01/29/13 Wild Mushroom Ravioli in Porcini Broth

"Bella femina che ride, vuol dir, borsa che piange." (Smile of a pretty woman is the tears of the beholders purse.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Wild Mushroom Ravioli in Porcini Broth
  -Zucchini and Ricotta Fritters
  -Pizza with Fontina, Prosciutto, and Arugula

"Come stai?" Thank you again for reading your new Italian recipes. I look forward to connecting further in the coming days.

Arrivederci and grazie again!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Traditional Almond Cookies

"Traditional" Almond Cookies: A soft and chewy Italian almond cookie with a crisp outside and tender inside. Made exclusively from our own home grown natural almonds, the freshest farm eggs, flour, and sugar. No preservatives, additives, artificial colors, nor flavors. Serves 5-7.

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 Recipe: Wild Mushroom Ravioli in Porcini Broth

Wild Mushroom Ravioli in Porcini Broth
Ravioli di Funghi Selvatici in Brodo di Porcini


3 cups water
2 ounces dried Porcini mushrooms (about 3 cups)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large shallots, minced (about 3/4 cup)
4 and 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons dry Sherry
1 and 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

8 ounces purchased fresh or frozen wild mushroom ravioli
3/4 cup thinly sliced green onion tops


Bring 3 cups water to boil in a medium saucepan.

Add the Porcini mushrooms.

Remove from heat.

Let them soak until the mushrooms are soft, about 20 minutes.

Place strainer over medium bowl.

Line strainer with cheesecloth.

Strain mushroom soaking liquid (reserve mushrooms for another use).

Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat.

Add shallots.

Reduce heat to medium-low and saute until shallots are soft, about 5 minutes.

Add mushroom soaking liquid, then chicken broth, wine, Sherry, salt, and pepper.

Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 5 minutes.

Cook ravioli in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until 'al dente'.


Add ravioli to hot mushroom broth.

Ladle into bowls.

Sprinkle with green onion tops and serve. Makes 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Zucchini and Ricotta Fritters

Zucchini and Ricotta Fritters
Zucchini e Ricotta Frittelle


2 medium zucchini, coarsely shredded
1/2 jalapeno, stemmed and seeded, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
Zest from one lemon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
Extra virgin olive oil, for frying
Lemon wedges, for serving


In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, jalapeno, garlic, scallions, ricotta cheese, eggs, lemon zest, cayenne, salt, and pepper.

Stir well until combined.

Add the flour and cornmeal and stir until incorporated.

Line a large baking sheet with paper towels.

In a large skillet, heat 1/4 inch of the olive oil over moderate high heat until shimmering.

In batches, add 2-tablespoon mounds of zucchini batter to the hot oil, spreading them out to form approximately 3-inch fritters.

Fry until browned and crisp, turning once, about 3 minutes total.

Drain the fritters on the paper towels and serve immediately.

Serve with lemon wedges. Makes approximately 15 fritters.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Pizza with Fontina, Prosciutto, and Arugula

Pizza with Fontina, Prosciutto, and Arugula
Pizza con Fontina, Prosciutto e Rucola


1 lb pizza dough, thawed if frozen
3/4 lb well-chilled Italian Fontina cheese, rinds discarded
1 garlic clove, forced through a garlic press
1/4 lb loosely packed baby arugula (4 cups)
1/4 lb thinly sliced prosciutto
Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Freshly ground black pepper

One 17 by 14-inch sheet of parchment paper


Put a large heavy baking sheet (17 by 14 inches) on the lowest rack of oven.

Preheat oven to 500F.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin, stretching corners with your hands to form a 16 by 13-inch rectangle.

Transfer to a large tray lined with sheet of parchment paper.

Lightly prick dough all over with a fork, then slide dough (on parchment) from tray onto hot baking sheet.

Bake until top is puffed and pale golden in patches, 6 to 10 minutes.

Prick any large bubbles with a fork and flatten.

While crust bakes, shred cheese in a food processor fitted with medium shredding disk (you should have 3 cups).

Remove crust from oven and brush all over with crushed garlic, then sprinkle evenly with cheese.

Bake pizza until edge of crust is deep golden and cheese is bubbling and golden in patches, 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove from oven, then scatter arugula over pizza and drape prosciutto over arugula.

Drizzle with olive oil and coarsely grind pepper to taste.

Serve immediately. Makes 4 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:

Italy Has To Wake Up And Put More Effort Into Anticorruption

Rome - March 30, 2012 - Italy is plagued by nepotism, legal gaps and institutional deficiencies that prevent the country from getting serious about fighting corruption, according to a new report.

The country needs an independent anti-corruption watchdog to hold the country’s politicians, public officials and institutions accountable, according to the report, released by Transparency International Italy.

Italy ranked 69 out of 183 countries on the transparency group’s Corruption Perceptions Index, the worst among EU countries. Most recently, the country has been rocked by the corruption scandal of former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi. Only 5% of Italians say corruption is declining, according to a recent TI survey.

"In recent years, Italy’s leaders have not done half as much as they should have to fight corruption," Maria Teresa Brassiolo, head of Transparency International Italy, said in a news release.

"Their failure to act has left systems of accountability and control of public spending weak and expensive, leading to enormous waste. We see examples of this on an almost daily basis and it can no longer be accepted."

The survey, which evaluated the effectiveness of Italy’s politics, public service and businesses and anti-corruption enforcement, also recommended specific codes of conduct for members of Parliament and an end to Parliamentary immunity from prosecution.

The report also called for stiffer sanctions for corruption convictions and public education programs on anti-corruption. A recent EU survey found that 89% of Italians think sanctions for corruption are currently too weak.

TI warned that the institutional problems were partially responsible for the country’s economic crisis, due to mismanagement of resources.

Hmmm...we trying to understand where Transparency International is going with this. Corruption in Italy? You never hear about such things.

- Another report shows that criminal tension is rampant in Palermo...and there is a rumor that the water in Venice is dirty too.

- There recently was a 2 million Euro report that discovered that some of the buses in Rome are crowded. (We think it was the same agency that found criminal tension in dirty water.)

- The 5% of Italians that say corruption is declining cannot be considered credible due to the high probability their ears are clogged with olive oil.

- During the May 2007 Town Hall elections of Palermo, 110 city bus drivers were hired...and not one of the 110 had a license to drive a bus. However, a town hall assessor played down the bewilderment and so-called corruption by stating, "Don't worry, they'll learn." (See? You can't be more transparent than that.)

- There are 167,000 school janitors in Italy...50,000 more than police officers. Our anticorruption watchdog was outside on the stoop, fast asleep in the sun when some public officials pulled this one off. (By the way, they want to be addressed as "scholastic collaborators", not janitors. We apologize for that.)

"(Italy's leaders) Their failure to act has left systems of accountability and control of public spending weak and expensive, leading to enormous waste." Which is why this failure gives rise to the argument: Why are we separated by the animals?

"The report also called for stiffer sanctions for corruption convictions and public education programs on anti-corruption." Thank you very much, Transparency International, for the report and song and dance. It would be easier to wrestle a wild boar to save a vegetable crop.

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