12/01/10 Baked Fish and Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic

"Mangiare per vivere e non vivere per mangiare." (Eat to live and not live to eat.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Gorgonzola Mousse
  -Mushroom and Barolo Risotto
  -Baked Fish and Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic

"Buon giorno" folks! Hope all your Holidays plans are coming along smoothly and above all, with understanding! Enjoy this week's recipes.

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Gorgonzola Mousse

Gorgonzola Mousse
Mousse di Gorgonzola


7 oz (200 grams) Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
11 oz (300 grams) stracchino cheese, like Taleggio, diced
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) robiola cheese, diced
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) butter, softened
Walnut halves for garnishing (optional)
Raw carrots, to serve (optional)


Put the three cheeses and butter in a food processor and process to a soft, even cream.

Line a tart tin with cling film.

Spoon in the mixture, smooth the surface and cover with more cling film.

Chill in the refrigerator for about 3 hours.

Place on a serving dish and garnish with walnut halves.

Serve with raw carrots if you like. Serves 6-8.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Mushroom and Barolo Risotto

Mushroom and Barolo Risotto
Risotto Al Barolo Con Funghi


For the Vegetable Stock:
3 cherry tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 turnips, coarsely chopped
2 leeks, trimmed and coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 potatoes, coarsely chopped
2 onions, coarsely chopped
1 celery stick, coarsely chopped

For the Risotto:
12 oz (350 grams) risotto rice
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) dried mushrooms
7 fl oz (200 ml) Barolo wine
1 and 1/2 oz (40 grams) butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 fresh rosemary sprig, finely chopped
1 fresh sage sprig, finely chopped
1 fresh basil sprig, finely chopped
4 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprig, finely chopped
1 and 1/2 oz (40 grams) Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated
Salt and pepper


Prepare the Vegetable Stock:
Place all the vegetables in a large saucepan, pour in 1.5 liters (2 and 1/2 pints) of water, add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil.

Lower the heat and simmer gently for about 20-25 minutes.

Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly, then strain into a bowl pressing down well on the vegetables with a wooden spoon.

Prepare the Risotto:
Place the mushrooms in a bowl, add hot water to cover and leave to soak for about 20 minutes,

Drain and squeeze out.

Melt the butter with the olive oil in another saucepan.

Add the garlic, onion, rosemary, sage and basil and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5-7 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and cook for an additional 15 minutes.

Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper to taste, then cover and simmer for another 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring the vegetable stock to a boil.

Stir the parsley and rice into the pan of vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, until the grains are coated in the fat.

Sprinkle in the wine and cook until it has evaporated.

Add a ladleful of the hot stock and cook, stirring, until it has been all absorbed.

Continue adding the stock, a ladleful at a time, and stirring until each addition has been absorbed. This will take an additional 20 minutes.

When the rice is tender, sprinkle with the Parmigiano cheese and serve. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Baked Fish and Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic

Baked Fish and Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic
Pesce Arrosto al Forno con Patate all'Aglio e Rosmarino


1 lb new potatoes, peeled, washed, and cut into wedges
An oven-to-table baking dish that can accommodate both the fish and the potatoes in one layer
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 or 5 fresh rosemary sprigs
4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
Fine sea salt
Black pepper ground fresh from the mill
A 2-pound fillet from a firm-fleshed fish, such as grouper, striped bass, red snapper, or mahi mahi
2 tablespoons fine, dry, unflavored bread crumbs


Bring the oven to 400F.

Place the potato wedges in the baking dish, pour 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over them, add 2 sprigs of rosemary, all the garlic cloves, and salt, and pepper.

Toss thoroughly.

Place the dish in the preheated oven.

After 15 minutes, remove the dish to turn the potatoes over, then put it back in the oven.

Cook until the potatoes feel tender when tested with a fork, another 10 minutes or so.

Remove the dish from the oven.

Push the potatoes to the sides, making room in the center for the fish fillet to lie flat.

Wash the fish fillet, pat it dry with paper towels, and lay it flat in the dish, skin side down.

Strip the leaves from the remaining rosemary sprigs, scatter them over the fish, add salt and pepper, and sprinkle the bread crumbs and the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over the fillet.

Return the dish to the oven and bake for 14 minutes.

Let the dish settle out of the oven for 3 to 4 minutes before serving. 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:

Venice Gondoliers Under Attack For Bad Singing

Venice - October 5, 2010 - Venice's gondoliers have been criticized for serenading tourists with 'culturally deficient' songs that have no relation to the lagoon city.

The boatmen are under attack for ignoring local ballads and instead singing songs from other parts of Italy such as 'O Sole Mio'.

Tourists pay up to 200 Euros ($280 USD) to be serenaded as they are taken around the lagoon city's canals. However, of the 10 songs that visitors most frequently request from their gondoliers, only three have the slightest connection to Venice. The rest come from faraway parts of Italy such as Naples and the holiday island of Capri.

They include "Nel blu dipinto di blu" which is Italy's 1958 Eurovision entry and one of the country's best known songs and "That's Amore", the 1953 song from the film The Caddy, which was sung by Dean Martin and is not even Italian.

Gondoliers who belt out such songs are 'culturally deficient', said a Venetian politician, Alberto Mazzonetto.

"They are ignoring the Venetian identity in a way that is detrimental to tourism. They're offering a distorted image of Venice as a sort of cultural Disneyland which has little to do with local traditions," said Mr Mazzonetto, a city councilor.

He said the city's Gondola Authority received 600,000 Euros a year in funding, had "a great deal of power", and should encourage the revival of Venetian songs.

"The authority can sanction gondoliers if, for example, they wear tennis shoes instead of approved footwear. It has a code of discipline but it has never tried to influence the gondoliers' repertoire."

Michele Bozzato, a Venetian singer and former gondolier, said: "I'd like gondoliers to gradually introduce more Venetian songs into their repertoire, teaching the listener to enjoy them," said.

But singers from the south of Italy hit back, saying that their ballads are the most requested because they are so catchy.

"O Sole Mio is a song that is known and loved throughout the world. It is no longer tied to one region. Nobody has forced the gondoliers to sing it," said one of Naples' best known pop and folk singers, Nino D'Angelo. "You would have thought these politicians have better things to think about."

They say taking a trip to Venice and failing to ride a Gondola is like going to France and ignoring the Eiffel tower. Ah, is that so? That's a big "cazzata". It's more like going to the Eiffel tower and avoiding a French man dressed in black who will take you to the top of the tower in a smelly elevator for 100 Euros.

If you're interested in this slow and expensive taxi ride (because that's just what it is), be sure that you understand the facts and choose the right "figlio di una mignotta" from the selection of "figli di puttane" gondoliers.

If you're in so-called "love" and a romantic cruise is what you're after, the serenading will be extra and each of the gondoliers have their own chart of classic Italian hits and price list. But remember, haggling is something you should be good at when dealing with these gondoliers, and if that is not the case, you are best to tell your significant other to calm down, buy her a nice big gelato, and go for a simple romantic walk.

And regarding these 'culturally deficient' songs, there's a Venetian law which states that every gondolier must be born in Venice. So, it's obvious they're purposely avoiding the local songs. "Ma cazzarola", who cares? If the day should come, God forbid, when one of us here is forced to take a Gondola ride to calm down that significant other, you can be sure we're going to get our money's worth.

Gondolier: "O sole mioooo...."
One of us: "Weh, 'cumpa, aspetta! I want to hear 'La donna e mobile' from Rigoletto. And sing it with the passion Pavarotti had when he sang. Don't give me that look, 'cumpa!"

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