04/16/14 Asparagus Crepes

""Everything you see I owe to pasta." Sophia Loren Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Radicchio Salad with Mushrooms
  -Asparagus Crepes
  -White Pizza with Goat Cheese and Swiss Chard

"Buon Primavera!" Please don't change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the authentic you. And thanks again for finding the time to read your recipe newsletter! I look forward to connecting further in the couple of days.

Thanks again for reading!

Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Radicchio Salad with Mushrooms

Radicchio Salad with Mushrooms
Insalata di Radicchio Ai Funghi


3 Treviso radicchio, trimmed
7 oz (200 grams) lamb's lettuce, trimmed
11 oz (300 grams) mushrooms
Juice of 1 lemon, strained
1 bunch of dandelion leaves, trimmed
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper


Prepare a bed of radicchio leaves on each of 3-4 plates.

Slice the mushrooms.

Sprinkle them with a little of the lemon juice and fan out on top of the radicchio leaves.

Add the lamb's lettuce and dandelion leaves.

Whisk together the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the remaining lemon juice in a bowl.

Season with salt and pepper.

Gently pour the dressing over the salad and serve. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Asparagus Crepes

Asparagus Crepes
Crepes Agli Asparagi


For the Crepes:
2 eggs
8 fl oz (250 ml) milk
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) plain flour
1 oz (25 grams) butter
Extra virgin oil, for brushing

For the Filling:
1 and 3/4 lbs (800 grams) asparagus, trimmed
2 oz (50 grams) butter, plus extra for greasing
1/4 pint (150 ml) double (or heavy) cream
2 oz (50 grams) Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated


Prepare the Crepes:
Sift the flour into a bowl.

Add the eggs and 3-4 tablespoons of the milk and mix well.

Gradually stir in the remaining milk to make a runny batter.

Melt the butter in a double boiler in a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water, leave to cool completely, then add to the batter.

Season with salt, beat again for another few minutes with a small whisk, then leave to stand for about an hour.

Brush the base of a crepe pan with olive oil and heat.

Pour in 2 tablespoons of the batter.

Turn and tilt the pan so that the batter covers the base evenly.

Cook for 3-4 minutes until the underside is set and golden brown.

Flip over with a spatula and cook the other side for about 2 minutes until golden.

Slide the crepe out of the pan on to a plate.

Make more crepes in the same way until all the batter is used.

Prepare the Filling:
Cook the asparagus in lightly salted, boiling water for about 15 minutes.

Drain and chop them coarsely.

Melt half the butter in a large frying pan.

Add the asparagus and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5-6 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200?C (400?F) Gas Mark 6.

Grease an ovenproof dish with butter.

Brush the crepes with some of the cream.

Sprinkle half the crepes with the Parmigiano cheese.

Place the asparagus on top and roll up.

Arrange in a single layer in the prepared dish.

Pour in the remaining cream.

Dot with the remaining butter

Sprinkle with the remaining Parmigiano cheese.

Bake for about 10 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Remove from the oven and cut each roll into three or four sections before serving. Makes 12 crepes.

That's it!

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 Recipe: White Pizza with Goat Cheese and Swiss Chard

White Pizza with Goat Cheese and Swiss Chard
Pizza Bianca con Formaggio di Capra e Bietola


For the Dough:
1 and 3/4 cups (about) unbleached all purpose flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast (from 1 envelope)
3/4 cup warm water (105?F to 115?F)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

For the Seasoned Oil:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

For the Topping:
1 bunch Swiss chard (about 10 ounces), white ribs cut away
8 ounces whole-milk mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated
4 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
Yellow cornmeal


Prepare the Dough:
Pour 3/4 cup water into large bowl.

Sprinkle yeast over.

Stir to blend.

Let stand 10 minutes to dissolve yeast.

Add olive oil and salt.

Add 1 and 1/2 cups flour.

Stir until well blended (dough will become sticky).

Turn dough out onto generously floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding just enough flour to prevent dough from sticking, about 5-6 minutes (dough will become soft).

Shape dough into ball.

Place in large oiled bowl and turn to coat.

Cover bowl with kitchen towel.

Let dough rise at cool room temperature until almost doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Punch dough down.

Form into ball.

Return to bowl.

Cover with towel and let rise until doubled in size, about 3 hours.

Prepare Seasoned Oil:
Mix oil, garlic, and red pepper in small bowl.

Let stand 1 hour.

Prepare the Topping:
Cook Swiss chard in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 2-3 minutes.


Rinse under cold water.


