02/17/09 Linguine with Shrimp and Asparagus from

"Chi non beve in compagnia o è un ladro o è una spia" (Who doesn't drink in company is either a thief or a spy.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Warm Escarole Salad with Shiitake Mushrooms and Pancetta
  -Spinach and Bread Gnocchi
  -Linguine with Shrimp and Asparagus

All of us at the bakery here at Santo Stefano Quisquina sincerely hope you enjoy your recipes!

Arrivederci e a presto!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Whole Pistachio Cookies

"Whole Pistachio" Cookies: Dedicated to pistachio lovers! A soft and chewy pistachio cookie made from whole pistachios, egg whites from the freshest farm eggs, flour, and sugar. No preservatives, additives, artificial colors, nor flavors. 900 grams (2 lbs.) Serves 5-7.

900 grams (2 lbs.) is only 20.49 Euro ($26.00-$26.50) + Shipping.

Example Order: One order to anywhere in the USA costs 20.49 Euro plus 8.70 Euro for Global Priority Mail shipping (7-9 days) for a total of 29.19 Euro ($37.25-$37.75 U.S. Dollars).

 Recipe: Warm Escarole Salad with Shiitake Mushrooms and Pancetta

Warm Escarole Salad with Shiitake Mushrooms and Pancetta
Insalata di Scarola con Funghi Shiitake e Pancetta


5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps sliced 1/2 inch thick

One 1/4-inch-thick slice pancetta, chopped
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon brandy
1 large head escarole, cut into 1-inch pieces


Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat.

Add mushrooms and saute until tender, about 2 minutes.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Using slotted spoon, transfer mushrooms to paper towels; reserve mushrooms.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in same skillet over medium-high heat.

Add pancetta and saute until crisp, about 2 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat.

Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels to drain; reserve pancetta.

Carefully whisk vinegar into drippings in same skillet.

Bring to simmer over medium heat, scraping up any browned bits.

Add Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, mustard and 3 tablespoons olive oil, then brandy. Bring to simmer.

Place escarole in large bowl; pour warm vinaigrette over. Toss to coat.

Mix in reserved mushrooms and pancetta. Season with salt and pepper.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Spinach and Bread Gnocchi

Spinach and Bread Gnocchi
Gnocchi Di Spinaci e Pane


1 and 1/2 lbs (675 grams) spinach
12 oz (350 grams) day-old bread
7 fl oz (200 ml) whole milk
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) butter
3 oz (80 grams) Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated
1 egg
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) plain flour, plus extra for dusting


Tear the bread into pieces.

Place them in a large bowl, add the milk and leave until it has been completely absorbed.

Cook the spinach in very little water for about 5 minutes until tender.

Drain, squeezing out as much liquid as possible, and chop.

Melt 3/4 oz (20 grams) of the butter in a frying pan.

Add the spinach and 1 and 1/2 oz (40 grams) of the Parmigiano cheese and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir into the bowl of bread, then stir in the egg and flour.

Make long rolls with the mixture.

Cut them into pieces the same length, dust lightly with flour and shake off any excess.

Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to a boil, add the gnocchi, and when they rise to the surface remove with a slotted spoon.

Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter.

Drain the gnocchi well, arrange on a warm serving dish and pour the melted butter over them.

Sprinkle with the remaining Parmigiano cheese, mix gently and serve. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Linguine with Shrimp and Asparagus

Linguine with Shrimp and Asparagus
Linguine con Gamberetti e Asparagi


1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 lb uncooked medium shrimp, peeled, deveined
1 cup sliced shallots (about 3 large shallots)
16 asparagus spears, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 lb plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup vodka
1/2 cup sliced drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (about 2 ounces)

12 ounces linguine
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil


Melt 1/4 cup butter in large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add shrimp; saute until opaque in center, about 2 minutes.

Using slotted spoon, transfer shrimp to bowl.

Add shallots and asparagus to saucepan; saute until shallots are tender and slightly brown, about 3 minutes.

Add plum tomatoes, cream, vodka and sun-dried tomatoes.

Simmer until tomatoes are tender, about 4 minutes.

Add shrimp; toss to coat.

Meanwhile, cook linguine in large pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente'.

Drain well, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

Return pasta and reserved cooking liquid to pot.

Add sauce; toss to coat.

Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer to serving dish.

Sprinkle with basil and serve. Makes 4 servings.

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:

Court: Telling Your Mate to Drop Dead Isn't a Crime

Rome - December 23, 2008 - Couples who regularly tell each other to 'drop dead' during arguments cannot then be prosecuted for making threats, Italy's supreme court ruled on Tuesday.

Judges at the Cassation Court said that 28-year-old Roberto R. was not guilty of threatening behavior after his former girlfriend, Marcella S., reported him for repeatedly telling her to drop dead during fiery bust-ups.

The court ruled that such phrases "belonged to the habitual language of both the ex-lovers in the course of their frequent arguments" and had lost their ability to arouse fear.

Oh good. What a relief. Now we can get back to waking up early and going to our lovely jobs without having our "coglioni" broken even further.

It's safe to say the lyrics to "Volare" can also be added to the so-called "habitual language of lovers in the course of frequent arguments":

Volare oh, oh!
Cantare... oh, oh, oh, oh!

Nel blu, dipinto di blu, felice di stare lassù.
How difficult it is to keep a pair of socks together with you.

E volavo, volavo felice piu in alto del sole ed ancora piu su,
Oh, what it's like to be with a woman whose ass hangs like Tiramisu.

Volare oh, oh!
Cantare... oh, oh, oh, oh!

Ma tutti i sogni nell'alba svaniscon perchè,
He's got one of those toupees that's allergic to his head.

Ma io continuo a sognare negli occhi tuoi belli,
He is getting as inappropriate as his fat belly.

Volare oh, oh! Cazzo, I have to get away from you... oh, oh, oh, oh!

"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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