01/26/10 Orecchiette with Lentils, Onions, and Spinach

"Non si puo avere la botte piena č la moglie ubriaca." (You can't have a full bottle and a drunken wife. You can't have your cake and eat it too.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Bolognese Ragu
  -Orecchiette with Broccoli
  -Orecchiette with Lentils, Onions, and Spinach

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

Arrivederci e a presto!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

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 Recipe: Bolognese Ragų

Bolognese Ragų
Ragų alla Bolognese


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
18 ounces meat loaf mix or 6 ounces each lean ground beef, lean ground veal, and lean ground pork
1 medium onion, chopped
1/3 cup coarsely chopped carrot
1/3 cup coarsely chopped celery
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup red wine
Two 14 and 1/2-ounce cans diced tomatoes with balsamic vinegar, basil, and olive oil in juice
1/3 cup half and half
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

1 lb spaghetti
Grated Parmigiano cheese


Heat olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add meat, onion, carrot, celery, and garlic; saute until meat begins to brown, about 8 minutes.

Add wine and cook until wine evaporates, stirring often, about 3 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes with juices, half and half, and oregano.

Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, about 25 minutes.

Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente'.

Drain and divide among 4 plates.

Spoon sauce over pasta.

Sprinkle with Parmigiano cheese and serve. Makes 4 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Orecchiette with Broccoli

Orecchiette with Broccoli
Orecchiette con Broccoli


16 oz Orecchiette pasta
1 lb broccoli
4 oz pancetta
1 garlic clove
3 dried chiles
2 oz Parmigiano cheese
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil


Cut the broccoli into small flowerets and the pancetta into matchsticks.

Peel and finely slice the garlic and crumble the chiles.

Grate the Parmigiano cheese.

Cook the broccoli in boiling salted water until soft.

In a thick-bottomed pan, heat the olive oil, add the pancetta and garlic, and cook until soft but not crisp.

Add the broccoli and chiles and season.

Stir over gentle heat for a few minutes.

Cook the orecchiette in boiling salted water until 'al dente'.

Drain, and add to the broccoli.

Mix well, and serve with Parmigiano cheese. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Orecchiette with Lentils, Onions, and Spinach

Orecchiette with Lentils, Onions, and Spinach
Orecchiette con Lenticchie, Cipolle e Spinaci


1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 large onions (2 lbs total), thinly sliced (7 cups)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
1 cup lentils
1 lb orecchiette, fusilli, or penne pasta
2 (5 oz) bags baby spinach
1 and 1/2 ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)


Heat olive oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then stir in onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and bay leaf.

Reduce heat to moderately low and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until onions are very tender and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

Discard bay leaf.

While onions cook, cover lentils with water by 1 inch in a 1 and 1/2 to 2-quart saucepan and boil over moderate heat, covered, until lentils are just tender and most of water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper and let stand, covered, until ready to use.

Cook pasta in a 6 to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente'.

Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain pasta in a colander and return pasta to pot.

Add onions, lentils, and spinach to pasta, then toss with just enough reserved cooking water to wilt spinach and moisten pasta.

Add cheese and salt and pepper to taste, tossing to combine. Makes 6 main-course 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:

Berlusconi: "Showgirls to All The Good Workers!"

Rome - June 26, 2009 - The Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has joked to workmen that if they succeed in rebuilding an earthquake-hit Italian town he will reward them by sending them showgirls.

Mr Berlusconi appeared to have recovered some of his characteristic ebullience after being buffeted by weeks of scandal over his personal life. Renowned for his love of sometimes inappropriate quips, he was in jovial mood when he visited L'Aquila, which was badly damaged by an earthquake on April 6.

Touring a construction site where new homes are being built for the 50,000 people who were left homeless by the quake, he joked to builders: "Where are the girls? I don't see any. In that case, I'll have to bring them next time I come".

Silvio Berlusconi triumphs in Italy's elections despite allegations Mr Berlusconi has repeatedly promised that the thousands of people now living in tented camps will be re-housed by the autumn, when cold weather returns to the upland region in the province of Abruzzo.

"Well boys, if all goes well, I'll really bring the showgirls," he said. "Otherwise, we'll all come across as gays."

He said that at the age of 72 he was too old to change and that in any case Italians like him just the way he is.

"People want me the way I am. [Italians] want me because I am good, generous, sincere, loyal and I carry out my promises," he said.

Mr Berlusconi's private life has been under scrutiny since early May, when his wife of 20 years, Veronica Lario, announced that she was fed up with him "consorting with under-age girls" and wanted a divorce.

Since then he has been linked with an 18-year-old lingerie model, been investigated for using government aircraft to fly starlets and actresses to his villa in Sardinia, and been accused of sleeping with a high-class call-girl at his mansion in Rome.

On Thursday he said his banter with the construction team was his way of reacting to "all the rubbish and falsehoods" that have been directed at him.

"Toot-toot, Cornuto!" Comedy train pulling in...

P.T. Barnum Berlusconi...Hard to believe he kept his pants on when he made the statement to the press.

"Well boys, if all goes well, I'll really bring the showgirls. Otherwise, we'll all come across as gays." Let me just write that his speech was beautiful! 90% of the earthquake homeless ran for cover, convinced the words were going to bring further tremors.

Ahhh...We're all here, no matter what we are; we're all searching for the truth and trying to make it through this unforgiving world. Correct? Well, everyone except our Berlusconi. He's making through it with a song and dance.

"People want me the way I am. [Italians] want me because I am good, generous, sincere, loyal and I carry out my promises." What a good heart in that feeble head. You know, it could be he's lying. Instead of his nose growing, his stomach grew; like Pinocchio gone bonkers.

"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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