with Fontina Cheese

Eggs with Fontina Cheese
Uova con La Fontina


8 eggs
8 slices (about 1/4 pound) Italian Fontina or Swiss cheese
3 to 4 tablespoons butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Melt butter in a large skillet.

When butter foams, break eggs into skillet.

Season with salt and pepper.

Cook over medium heat about 1 minute.

Place 1 slice Fontina or Swiss cheese over each egg.

Cover skillet and cook 6 to 8 minutes or until eggs are firm and cheese is melted.

Place 2 eggs on each of 4 serving plates. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Risotto with Champagne

Risotto with Champagne
Risotto allo Champagne


4 cups chicken broth
5 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 and 1/2 cups arborio rice, page 5
4 cups dry champagne
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese
Salt to taste


Prepare chicken broth.

Heat broth in a medium saucepan and keep warm over low heat.

Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large saucepan.

When butter foams, add onion.

Saute over medium heat until pale yellow.

Add rice and mix well.

When rice is coated with butter, add 1 cup champagne.

Cook, stirring constantly, until champagne has evaporated.

Stir in 1 or 2 ladles of broth, or enough to cover rice.

Stir over medium heat until broth has been absorbed.

Continue cooking and stirring rice, adding broth a little at a time, about 10 minutes.

During remaining 10 minutes of cooking, add champagne 1 cup at a time instead of broth.

Do not add more champagne until previous amount has been absorbed.

Rice is done when it is tender but firm to the bite.

Stir in 1/2 cup Parmigiano cheese and remaining butter.

Season with salt.

Place in a warm dish.

Serve immediately with remaining Parmigiano cheese. Makes 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Livorno Style Seafood Soup

Livorno Style Seafood Soup


5 and 1/2 lbs (2.5 kg) mixed fish (monkfish, conger, freshwater eel, squid, cuttlefish) cleaned and cut into chunks
1 and 2 oz (500 grams) mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
11 oz (300 grams) tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small fresh chili, seeded and chopped
6 fl oz (175 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprig, chopped
18 fl oz (500 ml) red or white wine
Salt and pepper
Toast rubbed with garlic, to serve


Heat the olive oil in a flameproof casserole, preferably earthenware.

Add the onion, parsley, garlic and chili.

Season with salt and pepper and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10-12 minutes until the onion is golden brown.

Add the wine and cook for another 10 minutes.

Then add the tomatoes and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Add the firmer fish.

Pour in a little warm water and cook on a high heat for about 10 minutes.

Gradually add the more delicate fish, finishing up with the mussels (total cooking time for the fish is about 30 minutes).

Serve with slices of toast rubbed with garlic. Serves 8.

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:

Naples Trash Crisis Nears End...And Ready To Begin Again

Naples - July 4, 2011 - Following weeks of government debate and street demonstrations over the Naples trash crisis, the southern city's mayor announced Monday that the problem may finally have reached a close.

"The city has been substantially cleaned up," said Mayor Luigi de Magistris. "A massive clean-up operation targeted the worst-hit districts last night".

He added that it is still unclear as to where that garbage will now be dumped.

A central government measure passed last week permits the Campania region to export refuse to other parts of the country, emphasizing that neighboring regions should be the "priority target".

"The response of the mayors (in other regions) has been excellent, and I hope they don't deny our request," said de Magistris, adding that he had been in touch with 10-15 local governments, yet did not specify which ones.

Milan Mayor Giuliano Pisapia announced his city was sending seven trash compactors to Naples.

The European Union recently chastised the Italian government and threatened sanctions for the thousands of tonnes of trash that covered city streets and the surrounding province in recent weeks.

Armed police escorts had recently begun accompanying garbage trucks as exasperated protesters had resorted to tipping over dumpsters, blocking traffic and setting fire to the growing piles of waste choking the daily flow of city life.

Naples and the surrounding region of Campania have suffered similar crises periodically for a number of years.

The previous public outcry occurred last November when weeks of clashes and rising trash piles brought Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi to the city.

It was then that the premier, who won plaudits by sorting out a similar emergency in 2008, made a vow to clear the streets in three days.

But the problems have returned partly because of technical failures in local incinerators and the lack of investment in other landfill sites.

The issue is further complicated by the role of the local mafia, or Camorra, and claims that they have infiltrated waste management in Naples and dumped toxic waste on sites near residential areas.

The government has said it will present a plan within one month outlining a proposed solution to the crisis.

Hmmm...how does a crisis that's a decade old come near to an end? "Cazzarola", let's face it, Naples is a nice if you're a mouse, not a resident.

Napolitani mothers: "Figli miei, we have to learn to live together and resolve our problem. We can't run."
Napolitani kids: "Minchia, sure we can run, the whole world is running! Hold your breath and look out the balcony again, mamma. Even the mice stop, look up and say, "ancora qui?" (still here?)"

So, should tourists be concerned? It depends on your phobias. The situation isn't lovely. The Napolitani are currently on the search for some hygiene saint to help them get out of that mess. They have one (San Gennaro) whose dried blood liquefies 3 times a year and sends the city into delirium...but that damn garbage is still there.

You would think the good saint would at least perform the miracle of differentiating it.

The problem is as ugly and out of control as a Napolitano sitting out on a stoop with his shirt half-buttoned, drinking cheap wine from a plastic cup. The Campania region's dumps reached full capacity more than a decade ago, and since then a state of emergency has been declared every 48 minutes. Eight different commissioners have been appointed, but they have all failed to solve the problem.

Of course, state of emergency means government cash: 1.8 billion Euros (more than $2.5 billion USD) in emergency funds have been transferred to deal with the problem. It's easier to find a cure for polio than to find out where or how the hell that money has been spent.

Incinerators that were supposed to be built were never finished, either because the companies in charge of building them mysteriously could not finish the job, or else because judges stopped the work, pending ongoing criminal investigations into alleged mafia involvement (yawn...shocking).

But here's the kick in the "culo": Over 20% of the money went to pay for the salaries of those in charge of coming up with a solution to the problem.

#1 in charge: "What should we do?"
#2 in charge: "Not sure. In college, I majored in peppers and toothpicks."
#3 in charge: "Don't look at me, I have to go home early. My chicken needs a bath."

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