01/31/12 Chocolate Mousse

"In bocca chiusa non entrano mosche." (Flies can't enter a closed mouth.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Clam Soup
  -Risotto with Asparagus Tips
  -Chocolate Mousse

"Mamma mia, fa freddo!" It's cold! Here's a quick note of thanks for being a part of our growing Italian kitchen community. We're over 9,800 members now. Remember, you started it. Hope you have a great evening away from the cold. Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci and grazie again!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Whole Pistachio Cookies

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 Recipe: Clam Soup

Clam Soup
Brodetto di Vongole


For the Fish Stock:
2 and 1/4 lbs (1 kg) white fish (or white fish heads and bones with the gills removed)
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, sliced
1 celery stick, sliced
1 fresh thyme sprig
1 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprig
1 tablespoon black peppercorns, moderately crushed

For the Soup:
4 pounds small clams in shells
2 cups dry white wine
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 anchovy fillets, chopped
2 ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
One (15-ounce) can imported Italian plum tomatoes with juice, put through a sieve or food mill to remove the seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
8 slices Italian bread, toasted


Prepare the Fish Stock:
Pour 3 pints (2 liters) of water into a large saucepan, add the onion, carrot, celery, herbs, and peppercorns and season with salt.

Gradually bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Remove from the heat, leave to cool, then add the fish (the water should just cover the fish).

Return to the heat, bring just to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for another 20-25 minutes.

Remove from the heat and let the fish cool in the stock for a stronger flavor.

Strain the stock.

Leave to cool slightly, then strain.

Prepare the Soup:
Soak the clams in cold salted water 20 minutes, then rinse and scrub thoroughly under cold running water.

Put the clams in a large skillet.

Add the wine and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and cover the skillet.

Cook over high heat until the clams open.

With a slotted spoon, transfer the clams to a bowl.

Discard any clams that do not open.

Strain the liquid through paper towels to remove any sand, and set aside.

Wipe the skillet with paper towels and add the remaining olive oil.

Heat the olive oil and add the garlic and anchovies.

Cook over medium heat until the garlic begins to color, about 1 minute.

Add the diced tomatoes and cook, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the vinegar; cook until it is almost all evaporated.

Add the fish broth, the strained tomatoes and reserved clam liquid.

Season with salt and pepper.

Cook uncovered over medium heat, stirring, 6 to 8 minutes.

Stir in the parsley and add the clams.

Cook briefly until clams are well coated with the sauce, about 1 minute.

Serve with the Italian bread. Makes 4 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Risotto with Asparagus Tips

Risotto with Asparagus Tips
Risotto con Punti di Asparagi


6 cups chicken broth
1 and 1/2 pounds asparagus, smallest available
6 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 and 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese plus additional for serving
Salt to taste


Prepare chicken broth.

Clean asparagus and cut off tips. Reserve stalks for another use.

Heat broth in a medium saucepan and keep warm over low heat.

Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large saucepan.

When butter foams, add onion.

Saute over medium heat until pale yellow.

Add rice and mix well.

When rice is coated with butter, add wine.

Cook, stirring constantly, until wine has evaporated.

Stir in 1 or 2 ladles of broth, or enough to cover rice.

Stir over medium heat until broth has been absorbed.

Add more broth as liquid is absorbed.

After 10 minutes add asparagus tips.

Continue cooking and stirring rice, adding broth a little at a time until rice is done, about 10 minutes.

Rice should be tender but firm to the bite.

Add cream, 1/2 cup Parmigiano cheese and remaining butter; mix gently.

Season with salt.

Place in a warm dish.

Serve immediately with additional Parmigiano cheese. Makes 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Mousse
Spuma di Cioccolata


8 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
3 eggs, preferably pasteurized
1 cup whipping cream
Whipped cream
Grated chocolate


Preheat oven to 200F (95C).

Put chocolate pieces into a small ovenproof bowl and place in oven until chocolate has melted, 4 to 5 minutes.

Remove chocolate from oven and set aside to cool slightly.

Beat eggs until foamy in a medium bowl.

Beat 1 cup cream until stiff in a large bowl.

Add eggs, a little at a time to cooled chocolate, beating at low speed. Do not overbeat.

Fold chocolate mixture thoroughly into whipped cream.

Spoon mousse into a large glass bowl or into individual glasses.

Decorate with additional whipped cream and grated chocolate.

Refrigerate overnight.

Serve chilled. Makes 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:

Marriage Annulled After Wife Thought About Having An Affair

Rome - November 8, 2010 - Italy's highest appeals court on Monday confirmed the annulment of a marriage on the grounds that the wife thought of having an affair but never in fact had one.

"We fully support the lower court's findings even though there was no evidence of the woman frequenting other men," the Cassation Court said in its ruling, which sets a precedent.

The woman, who was not named, was trying to have the ruling overturned to benefit from no-blame financial arrangements including alimony. After the high court's apparently draconian verdict she will be left to look out for herself.

According to judicial sources, both the husband and wife told judges that she had often "theorized" the freethinking idea that a marriage does not necessarily have to be based on sexual fidelity, but "never put the idea into practice".

Wife: "Ignazio, I want to try something different with the chicken for dinner. What do you suggest?"
Husband: "The chicken?! What do you mean something 'puttana'! Who is he?"

Another lesson in Italian life: Italians do not come together primarily for love. Well, not the kind of love that Americans would understand...that romantic kind; the kind that obliges you to pledge your undying love to that one and only, blah-blah-blah. For most this ideal is something to strive and desire, and you feel stupid and guilty when you fall short of the mark.

Him/her: "(sob, sniff) what did I do wrong?"
Him/her (respond): Oh, please! "Per favore!"

The expectations of Italians tend to be different, especially towards marriage.

A marriage to us is a vow, a contract, a commitment. A spouse is chosen because, all things considered, he or she would make a good partner for the 'family', rather than for personal, romantic, sentimental, or sexual reasons.

Do we cheat? "Minchia," sure!

70% of coupled men cheat, an indication of that fact Italian men have never been and continue not to be a faithful flock.
BUT the statistic is almost matched by the Italian women with 64%.

Therefore, we feel this marriage should be annulled but on the grounds of imbecility. If a wife "theorizes" the idea of cheating, it can only mean her lover was too repulsive to jump in the sack with, and her taste in men might be questioned by her whoring friends.

"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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