11/07/07 Rock Cornish Game Hens Stuffed with Chili Peppers from OreganoFromItaly.com

Siccome la casa brucia, riscaldiamoci. (Since the house is on fire let us warm ourselves.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Zuppa di Cipolla, Spinaci, Fave e Gamberi
  -Gnocchi di Castagne
  -Pollo Rusponte Ripieno con Peperoni Chili

Enjoy the recipes and the complimentary news article report from "Only In Italy.com".

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Zuppa di Cipolla, Spinaci, Fave e Gamberi

Zuppa di Cipolla, Spinaci, Fave e Gamberi
Onion, Spinach, Fava and Shrimp Soup


3 tbl. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium white onion, chopped fine
1/2 lb fava beans, fresh and shelled
1/2 lb spinach, chopped (fresh or frozen is acceptable)
14 ounces chicken broth
1 cup milk
1/2 small lemon
8 large Shrimp
2 tsp flour
Salt and pepper


Saute the onion in the olive oil for 2 minutes, then add the fava beans and cook together for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.

Add the chicken broth and milk, bring to a boil and add the spinach. Lower the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Put the shrimp into a quart pan, fill 2/3 with water to which the juice from half of a small lemon has been added. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.

Immediately remove the shrimp from the pot and plunge into cold water to stop them from cooking further and becoming tough. Peel and set aside.

Add the flour to the soup using a tea strainer to distribute the flour evenly. Stir to dissolve the flour and then turn the heat to medium high.

The soup should thicken nicely in a minute or so. At this point add salt and pepper to taste, and remove from the heat.

Place four shrimp to each bowl, ladle the soup into the bowls, and serve. Serves 2-3.

That's it!

 Recipe: Gnocchi di Castagne

Gnocchi di Castagne
Chestnut Gnocchi


1 lb (450 grams) chestnut flour
1/2 lb (250 grams) white flour
1/4 lb (100 grams) seasoned Pecorino cheese
8 spoons of extra virgin olive oil
Warm water


Create a flour 'mountain' with the two flours and mix well. Begin creating the gnocchi paste with the use of the warm water.

Add salt (not too much) until the mixture has formed an even, pliable texture.

Roll the pastry into a medium thick circle and let it slightly dry.

Cut the pastry into 1.5 inch (4 cm) squares and sprinkle each with flour.

In a pot with a generous amount of boiling salted water, add and cook the gnocchi for 10 minutes.

Drain and 'dress' the cooked gnocchi with olive oil and grated cheese. Serves 4.

That's it!

 Recipe: Pollo Rusponte Ripieno con Peperoni Chili

Pollo Rusponte Ripieno con Peperoni Chili
Rock Cornish Game Hens Stuffed with Chili Peppers


12-15 medium New Mexican Chili or Italian frying peppers
2 medium Rock Cornish Game Hens
6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced very thinly
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper


For the peppers:
Although we specify New Mexican chili, any good chili or green Italian frying pepper can be used for this dish.

Place the peppers in deep pan, and turn the heat to medium high. Depending upon the size of the pan, you may have to cook the peppers in 2 or 3 batches.

The peppers are to be pan roasted without oil or seasonings. Cook them until they are soft, and the skin blackens on much of the peppers. It will be necessary to turn the peppers 6-7 times in order to cook all sides equally.

As the peppers cook, remove them from the pan, place them in a stainless steel bowl and cover with a cloth towel. The resultant steam will loosen the skins and allow the peppers to be peeled easily.

Peel the peppers, removing most of the seeds. Slice into long strips, mix with 1/4 cup of olive oil and garlic. Set aside.

Preparation of the dish:
Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Rinse the hens in cold water, and pat dry. Salt the insides of each bird, then stuff each with as many peppers and garlic as will fit into the cavity.

Rub olive oil over each bird and then salt the outside surfaces.

Tie the legs and the wings to the bird with kitchen string.

Place breast down in a baking dish large enough to hold both hens, and any left over peppers. Be sure to place 3-4 peppers on top of each hen so that they will crisp when the birds are baked.

Bake for 1 hour, or until the juices of each bird run clear when pierced with a fork.

Serve immediately. Garnish each hen with the peppers in the baking dish along with any juices leftover. Serves 2 to 4.

That's it!

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 Only In Italy!

"Only In Italy" is a daily news column that translates and 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:

Mafia Bosses Held Meetings In Police Station

Naples - September 29 - Mafia bosses normally try to avoid going anywhere near jail, but crime leaders near Naples have been discovered holding meetings in their local police station.

Mobsters linked to a notorious Camorra clan used the station telephone and snorted cocaine at the command post of the traffic police in San Cipriano d'Aversa. Investigators believe that the red carpet was rolled out to gang members by Giuseppe Iovine, a former policeman and the brother of feared Casalesi clan boss Antonio Iovine, who has been on the run since 1996 and is wanted for murder.

Giuseppe Iovine was fired from the traffic police in 1995 for his mob connections, but continued to frequent the police station and even borrow police cars in order to tour local businesses to demand protection money, investigators said. He was accompanied on his rounds by serving officers and even the station chief, who could now face charges of extortion.

"Thanks to the influence he enjoyed as a relation of one of the historic bosses of the Casalesi clan, Iovine wielded absolute power at the police station," investigators wrote in a report released as they raided the homes of local police this week.

Investigators suspect Antonio Iovine's ability to evade arrest is thanks in part to mob infiltration of local government.

The Casalesi clan is believed to be one of the most powerful groups within the Naples Camorra, specializing in construction and keeping a lower profile than clans that focus on drug dealing.

"Oh, porca di quella troja!" It's fascinating what that Vesuvius volcano can spew out from time to time.

At the first sight, Naples appears to have such an overmanned and overgunned police force that tourists wonder if Neapolitans have ever heard of civil liberties. At times it feels like you're under martial law and you get the urge to run for the hills towards Switzerland.

In addition to the normal police, they also have something funny here called the 'Carabiniere' who are military runway models of the police force.

While the mafia is busy with cocaine and taking emergency calls at police command posts, Carabiniere stand around all day, in very flashy costumes with a trademark white diagonal leather sash across their breasts and a huge gold motif on their hats, brandishing machine guns.

Over the centuries, Carabiniere have carefully nurtured their image as so-called heroes of the people of ridiculous folk proportions, and there's a wide range of promotional crap merchandise such as calendars, pens, posters and toys which they distribute. Much of it is free because no one will pay for it.

However, traffic cops do little more than sit basking at the side of the road wearing shiny leather jackets, sunglasses and guns, trying to look like Starsky and Hutch, only randomly pulling in the odd looking, sap motorist just to keep their reports up to quota.

Nonetheless, we certainly hope the Polizia di Napoli were able to hold whatever dignity there was left and decline the mobster's requests for coffee and croissants at the command post.

A bit of advice: if you're a tourist in Naples and happen to smell smoke, it's best not to call the Fire Department. They'll send a rescue unit of arsonists to the scene and burn down your hotel room.

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