01/05/10 Rigatoni with Meatballs

"Meglio un uovo oggi che una gallina domani." (Better an egg today than a chicken tomorrow. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Cheese and Brandy Canapes
  -Sicilian Salad
  -Rigatoni with Meatballs

All of us here at the bakery send our best regards to our readers. Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci e a presto!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Dolce per La Festa

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 Recipe: Cheese and Brandy Canapes

Cheese and Brandy Canapes
Tartine al Formaggio e Brandy


7 oz (200 grams) robiola cheese (or Gorgonzola or Roquefort cheese), crumbled
3 and 1/2 fl oz (100 ml) brandy
5 chopped walnuts chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped pine nuts
4-8 white bread slices
Freshly ground pepper
Walnut halves, to garnish


Cream the cheese in a bowl, then beat in the brandy, pine nuts, walnuts and season with freshly ground pepper.

Using a biscuit cutter, stamp out rounds from the bread and spread with the cheese mixture.

Garnish each round with a walnut half. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Sicilian Salad

Sicilian Salad
Insalata Siciliana


1 spring onion, trimmed and soaked in cold water
4 radishes, trimmed and soaked in cold water
2 citrons
2 bunches of rocket, trimmed
2 heads of escarole, trimmed
2 bunches of lamb's lettuce, trimmed
2 oz (50 grams) bean sprouts
Juice of 1 lemon, strained
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 fresh flatleaf parsley sprig, chopped
Salt and pepper


Drain the spring onion and radishes and slice thinly.

Cut off all the peel and pith from the citrons and slice crossways.

Put the spring onion, radishes, citrons, rocket, escarole, lamb's lettuce and bean sprouts in a salad bowl.

Whisk the lemon juice with a pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl, then gradually whisk in the olive oil.

Stir in the parsley, pour the dressing over the salad, toss gently and serve immediately. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Rigatoni with Meatballs

Rigatoni with Meatballs
Rigatoni con Polpette


11 oz (300 grams) minced meat
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 celery stick, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1/2 garlic clove, chopped
1 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprig, chopped
Plain flour, for dusting
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small fresh rosemary sprig, chopped
14 fl oz (400 ml) tomato passata
12 oz (350 grams) rigatoni pasta
1 oz (25 grams) Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated
Salt and pepper 


Mix together the minced meat, parsley and garlic in a bowl.

Stir in the egg and season with salt and pepper.

Shape the mixture into small meatballs, dust with flour and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a pan.

Add the onion, celery, carrot and rosemary and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5-7 minutes, then add the meatballs and increase the heat to medium.

Cook until the meatballs are lightly browned all over.

Add the tomato passata and season with salt.

Lower the heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 35-40 minutes.

Cook the rigatoni in a large pan of salted, boiling water until 'al dente', then drain and pour into the pan with the meatballs.

Mix well and heat through for another 2 minutes.

Transfer to a warm serving dish and sprinkle with the Parmigiano cheese. 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:

Internet Censorship Crash Lands in Italy

Rome - February 11, 2009 - Italy may be able to force Internet providers to block access to Web sites including Facebook, the world's largest social-networking site, if they incite or justify criminal behavior, according to an amendment to a bill passed by the Senate.

Italian prosecutors began looking into Facebook groups dedicated to convicted Sicilian Mafia bosses Bernardo Provenzano and Salvatore Riina last month to verify whether they were used to send coded messages to mobsters. No official investigation was opened, according to Palermo prosecutor Maurizio De Lucia.

"The Internet must be free, but it can't be a jungle where good people and murderers are indistinguishable," Senator Gianpiero D'Alia, the lawmaker in Rome who introduced the amendment, said referring to Facebook fan clubs dedicated to the convicted mafia bosses.

"It's indecent that Facebook said that it won't allow pictures of mothers breastfeeding while there are no rules about removing groups of delinquents," D'Alia said in an interview today.

The aim isn't to block sites like Facebook or YouTube totally if they contain criminal content. Instead, the law is intended to force them to remove pages dedicated to groups inciting or justifying crimes, D'Alia said. The language of the bill doesn't distinguish between blacking out pages or entire Web sites.

The bill says the Interior Ministry will be able to order the blocking of Web sites if prosecutors first verify the criminal content of the sites. The bill would also make it illegal to incite others to commit crimes on the Internet, D'Alia said. It would be a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, he said. It's already illegal to do so in the printed press in Italy.

Should Internet providers including Fastweb SpA, Telecom Italia SpA or Tiscali SpA fail to follow the ministry's order to black out the pages or sites, they may face a fine of as much as 250,000 euros ($322,338), the proposed law says.

"This creates a precedent for the preventive censure of unwanted opinions," Marco Pancini, YouTube's European policy consultant, said in an interview. "Because it's aimed at service providers, this law won't allow the filtering of single content pages, but will lead to entire platforms being blacked out."

Internet providers aren't able to eliminate single elements from Web sites, Pancini said. YouTube has the ability to eliminate potentially criminal or offensive material in collaboration with the Italian postal police, Pancini said, adding that laws regulating criminal content already exist. D'Alia said that current laws cover only pedophilia. An April 2003 law says that once a Web site is informed of illicit material in its domain, then that material must be removed immediately.

One of the Facebook groups that first sparked controversy last month with 481 fans proposes making Provenzano, who has been convicted of ordering more than a dozen murders, a saint. A group for Riina, who was known as "the Beast" for his penchant for violence and murder, has 945 members whose comments include, "You're my idol," and, "You're the best."

While there are groups for mobsters and even for accused Italian rapists, Facebook also has a group hailing as heroes Palermo prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, who were assassinated on the orders of Riina after successfully prosecuting hundreds of mobsters. That group has 369,463 fans.

The measure was inserted as an amendment to a bill aimed at cracking down on crime that the Senate passed on Feb. 5. The measure must pass in the Chamber of Deputies without being changed to become law.

"Porca di quella vacca, 'fanculo, would you believe my connection is down again...and it's not even raining outside?!"

The Chinese have erected a "Golden Wall" against information available on the Internet. They were inspired by the "Great Wall of China". Our jolly D'Alia wants to erect a "Ricotta Wall". He was inspired by the overconsumption of cannoli.

Gov't: "The Internet is breaking our "coglioni!"

This proposed amendment (already approved by the Senate) would oblige all slow and crappy Italian ISPs to block a site (be this a website, a blog or social media sites such as Facebook or Youtube) where material has been posted which is "believed" to defend or instigate a crime. We're not talking about deleting the material "believed" to be criminal/illegal but about filtering/blocking/preventing access to the entire site or platform.

The decision of whether such material is in fact illegal would not go to the Courts of Law. That would be ridiculous, useless and time consuming for the Italian government happily sustains a judicial system that operates at the speed and efficiency of a snail with muscular dystrophy.

Fasten your seat belt: The decision would be taken directly by the Minister of the Interior, with no opportunity for trial in front of judges.

When you read a story as this, you begin to realize that if you venture off to Rome and protest the mere existence of its politicians, chances are "all those roads that lead to Rome" will be filtered/blocked/prevented access to permanently.

So, if this stupid site posts the following dangerous threat:

"Quick! The only hope of stopping that senator who has reached maximum density is to cut off his endless supply of "pasta con le sarde." (sardines)

Chances are we'll have to move to Yemen where we will at least get faster broadband access.

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