01/24/12 Scampi Peasant Style

"Nulla nuova, buona nuova." (No news is good news.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Cream of Potato and Leek Soup
  -Spinach Tagliatelle with Tomato Sauce
  -Scampi Peasant Style

"Ciao..." Thanks again for finding the time on this cold day to read your Italian recipes. We've added another thick and delicious soup recipe to help warm your tummies. Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci and grazie again!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

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 Recipe: Cream of Potato and Leek Soup

Cream of Potato and Leek Soup
Crema di Patate e Porri


6 to 8 cups meat broth
2 pounds potatoes
1 pound leeks
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese
Toasted bread


Prepare Meat Broth.

Peel and chop potatoes.

Trim ends and tough outside leaves from leeks.

Cut leeks lengthwise through to center.

Wash under cold running water, pulling layers apart so grit is removed.

Slice into rounds.

Put potatoes and leeks into a medium saucepan.

Add enough broth to cover.

Cook uncovered over medium heat until vegetables are tender.

With a slotted spoon, place vegetables in a blender or food processor.

Process until smooth.

Return puree to broth.

Bring mixture to a boil.

Remove from heat.

Beat together egg yolks and cream in a small bowl.

Quickly beat egg yolk mixture into hot soup.

Stir in parsley.

Season with salt and pepper.

Serve hot with Parmigiano cheese and toasted bread. Makes 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Spinach Tagliatelle with Tomato Sauce

Spinach Tagliatelle with Tomato Sauce
Tagliatelle ai Spinaci con Salsa Burro e Oro


1 pound spinach Tagliatelle
1 and 1/2 cups plain tomato sauce
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup whipping cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese plus additional for serving


Prepare tomato sauce.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan.

When butter foams, add tomato sauce and cream.

Season with salt and pepper.

Simmer uncovered 8 to 10 minutes.

Fill a very large saucepan two-thirds full with salted water.

Bring water to a boil.

Add tagliatelle.

Bring water back to a boil and cook pasta uncovered until 'al dente'.

Drain pasta and place in a warm deep dish or bowl.

Add sauce and toss gently until mixed.

Add 1/3 cup Parmigiano cheese and toss to blend.

Serve immediately with additional Parmigiano cheese. Makes 4 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Scampi Peasant Style

Scampi Peasant Style
Scampi alla Contadina


4 medium tomatoes
1 and 1/2 pounds prawns
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 or 4 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tablespoons dry unflavored bread crumbs
About 1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/3 small red or green hot pepper, finely chopped, or small pinch red cayenne pepper
Salt to taste


Peel, seed and dice tomatoes.

Shell and devein prawns, and wash under cold running water.

Pat dry with paper towels.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet.

Add garlic.

Saute over medium heat until garlic begins to brown.

Add bread crumbs and mix well.

Stir in wine and cook until wine is reduced by half.

Add diced tomatoes, parsley, hot pepper and prawns.

Season with salt and mix well.

Cook uncovered over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring a few times during cooking. If sauce looks too dry, add a little more wine.

Place in a warm dish. Serve immediately. Makes 4 to 6 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:

Red Light Camera Scandal Goes to Trial In Italy

Rome - September 28, 2010 - Italy's financial police force, Guardia di Finanza, announced that ten individuals would go to trial and another 300 public officials, police officers and corporate employees face indictment for fraud, forgery and public corruption involving the use of red light camera and speed camera equipment.

Salerno prosecutor Amato Barile kicked off the investigation known as "Operation Devius" in June 2009 with a series of dramatic raids in 120 cities that used the services of the private firm 'Garda Segnale' between 2007 and 2009.

The raids uncovered evidence that 'Velomatic 512' and 'Traffiphot III SR' photo radar units bearing the same individual serial number were being used by different municipalities located hundreds of miles apart. Under Italian regulations, each camera used for issuing citations must be properly calibrated and approved. The "cloned" serial numbers helped the firm avoid the cost of testing individual units, along with helping hide the fact that several of its camera units were configured in such a way as to read speeds between 10 and 30 km/h (6 to 19 MPH) faster, generating additional citations.

Prosecutors also believe that some of these the cameras were used in locations not authorized by ordinance, and their operators were not properly trained. Municipalities ignored ministerial directives by entering into per-ticket compensation schemes for the cameras.

Police gathered fifty speed cameras as evidence as well as computers, software, banking records and other documents used to establish a chain of illegal business practices. A total of 100,000 tickets worth 13 million euros ($18 million USD) were issued by the programs under investigation.

The Salerno prosecutor alleges that the mastermind behind the operation set up a chain of interconnected companies to compete for the photo enforcement contracts with Italy municipalities. Although it would appear that five or six companies were involved in a bidding war for the municipal business, each one was part of the same organization.

"Mi scusi Giudice", a 140 Euro fine for speeding with a 1977 FIAT tractor? I'll trade you a goat for the sum of the fine."

It's no surprise local authorities around the world generate a significant percentage of their revenue from fines collected for infractions of various non-penal laws, especially driving regulations. This happens nowhere more than our lovely country where many people and companies pay less income, sales and other taxes than they local towns and governments are forced to find other sources of revenue.

Mayor Minchione: "Buon giorno, I'm interested in purchasing ten 'Velomatic 512' cameras for my one horse town. With a name like 'Velomatic', does your company also produce vacuum cleaners?"

Let's look at a typical city: According to figures recently released by Florence city officials, every 40 seconds, a motorist in Florence receives a damn traffic violation. The traffic police "bastardi" issue approximately 90 tickets every minute, 1,253 tickets a day. Again, "bastardi!"

The fines on these tickets average out to about 140 Euros ($193 USD) per year, per motorist. They haul in about 52 million Euros ($72 million USD) to city hall each year, making it one of Italy's most heavily fined cities. Local officials note that the amount of money that enters the municipal budget through traffic fines has tripled in the last 10 years.

Mind you, these municipalities go through that budget money like our fat cousin, Massimo, goes through a bowl of 'Penne with sardines'.

"Only In Italy" Subscribe today and you'll discover why the last improvements to Italy were made by Julius Caesar and why it's been downhill ever since!  Click Here to Subscribe!

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