01/29/08 Risotto Primavera from

"Dai nemici mi guardo io, dagli amici mi guardi Iddio!" (I (can) protect myself from my enemies; may God protect me from my friends!) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Zuppa con Salsiccia e Tortellini
  -Salsa di Pomodoro Piccante
  -Risotto Primavera

Enjoy the recipes and the complimentary news article report from "Only In".


Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Sicilian Orange Almond Cookies

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 Recipe: Zuppa con Salsiccia e Tortellini

Zuppa con Salsiccia e Tortellini
Italian Sausage and Tortellini Soup


1 lb sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 cup chopped onion
2 large garlic cloves, sliced
5 cups beef stock or canned broth
2 cups chopped tomatoes (about 3/4 lb)
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 large zucchini, sliced
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
1 medium-sized green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons dried basil
2 tablespoons dried oregano

8 to 10 ounces purchased fresh cheese tortellini
Freshly grated Parmigiano cheese


Saute Italian sausage in heavy Dutch oven over medium-high heat until cooked through, crumbling with back of spoon, about 10 minutes.

Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to large bowl. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon drippings from Dutch oven.

Add onion and garlic to Dutch oven and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Return sausage to Dutch oven. Add stock, tomatoes, tomato sauce, zucchini, carrot, bell pepper, wine, basil and oregano. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 40 minutes. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before continuing.)

Add tortellini to soup and cook until tender, about 8 minutes.

Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.

Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with Parmigiano cheese and serve. Serves 6.

That's it!

 Recipe: Salsa di Pomodoro Piccante

Salsa di Pomodoro Piccante
Spicy Tomato Sauce


1 small onion, chopped fine
2 large garlic cloves, chopped fine
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
One 28 to 32-ounce can plum tomatoes including the juice, chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes


In a heavy saucepan cook the onion and garlic in the olive oil over moderate heat, stirring, until they are golden.

Add the tomatoes with the juice, sugar, red pepper flakes, and salt to taste, and simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, or until it is thickened. (The tomato sauce may be made 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled.) Makes about 2 cups.

That's it!

 Recipe: Risotto Primavera

Risotto Primavera


1 lemon, halved
3 artichokes
1 lb slender asparagus
Four 14 and 1/2-ounce cans (or homemade) chicken broth
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups Arborio rice
4 ounces sliced prosciutto, chopped
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 and 1/2-ounce package fresh basil (1/2 cup), trimmed, thinly sliced
2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano cheese (about 4 1/2 ounces)
Additional Parmigiano cheese


Halfway fill large bowl with cold water. Squeeze in juice from 1 lemon half.

Cut off stem from 1 artichoke and rub exposed area with cut side of second lemon half.

Starting from base of artichoke, bend each leaf back and snap off where it breaks naturally. Continue until light green leaves are exposed.

Cut off top 2 inches of leaves above heart.

Using small sharp knife, cut off all dark green areas.

Cut artichokes heart into quarters. Rub all cut surfaces with lemon half.

Cut out choke and pink inner leaves from each section.

Cut each section lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices and place in acidulated water. Repeat with remaining artichokes. (Can be prepared 3 hours ahead. Let stand in water.)

Starting from base, bend each asparagus spear and snap off where it breaks naturally. Discard ends. Cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces. Set aside.

Pour broth into saucepan; bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low; keep hot.

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

Add onion and cook until tender, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.

Drain artichoke hearts and add to saucepan. Cook until almost tender, stirring occasionally, about 14 minutes.

Add rice and half of prosciutto and stir 2 minutes.

Add 3/4 of broth to saucepan and adjust heat so that liquid simmers. Cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add asparagus and continue cooking until rice is tender but still slightly firm to bite and mixture is creamy, stirring frequently and adding remaining broth by 1/4 cupfuls as necessary, about 15 minutes.

Add peas and green onions and stir until heated through, about 2 minutes.

Set aside 2 tablespoons basil and 1 tablespoon prosciutto for garnish.

Stir remaining basil and prosciutto and 2 cups Parmigiano cheese into risotto.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Garnish with reserved basil and prosciutto. Serve immediately, passing additional Parmigiano cheese separately. Serves 6.

That's it!

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 Only In Italy!

"Only In Italy" is a daily news column that translates and 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:

Sicilian Counterfeiters Build Phoney Ferraris

Milan - February 28, 2008 - Italian financial police have busted a ring of counterfeiters who built fake Ferraris and sold them for as little as $30,000 a car, officials said Thursday.

Authorities have confiscated 14 fake Ferrari Modena 360s, seven sold and seven under construction, in an operation reaching from Palermo to Milan, said Guido Geremia, head of the Palermo unit that led the investigation.

Investigators do not know how many of the cars have been sold in the past but Geremia said the buyers knew the cars were fakes and were clearly seeking to impress unknowing neighbors with the sleek-bodied speed machines.

"That is the only reason," he said.

Eight people are under investigation, authorities said. The ring used mostly Pontiacs as their base, but also Mercedes and Toyotas, building a copy of a Ferrari body over the original car's engine.

"It was done very well. They were very skilled," Geremia said.

The financial police, who lead Italy's fight against the counterfeiters who cash in on the country's reputation for quality in everything from handbags to prosciutto, launched the Ferrari investigation six months ago. Geremia said they were helped by Internet sites where the cars were offered up for sale.

The 360 Modena went out of production in 2004, and was priced at the time at $215,000, said Ferrari spokeswoman Mariella Mengozzi. The current suggested retail price by Italy's consumer auto magazine for a 2004 model is around $150,000.

Mengozzi said it is not the first time the Ferrari brand has been copied and that the automaker, which is owned by the Fiat Group, monitors Web sites for evidence of fakes.

"Ferrari is a product that maintains its value over time and of course we try to protect our clients who buy the real thing," Mengozzi said.

"Ferrari Modena?"
"No...Ferrari Pontiaca."

These Sicilian Ferraris were built so well they would have made Enzo Ferrari take off those sunglasses glued to his face.

The famous symbol of the Ferrari race team is a black prancing stallion on a yellow shield, usually with the letters S F (for Scuderia Ferrari), with three stripes of green, white and red (the Italian national colors) at the top. The symbol on the Palermo Pontiac Ferrari is a tired brown mule with stomach problems on a yellow shield with the letters V F (for Vaffanculo).

"Guido Geremia, head of the Palermo unit that led the investigation, said the buyers knew the cars were fakes and were clearly seeking to impress unknowing neighbors with the sleek-bodied speed machines." Obviously, Guido must be a miserably married man for one drives a phony Ferrari to impress unknowing phony women. Besides, the name Guido alone tells me you're driving a Ferrari that gets excellent gas mileage.

  Phony Ferrari
+ phony money
+ phony banker
+ phony villa
+ phony hair
+ phony Armani clothes
+ phony friend who flies around in a helicopter
+ phony girlfriend
+ phony breasts
= Sicilian circus is in town

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