01/19/10 Corn Soup

"Fra il due mali scegli il minore." (Between two evils, choose the lesser. Choose the lesser of two evils.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Tuna Canapes
  -Ricotta Sauce
  -Corn Soup

Our best regards to all our subscribers. Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci e a presto!

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 ($22.00-$22.50) + Shipping.

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 Recipe: Tuna Canapes

Tuna Canapes
Tartine al Tonno


3 oz (80 grams) canned tuna in oil, drained and flaked
1 hard-boiled egg
1 and 1/2 teaspoons capers
1 oz (25 grams) pickled pearl onions, drained
1 oz (25 grams) butter, at room temperature
Juice of 1 lemon, strained
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
4-6 white bread slices with the crusts removed

For the Garnish:
3 oz (80 grams) green olives, stoned and sliced
1 pickled pepper, cut into thin strips


Shell and coarsely chop the hard-boiled egg.

Place the tuna, capers and onions in a food processor and process to a puree.

Cream the butter in a bowl.

Push the hard-boiled egg through a sieve into the bowl and mix in with the tuna puree.

Beat in lemon juice to taste, season with salt and drizzle with the olive oil.

Beat well until combined.

Cut the slices of bread in half and spread with the mixture using a palette knife.

Garnish each canape with a few strips of pickled pepper and olive rings. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Ricotta Sauce

Ricotta Sauce
Salsa alla Ricotta


9 oz (250 grams) ricotta cheese
4 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons whole milk
4 walnuts, peeled and chopped (optional)
1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 egg yolk
Salt and pepper 


Place the ricotta cheese in a bowl and stir in the mascarpone cheese and whole milk.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Stir in the egg yolk, add the chives and walnuts.

Mix well, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Great for short pasta. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Corn Soup

Corn Soup
Zuppa di Mais


For the Chicken Stock:
1 chicken or boiling poultry, skinned and trimmed of visible fat
1 onion
1 carrot
1 celery stick

For the Corn Soup:
9 oz (250 grams) canned sweet corn, drained
5 oz (150 grams) zucchini, coarsely chopped
5 oz (150 grams) mushrooms, sliced
16 zucchini flowers, cut into strips
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 and 1/2 oz (40 grams) butter
1/2 chili, seeded and finely chopped


Prepare the Chicken Stock:
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.

Prepare the Corn Soup:
Bring the chicken stock to a boil.

Melt the butter in another pan, add the onion and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until translucent.

Add the sweet corn and zucchini and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and zucchini flowers and cook for a few minutes more.

Pour in the hot stock and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Season lightly with salt, ladle into a soup bowl, add the chilli and serve. 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:

Italy Electricity Use Has Record Plunge

Rome - February 11, 2009 - Consumption of electricity in Italy plunged a record 8.5 percent in January as industry hammered by the economic recession scaled back output, Italian grid operator Terna (TRN.MI) said on Wednesday.

Terna said it was the sharpest drop since comparable data was available starting in 1975. The closest figure was a 7.6 percent fall in August 1975.

"The heavy fall in electricity consumption starting in the beginning of the year reflects the lasting phase of weakness in industrial production," Terna said.

Terna pointed to data from employers confederation Confindustria forecasting a double-digit contraction in industrial output in January.

Italy's government blamed international economic turmoil for the record fall in industrial output in December, announced on Tuesday. National statistics agency ISTAT said output contracted 14.3 percent on a work-day adjusted year-on-year basis.

Italy forecasts GDP contracted by 0.6 percent last year and will shrink 2.0 percent in 2009, giving two consecutive years of economic decline for the first time since World War Two.

Terna said that electricity consumption in January was less affected by more traditional factors, like weather and working days in the month. There were two working days less in January 2009 than in the same month last year but the weather was also colder, by an average of one and a half degrees.

"Holy cazzo!" Would you look at this bill?! Does this include the polishing of the generators?

No doubt the economic recession is to blame. Did it ever occur to the "Electric Minchia Company" that a part of the consumption plunge is due to the difficulty of getting it simply turned on?

To set up a new contract with the almighty lords of "luce" you'll need the following:

1) Pazienza (patience),

2) Permesso di soggiorno (Visa or stay permit): They can't send exorbitant utility bills to illegal aliens who can't afford them.

3) Documento Identita (Identity document with photo): Because they personally want to get to know who is purchasing their precious energy.

4) Numero cliente (client number of the previous tenant): So that if there are any unpaid bills left behind, they will assume you will be more than happy to settle them.

5) Codice Fiscale (personal tax number of the account holder),

6) Amount of power required (3, 4, or 6 KW): Go and check every appliance's need in your home, do the calculation, decide how much you'll need and get back to them.

7) Lettura del contatore (current meter reading): Believe us, they have the correct reading on file. They just want to see if you would dare to lie.

8) Bank details (if payment is to be by direct debit from a bank): Just to make sure you will be able to apply for a loan if you can't afford the bills.

9) Address to which the bills should be sent, .

10) Address to which the contract should be sent,

11) Down payment (aka bribe) to get the paperwork reviewed and processed within 3-4 months (optional).

"Che scassapalle!" Pavlov's dogs weren't hassled as much as this.

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