11/18/09 Ham in White Wine

"Non sputare in'aria - che ti ricade in testa." (Don't spit in the wind - it might land on your head.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Chicken Stock
  -Ham in White Wine
  -Marbled Ring Cake

Enjoy your recipes with health and happiness!

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Chicken Stock

Chicken Stock
Brodo di Pollo


1 chicken or boiling poultry, skinned and trimmed of visible fat
1 onion
1 carrot
1 celery stick


Place the chicken and vegetables in a large saucepan and add a pinch of salt and water to cover.

Bring to a boil over a medium-high heat, then lower the heat and simmer for at least 2 hours, occasionally removing any unwanted residue that may rise to the surface.

Strain through a wire mesh strainer into a bowl, leave to cool, and then chill in the refrigerator.

When the fat has solidified on the surface, remove and throw it away.

Chicken stock may be served as a broth with gnocchi or julienne vegetables. Serves 4 to 6.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Ham in White Wine

Ham in White Wine
Prosciutto al Vino Bianco


Butter, for greasing
8 thick cooked ham slices
12 fl oz (350 ml) dry white wine
11 oz (300 grams) mushrooms, sliced
1 small shallot, chopped
6 fl oz (175 ml) double cream
1 tablespoon white port


Preheat the oven to 150C (300F) Gas Mark 2.

Grease a fairly large, ovenproof dish with butter and place the ham on the base.

Pour in half the wine, cover with foil and bake for 3 hours, making sure that the liquid does not come to the boil.

Put the mushrooms, shallot and remaining wine in a pan, bring to the boil, then stir in the cream and simmer gently.

Add the ham cooking juices and cook until reduced to the required consistency.

Stir in the port and season with salt to taste.

Place the ham on a warm serving dish and cover with the sauce. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Marbled Ring Cake

Marbled Ring Cake
Ciambella Marmorizzata


3 oz (80 grams) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
14 oz (400 grams) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 oz (80 grams) superfine or caster sugar
2 eggs
6 fl oz (175 ml) milk
1 oz (25 grams) cocoa powder icing sugar, for sprinkling


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

Grease a ring mould with butter and lightly dust with flour.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar and a pinch of salt into a bowl, add the eggs, melted butter and milk and mix until smooth and even.

Pour 1/3 of the mixture into another bowl and stir in the cocoa powder.

Pour the plain mixture into the prepared mould, then pour the cocoa mixture on top and bake for 35-40 minutes.

Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 15 minutes, then turn out.

Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve. Serves 6 to 8.

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:

Let's Pizza: The Pizza Vending Machine

Rovereto - March 14, 2009 - Is Europe bringing back the automat? Claudio Torghele hopes so.

Over the last decade, Mr. Torghele, 56, an entrepreneur in this northern Italian city who first made money selling pasta in California, has developed a vending machine that cooks pizza. The machine does not just slip a frozen pizza into a microwave. It actually whips up flour, water, tomato sauce and fresh ingredients to produce a piping hot pizza in about three minutes.

The machine, which Mr. Torghele calls "Let's Pizza", is only the spearhead of a trend. Restaurants reminiscent of the old Horn & Hardart chain in the United States, which are fully automatic, are also showing up around the Continent.

Unlike the old automats (the last Horn & Hardart closed in 1991), which were staffed with workers who refilled the machines with creamed spinach and baked beans as fast as customers pulled them out, these restaurants consist entirely of vending machines.

In Milan, a two-hour drive west of Rovereto, a franchise chain called Brekky has opened the first three of what is planned to be a large chain of restaurants in which customers can buy cold dishes like salads and sandwiches, and warm dishes like pasta, from vending machines.

The idea for a pizza robot came to Mr. Torghele after he worked in California in the mid-1990s creating a fresh pasta manufacturer. "At food courts I saw a trend toward vending machines," he said at his office in this mountain town. "In fast food, I saw pizza everywhere."

