02/15/11 Chicken and Artichoke Soup

"Uomo avvisato, mezzo salvato." (A man warned is half saved. Forewarned is forearmed. ) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Chicken and Artichoke Soup
  -Garlic Shrimp with Spicy Sausage
  -Zucchini and Olive Oil Cake

Buon giorno! I look forward to connecting further in the coming days. Thank you very much again and enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci e grazie!

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.

900 grams (2 lbs.) is only 13.99 Euro ($19.00-$19.50) + Shipping.

Example Order: One order to anywhere in the USA costs 13.99 Euro plus 8.70 Euro for Global Priority Mail shipping (7-10 days) for a total of 22.69 Euro ($31.25-$31.75 U.S. Dollars).

 Recipe: Chicken and Artichoke Soup

Chicken and Artichoke Soup
Zuppa di Pollo e Carciofi


3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cups yellow onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup white wine
Two 14-ounce cans of artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
One 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes in puree
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano, dried
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup beef broth
Two 15-ounce cans of cannellini beans, drained
3 bone-in chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
About 20 basil leaves, chopped
Dash of red pepper flakes
Parmigiano cheese, grated


In a large pot, heat the olive oil and add the onions.

Saute for about 10 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute.

Add the wine and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Add the artichoke hearts, the three types of tomatoes, pepper, salt, oregano, and both broths.

Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the cannellini beans, chicken, basil, and red pepper flakes to taste.

Simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

Serve with a sprinkle of Parmigiano cheese on top. Serves 3-4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Garlic Shrimp with Spicy Sausage

Garlic Shrimp with Spicy Sausage
Gamberi Con Aglio e Salsiccia Piccante


2 cups of fresh shrimp (tail shells removed)
1 cup spicy Italian sausages, sliced about 1/4 - 3/8-inch thick pieces
1/2 cup minced red onions
1/4 cup diced red and yellow peppers plus 1 tbs for garnishing
1 tbs crushed or finely minced garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp paprika
Sea salt and pepper
1/4 tsp chili flakes
Chopped fresh parsley to garnish


Heat the garlic, onion, chili flakes, and peppers in a decent amount of olive oil (2-3 tbs) and butter (1-2 tbs) just until the aroma comes out.

Add the sausages and cook.

Saute until the sausages are cooked through.

Add the shrimp and sprinkle in the paprika.

Stir and saute till just slightly undercooked, then turn off the heat so that the shrimp will cook by the remaining heat and not get tough.

Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Serve on plates and add parsley and bell pepper to garnish. Serves 2-3.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Zucchini and Olive Oil Cake

Zucchini and Olive Oil Cake
Torta di Zucchine e Olio d'Oliva


For the Cake:
1 cup (75 grams) walnut pieces, toasted
2 cups (240 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 large eggs
1 and 3/4 cups (306 grams) granulated sugar
1 cup (237 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 and 1/2 cups (438 grams) grated zucchini (about 2 small zucchini)
Confectioners sugar, for dusting (optional)

For the Lemon Glaze:
1/4 cup (59 ml) fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup (58 grams) granulated sugar
1 cup (130 grams) confectioners sugar


Prepare the Cake:
Position a wire rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350F (175C).

In the medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.

Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (with paddle attachment), beat the eggs, sugar, and olive oil together on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and beat in the vanilla extract.

Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined, then increase speed to medium and mix for 30 seconds.

Stir in the zucchini and walnut pieces until completely incorporated.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Pour the batter into a 10-cup Bundt pan, coated with cooking spray and lightly dusted with flour, and smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes.

Rotate the cake halfway through baking to ensure even browning. Tester should come out clean and the cake edges should start to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Prepare the Glaze:
Make the glaze while the cake is baking.

In a medium bowl, whisk the lemon juice and granulated sugar, then whisk in the confectioners sugar until the glaze is smooth.

Strain any lumps as necessary.

Remove the baked cake from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.

Place the wire rack over a piece of wax paper and invert the cake onto the rack.

Use a pastry brush to brush the glaze all over the hot cake. It will stick to the cake and set as the cake cools, leaving a nice crunchy surface.

Allow the cake to cool completely and the glaze to dry completely. Serves 6-8.

Note: You may dust the cake with confections sugar before serving. Wrap cake in plastic to store and use within 2 days.

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:

Libya To Italy: "Sorry For Trying To Sink One Of Your Fishing Boats"

Rome - September 14, 2010 - Libya has apologized for firing on an Italian trawler Sunday some 30 nautical miles off the North African country's coast, Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said on Tuesday.

"What occurred the other evening should not have taken place and Libya has apologized," Maroni told a morning TV news show.

"A probe has been opened and I believe they must of mistaken the trawler for a boat carrying illegal immigrants, although the probe will ascertain exactly what took place," he added.

"I want to know happened. The Libyan motor launch was one of the six we gave the North African country in accord with the 2007 agreement signed by then (interior) minister Giuliano Amato," Maroni said.

"While it is true that Italian military personnel were onboard, they were only offering technical assistance and were not part of the crew," the minister said.

"Yesterday (Monday), we received their report which confirmed they were not involved in the incident and today (Tuesday) there will be a meeting at the (interior) ministry to determine exactly what took place," he added.

"For me this was a serious incident but just an incident. We will examine what can be done to ensure this will not happen again," Maroni said.

On their arrival Monday on the island of Lampedusa, halfway between Sicily and North Africa, the crew of the Ariete said the trawler was hit by a few rounds of gunfire which strafed the side of the ship trawler, hit the cabin and punctured a dinghy.

None of the ten-man crew was injured.

The Ariete, out of the northwestern Sicilian port of Mazara del Vallo, was reportedly told to stop but ignored the order and headed for home, sparking the burst of fire.

According to Ariete Captain Gaspare Marrone, the incident took place in the Gulf of Sirte about 30 nautical miles off Libya, which Italy considers these waters international, according to several treaties, but Tripoli insists they are theirs and regularly repels or warns off vessels that stray into them.

Incidents like Sunday's are fairly frequent although it is rare for a Libyan vessel to open fire.

In June Libya sequestered three boats from the Mazara fleet and Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, a friend of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, personally intervened to get them back. The Ariete crew said they had had "a close call".

Wow, "che schifo!" International treaties, diplomatic incidents, machine gun fire, sequestered boats. It won't make a difference. The fish vendor at my local market can use all these excuses and I'll still think the "figlio di una mignotta" is robbing me with those prices for calamari.

The kick in the "coglioni" is the fact that Italian military personnel were on board the Libyan motor boat...and the "cornuti" didn't lift a finger to stop them.

FACTS: The Sicilian skipper, Gaspare Marrone, said that the order to stop came from a man who spoke with a faultless Italian accent: "I think there might have been an Italian on board that patrol boat."

He shouted: "Heave to or this group will start shooting." Why should he have said 'this group'? You'd have expected him to say: "Heave to or we'll shoot". And his accent was more Italian than mine is", Marrone concluded.

Machine gun fire riddled the side of the fishing boat and the dinghy tender. In the opinion of Commander Vittorio Alessandro from the coastguard general command, the Sicilian skipper...along with Gilligan, Ginger, Maryann, the Howells, and the Professor were very lucky.

How dare they! "Bastardi!" Just because the fishing crew was Sicilian didn't mean they had to open fire. We're more than sure they were wearing shoes and belts rather than fishing lines to hold up their pants.

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