12/24/08 Pan-Roasted Shrimp from OreganoFromItaly.com

"Di notte tutti I gatti sono neri." (By night, all the cats are black.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -White Bean Salad with Spinach, Olives, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
  -Risotto with Peas and Prosciutto
  -Pan-Roasted Shrimp

Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year to all our subscribers. Enjoy your recipes.

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: White Bean Salad with Spinach, Olives, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

White Bean Salad with Spinach, Olives, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Insalata di Fagioli Bianchi con Spinaci, Olive e Pomodori Essiccati


1 and 1/2 cups dried navy beans, rinsed and picked over
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cups firmly packed spinach, washed, drained, and stems removed
1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 lb fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup pitted black olives, such as Kalamata
Italian vinaigrette dressing
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


To quick-soak the beans: Place the beans in a large pot with water to cover by 3 inches and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 45 minutes.

Remove from the heat, drain, and rinse.

To cook the beans: Place the beans in a large pot and add enough water to cover by 3 to 4 inches.

Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer, uncovered, 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until beans are tender but still firm.

Drain and rinse the beans thoroughly. Set aside to cool.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.

Add the onion and cook and stir until slightly brown, about 5 minutes.

Toss the beans, onion, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella, and olives in a large bowl with the vinaigrette until just combined.

Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use or up to 1 day.

If refrigerating, add the spinach just before serving. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Risotto with Peas and Prosciutto

Risotto with Peas and Prosciutto
Risotto con Piselli e Prosciutto


5 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1 and 1/2 cups Arborio rice (12 ounces)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup frozen baby peas, thawed
2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips
1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (2 ounces)
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Bring broth to a simmer in a saucepan and keep at a bare simmer, covered.

Cook onion in 2 tablespoons butter in a 3 to 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add rice and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Add wine and simmer, stirring, until absorbed.

Stir in 1 cup simmering broth and cook at a strong simmer, stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed.

Continue simmering risotto and adding broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition become absorbed before adding next, until rice is just tender and creamy but still 'al dente', 18 to 20 minutes (there will be leftover broth).

Stir in peas, prosciutto, zest, 2/3 cup cheese, parsley, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, and salt and pepper to taste.

If necessary, thin risotto with some of remaining broth.

Serve immediately, with remaining 1/3 cup cheese. Makes 4 main-course or 6 to 8 side-dish servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Pan-Roasted Shrimp

Pan-Roasted Shrimp
Gamberi in Padella


1/2 lb large shrimp, peeled
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped or passed through a garlic press
Pinch of dried red-pepper flakes, or 1 or 2 whole dried peperoncino (hot peppers)
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley


Remove the dark intestinal veins from the shrimp.

As you do, make each cut deep enough to butterfly the shrimp, so each can be opened flat like a book.

Fill a bowl with ice water, add the sea salt and the butterflied shrimp, and let stand for 15 minutes to bring out some of the briny flavor of the shellfish. (Removing their shells robs the shrimp of some of their natural flavor.)

Drain and dry thoroughly with a cotton kitchen towel.

In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil.

Add the garlic and hot pepper and saute gently until the garlic softens but is not browned, about 2 minutes.

Add the shrimp, placing them opened flat on the bottom of the pan so they do not curl too much.

Saute, turning once, until they are opaque, about 2 minutes on each side.

Add the wine, stir and cook for an additional 30 seconds to allow alcohol to evaporate.

Remove and discard the whole peppers, if using.

Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

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:

Marijuana Garden Opposite Sicily Law Court

Trapani - October 21, 2008 - A man was arrested Tuesday for growing marijuana on his balcony opposite the law court in this Sicilian city.

Police confiscated five 2 meter-high (6.6 feet) plants growing in pots and half a kilogram of marijuana laid out to dry on a clothes horse. The man was named Alberto Cangemi, 22.

Police said he used "special" fertilizer to make his plants grow quicker.

"Porca di quella vacca", am I hallucinating or is the 'polizia' running across the street and coming into my building?

The residents of that Sicilian community will probably give the blame to the police:

"Cazzo, you're supposed to understand the community!"
"That's the problem with the police these days."
"They don't understand the community."

"Vaffanculo, they don't understand that when a man is growing pot on his balcony, he's communicating with his community."

It's been said smoking marijuana raises one's consciousness level, doesn't it? (We wouldn't know because our news staff gets high on Sicilian life. Don't believe us? Pull up a few chairs in a typical Southern Italian piazza and inhale the hilarious everyday life that goes on. You'll float all the way back to your hotels.)

Getting back to the festival in Alberto's head... At what level of consciousness would you have needed to arrive to before you realized your 6 foot-high Super Pot was growing and sticking out from the side of the building?

"Only In Italy" Subscribe for free and day in and day out, 5 days a week, you'll have laughter, tears and intelligent commentary all blaring at you from your stupid little monitor. Click Here to Subscribe!

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