02/05/13 Leek and Rice Soup

"Chi t'ha offeso non te perdonera mai." (The man who has offended you will never forgive you.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Leek and Rice Soup
  -Scrambled Eggs all'Abruzzo
  -Potato and Spinach Gnocchi

"Ciao a tutti" Hope you're having a great time preparing your Italian recipes. Yes, you'll find lots of them out there, but ours are authentic Italian food recipes written by Italians living in Italy, many of them having been passed down from generation to generation. From the bottom of all our hearts, we hope you enjoy them.

Arrivederci and grazie again!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

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 Recipe: Leek and Rice Soup

Leek and Rice Soup
Minestra Con I Porri e Riso


5 and 1/2 oz (165 grams) long-grain rice
4 leeks sliced (white parts only)
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated, to serve


Put the leeks, carrot, celery and olive oil in a saucepan and add 2 tablespoons water.

Cook over a low heat for about 5 minutes.

Add 2 and 1/2 pints (1.5 liters) water.

Increase the heat to medium and bring to a boil.

Stir in the rice and a pinch of salt and bring back to a boil.

Lower the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 18-20 minutes until the rice is tender.

Ladle into a soup tureen and serve with plenty of Parmigiano cheese. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Scrambled Eggs all'Abruzzo

Scrambled Eggs all'Abruzzo
Uova Strapazzate all'Abruzzese


8 eggs, lightly beaten
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) stoned black olives
1 fresh basil sprig, finely chopped
1 fresh marjoram sprig, finely chopped
1 fresh red chili, seeded and finely chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper


Heat the olive oil in a frying pan.

Add the onion and garlic and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, herbs and chili and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes.

Pour in the eggs and mix with a fork to scramble.

When the mixture is soft, add the olives and season lightly with salt and pepper.

Turn off the heat, cover and leave to stand for a few minutes before serving. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Potato and Spinach Gnocchi

Potato and Spinach Gnocchi
Gnocchi di Patate e Spinaci


1 and 3/4 lbs (800 grams) potatoes
1 and 1/2 lbs (675 grams) spinach
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 oz (50 grams) butter, melted
7 oz (200 grams) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
2 oz (50 grams) Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated


Cook the spinach, in just the water that is clinging to the leaves after washing, for about 5 minutes.

Drain, squeezing out as much liquid as possible.

Chop the spinach.

Cook the potatoes in lightly salted, boiling water for about 25-30 minutes until tender.

Mash them while still hot.

Mix the potato together with spinach and flour.

Season with salt.

Beat in the egg yolks.

Knead the dough for a few minutes.

Shape the dough into several long rolls, about 2/3 inch (1 .5 cm) in diameter.

Cut into 3/4 inch (2 cm) lengths and press them gently against the underside of a grater.

Dust lightly with flour. Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to a boil.

Add the gnocchi, a few at a time, and remove with a slotted spoon as they rise to the surface.

Drain well and arrange on a warm serving dish.

Pour the butter over them and sprinkle with the Parmigiano cheese. Serves 4.

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:

Italian Police Finally Catch 'The Blonde'

Calabria - March 31, 2012 - Italian police have arrested a 56-year-old woman nicknamed "The Blonde" on suspicion of ordering three mafia killings.

One of the deaths was the grisly chainsaw hacking death of a rival mobster, police said.

"She was a real regent of the clan, including taking decisions on executions to be carried out," said Mario Parente, deputy head of the anti-mafia police, adding that a total of 58 people had been nabbed in "Operation Spider Web".

According to investigators, Nella Serpa rose through the ranks following the mob war killing of her brother Piero and has been the 'de facto' head of the Serpa clan since 2003, organizing the gang's extortion racket and ordering hits.

The police said she had "wide decision-making powers" in her clan and was involved in the killing of gangster Luciano Martello in 2003, with two mafia turncoats saying she was part of the team that actually shot him.

She is also alleged to be responsible for the death of another mobster, Rolando Siciliano, shot in 2004 and then hacked to pieces with a chainsaw.

Investigators said that a key indication of her importance in the crime organization was the fact that a rival clan had ordered a hit on her.

She also allegedly built up ties with other clans in the powerful 'Ndrangheta crime syndicate as well as with the Naples-based Camorra.

The 'Ndrangheta, whose name comes from the Greek for courage or loyalty, is one of the most powerful and secretive mafia groups in the world. Because of its tight-knit family structure it has been notoriously difficult to penetrate.

The group, based in the Calabria region in southern Italy, has been hit by a series of recent investigations and a trial earlier this month convicted 93 of its members, including the 81-year-old reputed boss of the whole organization.

Its annual turnover is estimated in the billions of euros.

"Porca Eva", what a captivating woman. Her family makes the Corleone crime family look like the Waltons.

Although roles have changed for women in Italy, the mother remains the dominant figure in the Italian home. She typically runs every aspect of domestic life, and you will see her helping her family in ways you consider excessive or unnecessary. Of course, Signora Serpa is no exception.

It may have seemed excessive to have had Rolando hacked to pieces after being shot or to have personally participated in the shooting of Luciano, but why go against an Italian mother's impeccable intuition?

Once a year, your mother and harassing aunts get together for that tomato sauce bottling party. Now, if the sauce has been slow cooking the entire day and YOU insist it has to be ready, your mother will say, "Just 10 more minutes". That's her intuition telling YOU to step away from the gigantic boiling pot...and mind your own business.

But YOU don't.

"Another 10 minutes?! 'Fanculo, what planet am I on?! This is insanity!"

The sauce is bottled. And when the first bottle is cracked open a couple of months later, your family discovers the sauce is not so great. Congratulations. YOU ruined every dish that calls for tomato sauce for an entire year. The 10 minutes didn't seem excessive or unnecessary, did it?

Here's some more advice for any of you who have a habit of challenging these godforsaken intuitions:

- Don't touch the saved junk in the spare bedroom.
- Mind your own business and you'll appreciate the sauce...and the quiet.

"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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