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  01/22/04  A Note From Your Editor, Adriana:

"Buon Giorno a tutti!" How has 2004 been treating you so far and are you keeping to your New Year's resolutions? Hmmm...I know it's tough to!

Here in Italy, I know a few people who have made a special New Year's resolution to never invest again in the Italian stock market especially after the recent financial scandals that have hit us (we are still trying to recover from the mother of all financial scandals, Parmalat).

On a happier note, I've got 3 new fantastic recipes in this issue that will satisfy you and your family during these bitter cold winter nights. Try them out especially the "Panizza" Polenta for all of you who are from the northern Italy regions.

Enjoy this week's issue which includes another funny article about the Parmalat scandal from Only In Italy.com. Let me know how the recipes turn out!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       


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 Recipe: Cicoria, Cacio e Uova

Cicoria, Cacio e Uova
Chicory, Pecorino, and Egg Soup

Ingredients

1 lb. green chicory
1/4 cup olive oil
1 qt. chicken broth
2 Onions
3 Eggs
4 tbs. grated Pecorino
1 lb spaghetti

Directions:

Green chicory has a fairly bitter taste, so wash it well and leave it to stand in cool water for one hour: it will lose some of its bitterness.

Break the spaghetti in 2 inch pieces and cook.

Boil and chop the chicory, squeezing all the water out, and set aside. Cut the onions into julienne and sauté with olive oil. When tender, not brown, add the chicory and mix well. Add the beaten eggs which have been previously mixed with the Pecorino, sauté briskly and place into a pre-heated, large soup tureen.

Pour the piping hot broth over spaghetti, stir well and serve.

That's it!


 Recipe: Panizza

Panizza
*Chickpea Polenta

*This dish of arabic origin is a common preparation in Liguria and Sicily and lends itself to many different culinary interpretations.

Ingredients

For Version 1:
1 lb. chickpea flour
3,6 pts. of water
Salt

For Version 2:
9 oz. chickpea flour
4 tbs. olive oil
4 cups water
Scallions
Salt
Pepper

Directions:

Version 1:
Pour the flour slowly into hot salted water, whisking gently so as not to form lumps. Cook for 40 mins. stirring constantly. Scoop polenta into bowls and let cool until it's firm.

Version 2:
Sieve the chickpea flour finely. Pour it slowly in hot water and stir and stir. Cook slowly for about on hour, stirring often. The mixture will come off the sides of the pot when ready. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into serving dishes, drizzle with oil, chopped scallions, salt and pepper and serve hot.

That's it!


 Recipe: Malfatti

Malfatti
Spinach Gnocchi

Ingredients

1 1/2 lbs. spinach
3 eggs (2 whole, 1 yolk)
1 small minced onion
Nutmeg
5 oz. butter
7 oz. fresh ricotta
1/3 lb. grated Parmigiano
Sage
Salt
Pepper

Directions:

Clean, wash and cook the spinach (using just the water left over on the leaves after washing). Drain, squeeze well and chop finely. Add the minced onion in 2 oz. of butter, then drain the onion and add it to the spinach. Cook on a very low heat, stirring frequently to allow the spinach to exude more water, then let cool.

Sieve the ricotta into a bowl. Add the spinach, about 2 oz. of Parmigiano, 2 whole eggs and 1 yolk, a pinch of nutmeg, and pepper and salt to taste. Mix, adding in the flour little by little, as much as necessary to obtain a firm but soft mix. Use a spoon to make dumplings the size of a walnut. Lightly sprinkle gnocchi with flour (the amount of flour used to dust them will vary according to how well the spinach is dried), and set aside on a sheet pan.

Bring a generous amount of salted water to a boil in a large pot. Meanwhile, brown the rest of the butter in a saucepan, adding whole sage leaves to taste. Add gnocchi to the boiling water, stirring gently. As they float to the top drain with a skimmer and arrange in a serving platter. Season with the sage flavored melted butter and Parmigiano. Serve very hot. Instead of sage-flavored butter, you may use a light tomato sauce.

Note: In order to allow the condiment to develop its full favor, keep care to warm the platter with gnocchi in a bain-marie for 5 mins. before serving.

That's it!

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 It Could Only Happen in Italy!

"Only In Italy" is a daily news column that translates and reports on funny but true news items from legitimate Italian news sources 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.

Police call in Italy comic over Parmalat comments.

MILAN, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Italian police called in one of Italy's top comedians on Friday to explain comments he made in his shows about the risk of bankruptcy at the food group long before its crisis erupted.

Beppe Grillo, famous for his political satire, met financial police officers in the northern city of Piacenza. Later he told Reuters about a 2001 dinner with an unnamed official from the now-insolvent food group which provided the inspiration for performances since then.

"We talked about lots of companies and he told me: 'Mention them all but don't talk about us because our debts are only 13 trillion (lire) which is the same as revenues but compared with others we are princes," Grillo said in a telephone interview.

Italian television stunned viewers last week by playing footage of Grillo talking about the risk of bankruptcy at Parmalat during a September 2003 performance. Parmalat filed for bankruptcy protection in December after suddenly revealing a four billion euro hole in its accounts. Prosecutors believe the shortfall could surpass 10 billion euros, making it one of the world's biggest financial scandals.

Copyright 2004, Reuters News Service

It must be a real comfort to all the hard working people in the world that invested in Parmalat that an Italian comic had to be brought in to testify about the biggest corporate scandal in the history of the universe.

I heard that, thanks to his testimony, the Italian police came close to cracking the case after they tried to decode his last comments:

"2 Jews walked into a bar and there was this chicken..."

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