Squeeze dry and coarsely chop.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in small skillet over medium heat.

Add garlic and stir 1 minute.

Add Swiss chard and stir 1 minute.

Season to taste with salt.

Preheat oven to 500?F.

Punch down dough.

Form into ball.

Place on floured work surface.

Cover with kitchen towel.

Let rest 30 minutes.

Sprinkle rimless baking sheet with cornmeal.

Roll out dough on floured surface to 13-inch round.

Transfer to baking sheet.

Sprinkle mozzarella over dough, leaving 1-inch border.

Scatter Swiss chard over mozzarella.

Top with goat cheese.

Brush crust edge with some of seasoned oil.

Set aside 2 teaspoons seasoned oil.

Drizzle remaining oil over pizza.

Bake pizza until crust is brown, about 15 minutes.

Remove from oven.

Brush edge with seasoned oil and serve. Makes 4 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:

Concordia Officers Were Playing Playstation When Ship Crashed

Grosseto - October 7, 2013 - The first mate of the Costa Concordia cruise ship told a Tuscan court that he and the cartographer were resting in their cabins "playing on their Playstations" when the giant liner smashed into a rock formation on Giglio Island off the Tuscan coast on January 13, 2012.

Fifty-year-old Giovanni Iaccarino was the first of 1,040 witnesses listed to be heard in the trial against the ship's ex-captain, Francesco Schettino. Schettino is accused of multiple manslaughter and dereliction of duty for his role in the shipwreck that killed 32, forced the evacuation of thousands onboard, and caused massive economic damage to Costa Cruises and to Giglio Island, a popular Tuscan tourist destination where the massive ship crashed.

In live testimony, Iaccarino recalled that at the moment of impact, he and Canessa were resting in their cabin.

"We were playing on Playstation when we became aware of the ship hitting on the left, then on the right. Materials fell down. The sensation was like hitting aground or a collision. This was the impression I had at that moment," Iaccarino said of the moment of impact.

Iaccarino was the first person to go check and find out that the engine room and bilge pumps were flooded - 11 minutes after impact - and to communicate the irreparable damage to the control room.

Iaccarino also testified that Schettino ordered the ship to sail a half-mile from the shore of Giglio Island instead of the route's usual five-mile distance in the centre of the Argentario Canal.

Iaccarino said there was a blackout on the bridge. He reported radioing the second-in-command, Bosio, to say, "The water is continuing to rise". In the videotaped testimony Iaccarino also remembered that he heard an announcement saying things were under control at 22:04.

Iaccarino recalled returning to the control room after the impact and saw that the instruments indicated that the ship "had gone from 16 knots to nine". "I looked at the panel and it was full of red lights. Then Captain Schettino put his hands in his hair and said, 'I messed up'," Iaccarino said.

Hmmm...not only do violent video games lead to real life violence, they lead to real life shipwrecks.

One could say that this was an accident, and another could say it was negligence and irresponsibility. So many theories and explanations flying around and we're still at the beginning. "Porca di quella vacca," it's like listening to the French rewrite World War II.

However, we think two facts must be considered certain from this tragedy that will not be brought up during the trial:

1) At its inauguration, the stupid champagne bottle didn't smash across her bow during the christening (click here).
Even if all the Italian grandmothers in the world would have dressed up in black and teamed up through a Skype video conference to ward off this curse, it would have been useless. (Something to do with one of their lunatic theories we've heard over and over, "once cursed, always cursed, blah-blah-blah...".)

2) It's getting more and more difficult to get through to Italians.
We need an authoritative and wise figure who can get through to them on another level. Unfortunately, the only person that comes to mind is a ventriloquist and his puppet.

Peppe the puppet: "Let's start off easy: right shoe on right foot..."
Captain Schettino: "Peppe, look at that e=mc2. Who did he think he was?"
Peppe the puppet: "You're going off topic again. Just stay 5 miles away from the island. 1-2-3-4-5. It's ok, you can count on your fingers."

"Iaccarino was the first person to go check and find out that the engine room and bilge pumps were flooded - 11 minutes after impact - and to communicate the irreparable damage to the control room."

11 minutes?! "Vaffanculo!" It took 11 minutes to warn the control room because "Moe" and "Larry" had to FIRST make it to some checkpoint on their Playstation game and save it. Then, after checking the flooded engine rooms, they radioed "Curly", who was busy staring at a panel with red lights, to say the water was still rising.

"Iaccarino...heard an announcement saying things were under control at 22:04."
And that must have come from the jackass who "messed up" (against the puppet's wishes, of course).

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