With backing from a Dutch investment fund, his own capital and money from friends, he set to work. A plan to simply miniaturize industrial technology for producing frozen pizza failed, but by 2003 Mr. Torghele had produced a machine ready to be tested in Chicago and shown at a trade fair in Orlando, Fla.

That same year, with the help of Unilever, the British-Dutch food giant, he test-marketed 20 machines in Germany. "We had a bicycle," he said. "Now we had to pedal."

The machine Mr. Torghele and his engineers produced is outfitted with little windows so the customer can watch the pizza being made. As in the Charlie Chaplin film "Modern Times" (in miniature and without Chaplin) wheels turn and gears grind. The customer presses a button to choose one of four varieties - margherita (plain cheese and tomato sauce), bacon, ham or fresh greens. A plastic container dumps flour into a drum resembling a tiny washing machine; a squirt of water follows, and the drum goes into a spin cycle, forming a blob of dough that is then pressed flat to form a 12-inch disk.

Tomato paste is squirted onto the dough and cheese is added before it is lifted into a small infrared oven. The baked pizza then slips onto a cardboard tray and out into the customer's waiting hands. Mr. Torghele says the pizza will cost as little $4.50, depending on the variety.

It is not surprising that the new drive to offer fresh-made food is coming from Italy. Italians may be legendary for long lunches of pasta and wine, but they also lead Europe in vending machines, with more than 614,000 installed, compared with 593,000 in France and 562,000 in Britain, according to the European Vending Association in Brussels.

Much of Italy's strength in vending comes from coffee. An Italian coffee vending machine may offer up to 18 different varieties, including espresso, cappuccino, ristretto, lungo and macchiato.

But with coffee markets increasingly saturated, machine manufacturers are casting about for new products to push, like books, DVDs, scarves and handkerchiefs, even model cars and trains.

Operators are also increasingly offering fresh produce, like apples, and other healthy food at schools and fitness centers.

Now, with the economic crisis spreading across Europe, the industry faces a different landscape. On the one hand, as factories close, potential vending machine sites disappear. On the other hand, as consumers find themselves with less cash, the lower-priced items in vending machines become attractive.

Where does this leave Mr. Torghele and his pizza machine? Initially, he thought the United States would be his primary market, but he learned that market would be hard to penetrate. Instead, when his machine goes into regular production this summer, he will be focusing on Italy and its neighbors. But vending machine prices there average about $2,600, and his machine will sell for $32,000.

Still, experts in the business are not discouraging. "You have to have a location; you have to understand where to go with that machine," Mr. Iannuzzi said. "But there is a future for that."

"Porca vacca!" How sad. The only pizza worse than frozen pizza.

- A plastic container dumps flour into a drum resembling a tiny washing machine,
- a squirt of water follows,
- the drum goes into a spin cycle, forming a blob of dough,
- then pressed flat to form a 12-inch disk,
- tomato paste is squirted onto the dough,
- cheese is added,
- pie is then lifted into a small infrared oven,
- baked pizza then slips onto a cardboard tray and out into the customer's waiting hands.

'Fanculo, that's a lot of entertainment for $4.50!

The only thing more entertaining is watching the Italian inventor put on a straight face while explaining how fantastic it could be to eat a fresh cooked pizza from a vending machine. Keep in mind the infrared oven gives the pizza that extra special flavor.

Mr. Torghele, should take his invention a step further by adding a little atmosphere. Let's say...Naples:

Put money in the vending machine and it gives back the incorrect change. It plays loud Napolitano music from Nino D'Angelo while spinning and squirting your ingredients. After you finish your pizza, you throw out your cardboard tray and dirty napkins in the middle of the street.

Hmmm...The only positive we see coming from "Let's Pizza" is, at least, you won't have deal with an incoherent pizza man who mixes cement during the day and makes your pizza at night...all without ever washing his hands!

Let's hope the pizza won't get stuck and dangle there like a bag of chips, and you're forced to rock the machine back and forth.

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