09/21/11 Roasted Monkfish with Cauliflower and Lentils

"I geni s'incontrano." (Great minds think alike.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Old Fashioned Onion Tart
  -Fettuccine with Sausage, Sage, and Garlic
  -Roasted Monkfish with Cauliflower and Lentils

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Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Old Fashioned Onion Tart

Old Fashioned Onion Tart
Torta Di Cipolle All'Antica


For the Pate Brisee (thawed if frozen):
9 oz (250 grams) plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
6 oz (175 grams) butter, diced and softened
1 egg, lightly beaten

For the Onion Tart:
2 and 1/4 lbs (1 kg) onions thinly sliced
5 oz (150 grams) sultanas
Marrow from 2 beef bones, diced
2 oz (50 grams) butter, plus extra for greasing
Plain flour, for dusting
8 fl oz (250 ml) dry white wine
Pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper


Prepare the Pate Brisee:
Sift the flour and add a pinch of salt into a mound on the work surface and add the softened butter.

Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.

Shape into a mound, make a well in the center and pour in the beaten egg and 2 tablespoons of water.

Knead lightly by hand (your hands should be cold) or using a metal palette knife.

Wrap the pastry in cling film, flatten gently with a rolling pin and chill in the refrigerator for about an hour.

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

Divide the pastry into several pieces.

Roll out on a lightly floured surface and use to line boat-shaped, oval or round tartlet tins.

Line with baking parchment or greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans.

Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Remove the tins from the oven, remove the beans and parchment or paper and leave to cool before filling.

For the Onion Tart:
Preheat the oven to 160C (325F) Gas Mark 3.

Grease a tart or quiche tin with butter and sprinkle with flour, tipping the tin to coat.

Place the sultanas in a bowl.

Pour in the wine and set aside to soak.

Roll out the pate brisee on a lightly floured surface and line the prepared tin, trimming the edges.

Reserve the trimmings.

Prick the base all over with a fork.

Line with baking parchment.

Fill with baking beans and bake blind for about 15 minutes.

Remove the pastry case and increase the oven temperature to 180C (350F) Gas Mark 4.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a frying pan.

Add the onions and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until golden brown.

Stir in the beef marrow, the sultanas with the wine and a pinch of sugar.

Season with salt and pepper and cook until the wine has evaporated.

Remove the parchment and beans from the pastry case.

Pour in the onion mixture and spread evenly.

Roll out the trimmings, cut into thin strips, brush the ends with water and arrange in a lattice over the top of the tart.

Bake for about 28-30 minutes.

Serve warm, cut into slices. Serves 6.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Fettuccine with Sausage, Sage, and Garlic

Fettuccine with Sausage, Sage, and Garlic
Fettuccine con Salsiccia, Salvia e Aglio


3/4 pound egg fettuccine
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
8 garlic cloves, peeled, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
1 pound sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper (optional)
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (about 3 ounces)


Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente', stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter with olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat.

Add garlic slices and saute until light golden, about 45 seconds.

Using slotted spoon, transfer garlic to bowl.

Increase heat to medium-high; add sage to same skillet and stir until beginning to crisp, about 10 seconds.

Add sausage and saute until browned and crisp in spots, breaking up with fork, about 8 minutes.

Drain pasta; add pasta and remaining 1 tablespoon butter to skillet.

Using tongs, toss pasta with sausage mixture.

Add crushed red pepper, if desired; season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer pasta to large bowl.

Top with crispy garlic and grated cheese. Makes 4 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Roasted Monkfish with Cauliflower and Lentils

Roasted Monkfish with Cauliflower and Lentils
Rana Pescatrice al Forno con Cavolfiore e Lenticchie


For the Sauce:
1 cup whipping cream
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons (or more) water

For the Lentils and Cauliflower:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped peeled carrots
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup lentils
3/4 teaspoon curry powder
3/4 teaspoon paprika
2 and 3/4 cups water, divided
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
4 and 1/2 cups small cauliflower florets (from about one 22-ounce head)

For the Gremolata:
1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 and 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon peel

For the Monkfish:
Four 6-ounce monkfish fillets (each about 1-inch thick), skin removed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


Prepare the Sauce:
Bring first 4 ingredients to boil in medium saucepan.

Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until cauliflower is very tender, about 16-18 minutes.

Cool slightly.

Transfer mixture to blender; add 3 tablespoons water and puree until smooth.

Season with salt and pepper.

Prepare the Lentils and Cauliflower:
Heat olive oil in medium saucepan over medium heat.

Add onion, carrots, and celery; saute until soft, about 8 minutes.

Add lentils, curry, and paprika; stir 1 minute.

Add 2 and 1/2 cups water; bring to boil.

Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

Uncover; stir until liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned, about 2 minutes.

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

Add 1/4 cup water; cover and cook until cauliflower is crisp-tender and water evaporates, about 3 minutes longer.

Stir in lentil mixture.

Season with salt and pepper.

Prepare the Gremolata:
Mix parsley and lemon peel in bowl.

Season with salt and pepper.

Prepare the Monkfish:
Sprinkle monkfish with salt and pepper.

Heat olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

Add fish; saute until just opaque in center, about 6 minutes per side.

Divide sauce among 4 plates.

Spoon lentil mixture alongside.

