03/23/11 Salami, Sausage, and Mozzarella Tart

"Meglio essere invidiati che compiatiti." (Better to be envied than pitied.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Roasted Wild Mushroom and Asparagus
  -Fresh Ricotta and Fava Bean Bruschetta
  -Salami, Sausage, and Mozzarella Tart

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Roasted Wild Mushroom and Asparagus

Roasted Wild Mushroom and Asparagus
Arrosto ai Funghi Selvatici e Asparagi


1 lb medium asparagus, tough ends trimmed
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons butter
1 large shallot, minced
12 ounces assorted wild mushrooms (such as crimini, oyster, chanterelle, shiitake, and porcini), sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian parsley
1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon


Preheat oven to 475F.

Arrange asparagus on rimmed baking sheet.

Drizzle olive oil over and turn to coat.

Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

Roast until just tender, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add shallot; saute 1 minute.

Add mushrooms; saute until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.

Cover; cook until mushrooms are tender, about 3 minutes.

Add wine; cook uncovered until wine is absorbed, about 2 minutes.

Stir in parsley and tarragon.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide asparagus among 4 plates.

Top each serving with mushrooms. Makes 4 first-course servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Fresh Ricotta and Fava Bean Bruschetta

Fresh Ricotta and Fava Bean Bruschetta
Bruschetta con Ricotta Fresca e Fave


1 and 1/2 cups shelled fresh fava beans (from about 1 and 1/2 lbs) or 1 and 1/2 cups frozen baby lima beans
8 slices country-style bread, cut in half crosswise
8 garlic cloves, cut in half crosswise
15 ounces fresh ricotta cheese or whole-milk ricotta cheese
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil


Cook fava beans or lima beans in medium saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender, about 1 and 1/2 minutes for fava beans or about 4 minutes for lima beans. Drain.

Rinse under cold water; drain well.

Peel fava beans if using; set aside.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Arrange bread pieces on baking sheet; toast in oven until light golden, about 12 minutes.

Rub 1 side of each bread piece with cut side of 1 garlic half, pressing firmly to release juices into bread.

Top each bread piece with 1 heaping tablespoon ricotta cheese, then fava beans, dividing equally.

Place 2 bread pieces on each of 8 plates.

Drizzle lightly with olive oil.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Garnish with sliced basil and serve. Makes 8 appetizer servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Salami, Sausage, and Mozzarella Tart

Salami, Sausage, and Mozzarella Tart
Crostata di Salame, Salsiccia, e Mozzarella


1 refrigerated pie crust (half of 15-ounce package), room temperature

8 ounces Italian sweet sausages, casings removed
3/4 cup coarsely grated mozzarella cheese (about 3 ounces)
2/3 cup diced Italian salami (such as Genoa)
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
4 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg


Prepare the Crust:
Preheat oven to 425F.

Unfold crust on work surface.

Press together any cracks in dough to seal crust.

Place crust in 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom; fold in excess dough and press, forming double-thick sides that extend about 1/4 inch above rim of pan.

Pierce crust with fork.

Bake crust 5 minutes; press with back of fork if crust bubbles up.

Continue to bake until crust is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

Prepare the Filling:
Reduce oven temperature to 400F.

Meanwhile, saute sausages in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat until brown, breaking into small pieces with back of fork, about 6 minutes.

Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to large bowl; cool.

Add mozzarella, salami, Parmigiano cheese, and basil.

Toss sausage mixture to blend.

Spoon sausage mixture into prepared crust.

Beat eggs, milk, and nutmeg in medium bowl to blend; season with pepper.

Pour custard over sausage mixture in crust.

Bake tart until filling is set in center and golden brown on top, about 30 minutes.

Let cool 10 minutes and serve. Makes 8 (appetizer) servings.

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:

Pregnant Nun Ad For Gelato Banned

Rome - September 15, 2010- An ice cream advert showing a heavily-pregnant nun has been banned for "making a mockery" of the beliefs of Roman Catholics.

The ad, for Antonio Federici ice cream, showed the nun holding a tub of ice cream with the slogans "Immaculately conceived" and "Ice cream is our religion".

Ten readers complained that the ad, which appeared in "The Lady" and "Grazia" magazines, was offensive to Christians, especially Catholics, according a local news agency. Banning the image, the Advertising Standards Authority said ads "should contain nothing that is likely to cause serious or widespread offence".

It said: "We considered the use of a nun pregnant through immaculate conception was likely to be seen as a distortion and mockery of the beliefs of Roman Catholics.

"We concluded that to use such an image in a lighthearted way to advertise ice cream was likely to cause serious offence to readers, particularly those who practiced the Roman Catholic faith."

Defending the ad, Antonio Federici said the idea of "conception" represented the development of their ice cream, and their use of religious imagery stemmed from their strong feelings towards their product. The company said it also wished to "comment on and question, using satire and gentle humor, the relevance and hypocrisy of religion and the attitudes of the church to social issues".

The publishers of "The Lady" received eight complaints made directly to them and said that, in hindsight, it had been a "misjudgment" on their part to publish the ad.

"Grazia" magazine said it considered that the ad was intended to be lighthearted and not mocking of any religious groups.

You know, we still have no idea what all the Italian brouhaha is. Is it about the banned ad or the fact that there are Italians who are still reading magazines?

Someone has to explain to Signore Federeci, the gelato kingpin, that it's ice cream. It's just ice cream, "cazzarola!" He reminds us of one of those Italian experts who are in rapid expansion. He won't let you take a lick from your ice cream cone without showing off his expertise and giving miserable stares at pathetic people like you who simply put gelato in 2 categories (dessert, what to have on a hot day).

"The publishers of "The Lady" received eight complaints..." That's it? Eight?! Someone should also tell the editor of "The Lady" that the ad was a failure. By the way, for anyone interested in becoming an Italian magazine editor here's how. Just repeat the phrase, "Boh, I don't know. What do you think?"

Antonio Federici: "the idea of "conception" represented the development of their ice cream, and their use of religious imagery stemmed from their strong feelings towards their product." This is a man who is as brilliant as the inventor of the mozzarella but an ad department run by Armani's plumber.

We think everyone in Italy has gone out of their minds. When we saw the ad, the only strong feelings we felt was not for the ice cream but the anger and frustration we suffered during our elementary school years in Catholic schools run by psychopathic nuns.

"Fanculo", forget the gelato! We need a few drinks to help get over the trauma.

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