01/01/13 Roasted Vegetable Panzanella

"L'acqua fa male e il vino fa cantare." (Water is bad for you and wine makes you sing.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Chickpea and Tomato Stew
  -Roasted Vegetable Panzanella
  -Orzo with Artichokes and Pine Nuts

"Felice Anno Nuovo!" Happy New Year and THANK YOU for all that you do! It means the world to us! Live for today for tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week.

Arrivederci and grazie again!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Almonds and Amarena Cookies

"Almonds and Amarena Cookies: A cookie that has started a trend here in Sicily! They are round cookie almond balls made exclusively from our own home grown natural almonds, the freshest farm eggs, an amarena cherry center, flour, and sugar. No preservatives, additives, artificial colors, nor flavors. Serves 5-7.

900 grams (2 lbs.) is only 15.99 Euro (21.00 - 21.50 US Dollars) + Shipping.

Example Order: One order to anywhere in the USA costs 15.99 Euro plus 8.70 Euro for Global Priority Mail shipping (7-8 days) for a total of 24.69 Euro (32.75 - 33.25 US Dollars).

 Recipe: Chickpea and Tomato Stew

Chickpea and Tomato Stew
Stufato di Ceci e Pomodoro


1 can diced tomatoes
Two 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 3 cups cooked chickpeas)
3 garlic cloves, chopped
One 2-inch slice of fresh ginger, grated
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups water
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
Salt and pepper to taste


In a large skillet over high heat, add the olive oil and onions sauteing until the onions begin to sizzle.

Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the onions turn golden brown.

Add the garlic and ginger and cook until the garlic is fragrant.

Add the cumin, coriander, and cayenne.

Cook for one minute to bring out the flavors of the spices.

Add the tomatoes and water then simmer until thickened.

Add the chickpeas and simmer for another 10 minutes so that the chickpeas take on the flavors of the tomato sauce.

Season with salt and pepper.

Serve topped with the cilantro leaves. Serves 2-3.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Roasted Vegetable Panzanella

Roasted Vegetable Panzanella
Panzanella di Verdure Arrosto


1 large garlic clove
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Three (12-inch) lengths of crusty baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 12 cups)
3/4 lb cherry tomatoes, halved
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 lb green beans, trimmed and halved crosswise
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (preferably white)
3 tablespoons capers (packed in brine), rinsed, drained, and chopped
1/2 teaspoon sugar
One (19-oz) can cannellini beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 lb lightly salted fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/3-inch dice
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil


Arrange oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 425F.

Mince and mash garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt using a large heavy knife.

Transfer to a small bowl and add 1/2 cup olive oil in a slow stream, whisking until combined well.

Place bread cubes in a large bowl and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the garlic oil mixture, tossing to combine.

Divide bread between 2 large shallow baking pans, arranging in 1 layer.

Toast in oven, stirring once or twice, until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.

Leave oven on.

Gently toss tomatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a bowl.

Arrange in 1 layer on a large shallow baking pan.

Toss green beans in same bowl with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

Arrange in 1 layer in another large shallow baking pan.

Roast vegetables, switching position of pans halfway through the roasting and shaking the pans once or twice, until tomatoes are very tender but not falling apart and beans are just tender and browned in several spots, 12 to 16 minutes.

Cool vegetables in pans until ready to assemble salad.

While vegetables roast, add vinegar to remaining garlic oil along with capers, sugar, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and whisk to combine well.

Put green beans, tomatoes (along with any pan juices), toasted bread, beans, mozzarella cheese, and basil in a large bowl.

Drizzle with dressing and stir to combine well.

Let stand 10 to 15 minutes at room temperature to allow flavors to develop.

Stir just before serving. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Orzo with Artichokes and Pine Nuts

Orzo with Artichokes and Pine Nuts
Orzo con Carciofi e Pinoli


1 and 1/2 cups orzo (10 oz)
3 tablespoons pine nuts
One (14-oz) can whole artichoke hearts (not marinated)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest


Cook orzo in a 4 to 5-quart pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente'.

Drain in a colander.

While the orzo is cooking, lightly toast pine nuts in a dry small skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until pale golden, about 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and cool 1 minute, then coarsely chop.

Drain artichoke hearts in a large sieve and rinse well.

Pull off leaves from bases of hearts and quarter bases.

Rinse leaves and bases well, then drain thoroughly.

Stir together olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.

Add orzo, pine nuts, artichokes (leaves and bases), parsley, and zest and toss to combine. Makes 4 side-dish servings.

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:

1 In 4 Italian Families Feel Spanking Helps Teach A Lesson

Rome - March 27, 2012 - More than one in four Italian parents discipline their children with a spanking, a study by Save the Children said Tuesday.

The same study, which was carried out by the Ipsos research group, said most families prefer verbal reprimands and dialogue to corporal punishment.

Exasperation was the most commonly cited motive for spanking.


Parenting alla Italiana

Discipline is mistakenly thought of as punishment for misbehavior but in actuality it offers both the Italian parent and child the space to learn together. The parent appears to learn how the child learns, the child becomes more and more aware of what is and is not acceptable in his screwy and absurd environment.

Example: It is NOT acceptable to speak to relatives your family doesn't speak to.

However, this research cannot be considered complete for Italy is a diverse country. There are differences between regions, economic groups and neighbors.

Example: A typical family from Bolzano will implement calm, pastoral and diplomatic reasoning when disciplining a child. A family from Palermo believes a day long beating from each member of the immediate family while the mother beats her breast and weeps in front of a makeshift shrine in her bedroom is the only proven method that will help the child understand and accept "their" values of life.

There is the physical discipline...and then there is the mental:

1. Being constantly reprimanded by your grandfather because you have so-called everything in life while, during the war, he had to pick bugs off his brother just to eat.

2. Every Sunday afternoon of your childhood was spent visiting your grandparents and the ungrateful extended family members who should thank Jesus, Joseph and Mary every day they were granted the honor of marrying into the Family.

3. You thought women's nylons were supposed to be worn rolled to the ankles.

4. Every meal had to be eaten with a sizable chunk of bread in your left hand so you didn't complain 4 hours later that you were still hungry.

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