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 02/05/08 Double Chocolate Walnut Biscotti from CookiesFromItaly.com

"Chi mangia solo crepa solo." (He who eats alone dies alone.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Ziti al Forno con Spinaci e Pomodoro
  -Torta di Pera con Grappa
  -Biscotti al Doppio Cioccolato e Noce

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

Arrivederci!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       


 Cookie of the Week: Dolce di Fichi

"Dolce di Fichi: A soft and chewy fig cookie with a crisp outside and tender inside. Made exclusively from our own home grown natural figs, almonds, the freshest farm eggs, milk, flour, and sugar. No preservatives, additives, artificial colors, nor flavors. Serves 5-7.
900 grams (2 lbs.) is only 10.49 Euro ($16.00-$16.50) + Shipping.

Example Order: One order to anywhere in the USA costs 10.49 Euro plus 8.70 Euro for Global Priority Mail shipping (7-8 days) for a total of 19.19 Euro ($29.50-$30.00 U.S. Dollars).


 Recipe: Ziti al Forno con Spinaci e Pomodoro

Ziti al Forno con Spinaci e Pomodoro
Baked Ziti with Spinach and Tomatoes

Ingredients:

3/4 lb hot Italian sausages, casings removed
1 medium onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
One 28-ounce can diced peeled tomatoes
1/4 cup pesto sauce

10 ounces Penne pasta (about 3 cups), freshly cooked
8 cups ready-to-use spinach leaves (about 2/3 of 10-ounce package)
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, cubed
1 cup grated Parmigiano cheese (about 3 ounces)

Directions:

Heat heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sausage, onion and garlic and saute until sausage is cooked through, breaking up meat with back of spoon, about 10 minutes.

Add tomatoes with juices to pan. Simmer until sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

Stir in pesto. Season sauce with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before continuing.)

Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly oil 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish.

Combine pasta, spinach, mozzarella and 1/3 cup Parmigiano cheese in large bowl.

Stir in hot tomato sauce.

Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish. Sprinkle remaining 2/3 cup Parmigiano cheese over.

Bake until sauce bubbles and cheeses melt, about 30 minutes. Serves 4-6.

That's it!


 Recipe: Torta di Pera con Grappa

Torta di Pera con Grappa
Pear Cake with Grappa Sauce

Ingredients:

For the pear cake:
1 and 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
3 large eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon grappa
1 firm-ripe pears
1/2 cup raisins or chopped pitted prunes
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted lightly and cooled

For the grappa sauce:
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon grappa

Directions:

Prepare the pear cake:
Preheat oven to 350 F and lightly butter and flour an 8 and 1/2-inch springform pan, knocking out excess flour.

In a bowl whisk together flour, cinnamon, and baking powder.

In another bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and 1 and 1/4 cups sugar until light and fluffy and beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

Beat in flour mixture and milk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating until just combined after each addition, and stir in grappa.

Peel and core pears and cut into 1/2-inch dice. Fold pears into batter with raisins or prunes and pine nuts.

Pout batter into prepared pan and sprinkle top with remaining tablespoon sugar. Bake cake in middle of oven until a tester comes out with crumbs adhering to it, 45 to 50 minutes.

Cool cake in pan on rack and remove side of pan.

Prepare the grappa sauce:
In a bowl with an electric mixer beat together eggs, sugar, and cinnamon until thick and pale.

In a metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water melt butter and stir in egg mixture.

Cook sauce, stirring constantly, until thickened and it registers 165 F on a candy thermometer, about 7 minutes.

Remove bowl from pan and stir in cream and grappa.

Serve cake with warm sauce. Serves 6-8.

That's it!


 Recipe: Biscotti al Doppio Cioccolato e Noce

Biscotti al Doppio Cioccolato e Noce
Double Chocolate Walnut Biscotti

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup walnuts, chopped
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F and butter and flour a large baking sheet.

In a bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

In another bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.

Add eggs and beat until combined well.

Stir in flour mixture to form a stiff dough.

Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips.

On prepared baking sheet with floured hands form dough into two slightly flattened logs, each 12 inches long and 2 inches wide, and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.

Bake logs for 35 minutes, or until slightly firm to the touch.

Cool biscotti on baking sheet 5 minutes.

On a cutting board cut biscotti diagonally into 3/4-inch slices.

Arrange biscotti, cut sides down, on baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 10 minutes.

Cool biscotti on a rack.

Biscotti will keep in airtight containers for 1 week and frozen 1 month. Makes about 30 biscotti.

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:

Stallone Prefers To Die In Italy

Los Angeles - February 22, 2008 - Hollywood strongman Silvester Stallone says he wants to die in Italy.

"I'm immensely proud of my Italian origins and I'll be happy, one day, to live in Italy and die there," Stallone, 61, told a pre-Oscar Italo-American movie gathering here. The Rocky and Rambo star added: "I love stories that have to do with mythology and I think Italians create mythology and never lose their enthusiasm for life".

"You (Italians) are always capable of surprising yourselves and with the belief in 'domani' (tomorrow) you always find a solution".

On screen, Stallone said he believed he got his "intensity" from Italian actors. Stallone's father Frank was a hairdresser from a village near Bari in southeastern Italy.

Stallone visited Italy earlier this month on a promo tour for 'John Rambo', the fourth and possibly final film in the Rambo series which opens in Italy on Friday.

Rocky Balboa: "Nothing hits harder than life."
"Si. Vaffanculo, Rocky!"

What an honor, Silvester. We'll name a town after you and make you a pizza as soon as your plane lands at Fiumicino.

What better place to retire and live out your golden years after a full life of making great films and bench pressing? After all, you need to rest. Some jackass convinced you to bring back Rocky at age 60.

"You (Italians) are always capable of surprising yourselves and with the belief in 'domani' (tomorrow) you always find a solution". That's true, Sly. We surprised our pants off when we left a million tons of garbage scattered all over the Campania Region. We believe we'll find a solution 'domani' so, we'll avoid that region today.

Maybe, Rambo can give us a hand by working a garbage truck and flame thrower.

Stallone: "The only happy artist is a dead artist, because only then you can't change. After I die, I'll probably come back as a paintbrush." Luck won't punch you in the face twice, Sly. You'll be a brush painting a chicken shed in your father's old village.

"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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