Place fish atop lentils; sprinkle with gremolata. Serves 4.

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 President To Stay Awake And Keep An Eye on Amanda Knox Trial

Perugia - June 15, 2011 - Italian president Giorgio Napolitano is following the legal case of American student Amanda Knox who is appealing her conviction for killing her English housemate in 2007 while studying in Italy.

"I am keeping track of developments in this complex story," president Napolitano said through a diplomatic advisor on Tuesday.

He was responding to an open letter from Italian politician Rocco Girlanda, who asked the president to intervene to avoid international controversy over what he claims was an unfair trial.

Girlanda heads Fondazione Italia USA - an organization that aims to strengthen ties between Italy and the United States - and wrote of book on Knox.

Girlanda says prosecutors mishandled the case and is seeking an investigation.

Knox, her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito and African immigrant Rudy Guede were jailed for murdering Knox's housemate Meredith Kercher, a British exchange student in November, 2007.

Knox and Sollecito together return to a Perugia court on 21 June to jointly appeal against the 25 and 26 year prison sentences handed to them for murdering Kercher, who was found semi-naked with her throat slit in the cottage she shared with Knox in Perugia.

Dear Rocco,

Thanks for your letter. The Fondazione Italia USA and Amanda's family may have a chance of seeing this situation end happily if President Giorgio makes an effort to stop wearing socks with sandals and staying awake long enough each day to follow the trial highlights.

"Baci e abbracci", Only In Italy


Dear Presidente Giorgio,

Here are the Sicilian cliff notes on what the hell went wrong with the case and our comical justice system:

1) 11 Italian lawmakers in Silvio Berlusconi's coalition request a probe of the prosecutor's office. (That's called back-peddling alla Parmigiana.)

2) Amanda was a fat high school student, had acne and was more devoted to rock climbing and backpacking than to dating. Her best friend, Madison Paxton, "She's a little dork who doesn't wear matched socks." (Then our cousin, Maurizio, must be unstable as her. He wears mismatched socks but it's hard to tell because they're always dirty.)

3) Sollecito, a gawky, pale 23-year-old with rimless glasses and zero history with women. His father, a rich urologist, had set him up with the apartment in Perugia. But there was a problem...whenever he used the sink, the pipes leaked and water pooled on the floor. Sollecito was so stumped by the puddles that he called his father for advice on how to get rid of them. ("Papa, after you explain how to stop the magic puddles from appearing, please, explain to me...air.")

4) Amanda returned with Sollecito to the apartment and called the "Carabinieri" to report a burglary. Two officers soon arrived. They weren't Carabinieri, however. They were the postal police. (A comatose, high school unit of the state police responsible for investigating crimes like stolen phones and late mail. Imagine what would happen to them if Italy adds 4 new numbers to the zip code.)

5) Italy's jamboree-like judicial process: no order in court, lawyers and defendants constantly interrupting the proceedings with catcalls, groans, and wild hand gesticulations, the press in the peanut gallery whining like soccer fans at the stadium. (Si, we're just a few months away from drinking, belching, and farting in court.)

6) The prosecution's failure to establish motive or intent. "Well, we live in an age of violence with no motive," said one prosecutor. (So true. Cousin Maurizio is battling an ingrown toe nail. We're afraid he might want to wipe out the local bread baker.)

7) According to the prosecutor, Mignini, things are often touched by Satan. In the Monster of Florence serial-killer case of 2001, Mignini proposed that the suicide of a Perugian doctor was actually a murder committed by a satanic cult, practicing since the Middle Ages, that demanded human organs for their Black Masses. He later accused a hostile journalist of Satanism. In the early stages of the Kercher investigation, Mignini suggested that the victim had been slaughtered during a satanic ritual, but in his closing argument, he only went so far as to refer to Knox as a sex-and-drug-crazed "she-devil." (First, you need to stop watching bad Italian horror films and get out more often. Second, it would have made more sense if you claimed a chocolate loving bear committed the murder.)

8) One officer was certain Knox had lied about taking a shower that morning because "she smelled like sex." (Ok, he got us there. What does sex smell like? Whenever "dirty socks" Maurizio returns home from a night of drinking, his breath always smells like Gorgonzola cheese no matter how many times he washes his mouth out.)

9) Knox signed a confession...written in Italian. It declared that Knox had accompanied pub owner, Lumumba, to her house on the night of the murder. She had been standing in the next room while Lumumba stabbed Kercher to death. When Knox signed the confession, the interrogators all started hugging one another. ("Porca vacca, we did it! Yes, she confessed to the murder...and the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby!")

10) Knox and Sollecito were not formally charged until...a year after their arrests. The prosecution's case leaned heavily on two pieces of evidence. Kercher's bra clasp which was not retrieved until 47 days after the murder, by which point it had been moved across the room and lay in a pile of debris had tested positive for trace amounts of Sollecito's DNA. And a knife,...selected at random by a detective from Sollecito's kitchen drawer, tested positive, albeit at extremely low levels, for Kercher's DNA. (DNA evidence released shows that after 183 attempts to match the material on the lottery-winning knife to Meredith's DNA, there is a less than 1 percent chance that it is hers. So, another 387 attempts will probably be made until they eventually run out of lab supplies, funding, and wind up in the insane asylum.)

"Con amore", Only In Italy

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