11/04/09 Cotechino Sausage with Mushroom Sauce

"Non tutto oro quel che luce." (Not all that glitters is gold.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Bresaola with Lamb's Lettuce
  -Spicy Potato Salad
  -Cotechino Sausage with Mushroom Sauce

Enjoy your recipes with health and happiness!

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Bresaola with Lamb's Lettuce

Bresaola with Lamb's Lettuce
Insalata di Bresaola e Songino


5 oz (150 grams) bresaola, thinly sliced
5 oz (150 grams) lamb's lettuce
2 round fennel bulbs, trimmed, halved and thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, cut into thin batons
1 egg yolk
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 and 1/2 fl oz (100 ml) extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper


Arrange a bed of lettuce leaves on each of four plates and top with a fan of fennel.

Place the bresaola on top and sprinkle with the celery batons.

Whisk together the egg yolk, vinegar and olive oil in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Pour into a sauce boat.

Serve the salad with the sauce. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Spicy Potato Salad

Spicy Potato Salad
Insalata Piccante di Patate


1 and 1/2 lbs (700 grams) waxy potatoes
1 egg
2 salted anchovies,
1 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprig, chopped
1 tablespoon capers, drained and rinsed
4 pickled pearl onions, drained
4 gherkins, drained and chopped
1 pickled pepper, drained and finely chopped
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper


Clean 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.

Prepare the Potatoes:
Cook the whole, unpeeled potatoes in plenty of salted water for about 45 minutes until tender, then drain, peel and slice thinly.

Place the slices in a salad bowl and leave to cool.

Hard-boil the egg, refresh under cold water, shell and halve lengthways.

Scoop out the yolk and press through a sieve into a bowl.

Chop and add them with the parsley, capers, pickled onions, gherkins and pickled pepper to the egg yolk and mix well.

Whisk together the vinegar, olive oil and mustard in another bowl, season with salt and pepper and pour the dressing into the anchovy mixture.

Stir well and, if necessary, add a little more olive oil.

Pour the anchovy sauce over the potatoes and toss gently. Serves 6.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Cotechino Sausage with Mushroom Sauce

Cotechino Sausage with Mushroom Sauce
Cotechino con Salsa di Funghi


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
1 lb and 5 oz (600 grams) mushrooms, thinly sliced
7 fl oz (200 ml) double cream
12 white bread slices
Melted butter, for brushing
5 tablespoons milk
1 lb and 5 oz (600grams) cooked cotechino sausage, skinned, sliced and heated through
Salt and pepper


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

Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the shallot and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and cream, season with salt and pepper and cook for 10-20 minutes until tender.

Meanwhile, stamp out 12 rounds from the slices of bread, brush with melted butter, place on a baking sheet and cook in the oven until golden brown.

Bring the milk to simmering point in a small saucepan.

Transfer the mushroom mixture to a food processor, add the hot milk and process until smooth.

Put a slice of cotechino sausage on each round of bread and pour the mushroom sauce over the rounds. Serves 6.

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:

Restaurant Owner On Trial for Mistreating Lobsters

Milan - January 6, 2009 - A well-known Milanese restaurateur and his wife have been sent to trial for the mistreatment of lobsters and will find themselves before a judge in early March.

The alleged crime took place in November of 2007 when health inspectors found that live lobsters were on display for potential customers on packs of crushed ice and not inside a water tank.

According to the prosecutor in the case, Giulio Benedetti, not only did this constitute a violation of food preservation laws, but the couple were also guilty of mistreating the lobsters and causing them "unbearable physical pain" by keeping them alive out of their natural habitat, water. The prosecution also suspects that this treatment may have been a contributing factor in the lobsters' death.

The case is similar an April 2006 one in Vicenza when a restaurant operator was fined 688 euros for mistreating lobsters by keeping them on ice. The fine was the result of a complaint filed in March 2002 by a former activist from Italy's animal protection agency ENPA.

According to the restaurateur, at the time of his alleged 'crime' there were no specific guidelines on maintaining live lobsters, regulations which entered the law books only in 2004.

The general opinion of lobster men is that a hard shell lobster can survive out of the water for 24 hours or more, while soft shell lobsters, those which are regrowing their shells after shedding in the summer, are best kept in water. They also maintain that lobsters, sometimes referred to as the 'cockroaches of the sea', do not suffer in the traditional sense, even when they are thrown into boiling water for cooking.

Most lobsters in Italy are hard shells and arrive from northern Europe and North America packed in ice.

The local press in Vicenza noted at the time that the case had given the restaurant operator some excellent and free publicity.

"Figlio di una mignotta", how about sending restaurant owners to trial for the mistreatment of tourists? Have you ever been fleeced in a restaurant in Milan? "Cacchio", you would think you were being displayed on crushed ice.

See, here in Sicily we're used to having a hard time giving a crap about problems of the Milanese however, something smells fishy here (pardon the stupid pun)...

How is it the health inspectors found a few lobsters shivering from the cold but not the illegal World Cup football game going on in his kitchen? Or could it be that, in Italy, "all the roads lead to...kickback" and Signore Benedetti got off the wrong exit somewhere?

"Mamma mia", all this drama can be avoided if people would just eat a nice simple dish of "pasta con le sarde" (sardine sauce) and shut up.

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