03/17/10 Chestnut Cake

"Belle parole non pascono i gatti." (Fine words don't feed cats.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Tuscany Anchovy Crostini
  -Chicken Risotto (gluten-free)
  -Chestnut Cake

The ear tests words as the palate tastes food. Enjoy your recipes.

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Tuscany Anchovy Crostini

Tuscany Anchovy Crostini
Crostini alla Toscana con Acciughi


7 oz (200 grams) salted anchovies
1 slice white bread, crusts removed, soaked in cold water for about 10 minutes
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 oz (50 grams) capers, chopped
1 fresh red chilli, seeded and chopped
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
4-6 white bread slices
Butter, for spreading (optional)


Prepare the Anchovies:
To fillet the whole salted anchovies, cut off the head and tails, and press along the backbones with your thumb.

Soak in cold water for 10 minutes and drain.

Place the fillets in the base of a dish.

Prepare the Crostini:
Squeeze out the white bread and mix with the parsley, capers, chilli, onion, and garlic, then mix in the olive oil and vinegar.

Pour the sauce over the anchovies and leave to stand for about a day.

Just before serving, toast the white bread, spread with butter (optional) and top with the anchovy mixture. Serves 4-6.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Chicken Risotto (gluten-free)

Chicken Risotto (gluten-free)
Risotto al Pollo


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup red onions chopped
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of fresh ground black pepper
4 cups sliced mushrooms
2 cups cooked diced chicken breast
3 garlic cloves
1 cup Arborio rice
4 cups gluten-free chicken broth stock
2 roasted red peppers, skins removed, and chopped
1/4 cup green onions
2 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmigiano cheese


Saute onions with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.

Add salt and pepper.

Add mushrooms, chicken and garlic and saute for several minutes.

Add rice and the rest of olive oil.

Add 1/2 cup of chicken stock and mix until rice absorbs it.

Continue cooking (about 20 minutes) until the stock has evaporated.

Remove from heat and add rest of ingredients and serve with Parmigiano cheese. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Chestnut Cake

Chestnut Cake


3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing and drizzling
14 oz (400 grams) chestnut flour
8 fl oz (250 ml) milk
2 oz (50 grams) caster or superfine sugar
3/4 oz (20 grams) pine nuts
Needles from 1 fresh rosemary sprig


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

Brush a 3/4 inch (2 cm) deep sandwich tin with olive oil.

Sift the flour into a bowl and gradually whisk in the milk and 12 fl oz (350 ml) cold water until thoroughly combined but runny.

Stir in the sugar, a pinch of salt and the olive oil, then spoon into the prepared tin.

Sprinkle with the pine nuts and rosemary and drizzle with a little olive oil.

Bake for 40 minutes, then leave to cool before serving. 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:

Italian Aristocrat Cousins Fight Over Non Existent Throne

Rome - February 16, 2010 - The family of Italy's last king are locked in a bitter court feud over who has the right to lay claim to the country's defunct throne more than 60 years after the monarchy was abolished.

The battle pitches Prince Victor Emmanuel, the son of Umberto II, against his third cousin, Duke Amadeo of Aosta, both of whom are descended from the 19th century king of Italy, Umberto I.

The dispute has reached court after four years of public bickering which divided the country's small but ardent band of monarchists.

It began when the duke declared he, rather than his cousin, was the real head of the House of Savoy, the name of the Italian royals until the monarchy was abolished by referendum at the end of the Second World War.

The duke, 66, argued that his cousin was no longer eligible to call himself Prince of Savoy because he had failed to secure the legally-required permission of his father, king-in-exile Umberto II, to marry a Swiss biscuit manufacturer heiress and champion water skier, Marina Doria, in 1971.

The duke also argued that the prince forfeited his right to the dynastic title because in order to be allowed to return to Italy from exile in 2002, Victor Emmanuel had to formally recognize the Italian republic as the country's legitimate government.

The feud even erupted into violence when Victor Emmanuel was accused of punching the duke twice in the face following a dinner held by King Juan Carlos I of Spain in honor of the wedding of his son.

But now a court in Tuscany has finally ruled the 73-year-old prince is the true heir to the dynasty, which has its roots in the north-east of Italy and ruled the whole country after it was unified in 1861.

It ruled the Savoy royal title can now only be used by Prince Victor Emmanuel and his son, Prince Emmanuel Filiberto, who is best known to Italians as the recent winner of a reality television show, Dancing with the Stars.

It also ordered the Duke of Aosta to pay his cousin 49,000 Euros in compensation as well as the costs of the trial.

The court pointed out that the "dynastic squabbles underlying this affair" had no legal relevance to the modern Italian state because the monarchy had been abolished more than 60 years ago.

It also highlighted the fact the prince was descended from the last king of Italy while the duke came from only a "junior branch" of the royal family.

The court ruled that the duke's use of the Savoy name had been "unmerited" and ordered him to bring his "harmful conduct" to an immediate end.

Prince Emmanuel, who has been embroiled in a series of scandals including an incident in which he fatally shot a German tourist who climbed aboard his yacht off Corsica in 1978 and, more recently, charges of recruiting prostitutes for clients at a Swiss casino, praised the court's decision.

"The judge understood the vile and harmful action that Duke Amadeo had construed against me, my son and the Royal House of Savoy, an action which has been rightly punished," he said.

But a furious Duke Amadeo vowed to fight on. "I respect the judgment but naturally I don't agree with it and I'm going to appeal," he said.

It was not just the claim to a long defunct royal line that was at stake. The Savoy name also confers the control of various charitable institutions and entitles the holder to call himself prince of Venice and Piedmont - although the positions are purely titular.

"Porca di quella vacca", isn't it entertaining to see two people with nothing fight over nothing?

Here are some more fun filled facts about the Prince of Pepperoni:

- Vittorio Emanuele and his family hold no official titles, nor do they have royal or governmental duties because Italy is now and has been a republic since 1946. (In other words, he has plenty of free time on his hands. Therefore, he should put on a cowboy hat, get on a jackass and ride out of town. He should go play "bocce" in Naples somewhere seeing that he is also known as the Prince of Naples.)

- His full birth name is Vittorio Emanuele Alberto Carlo Teodoro Umberto Bonifacio Amedeo Damiano Bernardino Gennaro Maria di Savoia. (Each and every one of those people can kiss my ass.)

- Vittorio Emanuele has worked as a banker and an aircraft salesman, and then an arms dealer. (He would have made a bad mailman.)

- He is also a claimant to the title of King of Jerusalem. (Move over King David and make way for the new King of the Jews.)

- Vittorio Emanuele unilaterally declared himself King of Italy on 15 December 1969. (Hard to believe he was able to do so that morning without the need of getting out of bed.)

- In 1978 he was tried in France on a murder charge, of which he was cleared of unlawful killing but convicted of a firearms offence. Vittorio Emanuele discovered his yacht's rubber dinghy had been taken and attached to another nearby yacht. Arming himself with a rifle, he attempted to board the yacht. He shot at a passenger he had awakened; the shot missed the passenger but mortally wounded and killed a passenger sleeping on the deck of another adjacent yacht. (How do you get through to someone who is limited in his capacity? The dinghy had more brains.)

- Vittorio Emanuele also said in recent years that the anti-Semitic laws passed under Mussolini's regime were "not that terrible". ("Cazzo", there goes the King of Jerusalem title.)

- In May 2004, following a dinner held by King Juan Carlos I of Spain on the eve of the wedding of his son Felipe, Vittorio Emanuele punched his cousin Amadeo of Savoy twice in the face. (Hmmm...First punch for giving a more expensive wedding present? The second for the wives wearing matching evening gowns?)

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