02/19/13 Carnival Rice Fritters

"A mali estremi, estremi rimedi." (Extreme situations, need extreme solutions.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Chicken with Gnocchi
  -Sauteed Seafood
  -Carnival Rice Fritters

"Buon giorno..." And another winter is about to wish us a farewell. Who can resist the feelings of hope and joy that one gets from participating in the rebirth of spring? We're looking forward to celebrating it with our dear readers all over the world. Enjoy your Italian recipes and thanks again!

Arrivederci and grazie again!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Buccellati

"Italian Buccellati" 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 (13.75 - 14.25 U.S. Dollars) + 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 (25.00 - 25.50 U.S. Dollars).

 Recipe: Chicken with Gnocchi

Chicken with Gnocchi
Pollo con Gnocchi


2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
12 large white mushrooms, sliced
1 cup diced carrots
4 celery stalks (from the heart), sliced very thinly
1 large onion, chopped
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup fresh basil
Handful of fresh parsley leaves
Handful of pine nuts, toasted
2 handfuls of freshly grated Parmigiano cheese
Salt and pepper
Zest of 1 lemon
2 (10 to 12-ounce) packages gnocchi


Place a large pot of water to boil.

Heat a deep skillet with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat.

Add the chicken and cook until lightly browned on all sides.

Remove from the skillet to a plate and return the skillet to the heat.

Add another tablespoon of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter to the skillet.

When the butter is melted, add the mushrooms, carrots, celery and onion.

Season with salt and pepper.

Cook for 5 minutes until the vegetables are softened.

Sprinkle in the flour and cook for 2 minutes.

Whisk in 2 and 1/2 cups of the chicken stock.

Add the chicken and any accumulated juices back into the pan.

Cook until the sauce has thickened and the chicken has cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.

Place the remaining 1/2 cup of chicken stock in a food processor.

Add the basil, parsley, pine nuts and Parmigiano cheese.

Season with salt and pepper.

Turn on the food processor and stream in the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil.

In a skillet over medium heat, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter.

Add in the lemon zest.

Salt the boiling water and add the gnocchi.

Cook until they float to the surface.

Drain and add to the skillet with the lemon butter.

Cook in the butter until lightly golden at the edges, 2-3 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the heat and stir in the pesto sauce.

Serve in shallow bowls topped with the lemon-butter gnocchi. Serves 4-6.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Sauteed Seafood

Sauteed Seafood
Frutti di Mare Saltato


1 and 1/2 lbs assorted raw fish or seafood (all about the same size to cook evenly)
1/2 cup crushed Italian tomatoes
2 shallots, sliced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 tsp dried tarragon
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup clam juice or chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon cold butter
Salt & pepper
Hot pepper flakes (optional)


Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.

Saute the shallots and garlic until transparent.

Add the tarragon, white wine, broth and tomatoes.

Simmer over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.

Add the seafood to the pan and continue to simmer for about 5-7 minutes, tossing gently a few times, until everything is just cooked through (do not overcook).

Remove the pan from the heat.

Add the parsley and the butter.

Swirl the pan to incorporate the butter.

Add salt and pepper for seasoning and taste as well as red pepper flakes, if using.

Divide the seafood and broth into two bowls and serve immediately. Serves two.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Carnival Rice Fritters

Carnival Rice Fritters
Frittelle di Riso di Carnevale


4 and 1/4 cups (1 liter) of whole milk
(150 grams) originario rice (pudding rice)
3 eggs, egg whites and yolks separated
Finely grated zest of 1 organic lemon
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
Sugar to coat fritters
3 tablespoons of rum
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups (about 500 ml) of extra virgin olive oil for frying


Pour the milk into a large pot.

Add the rice.

Cook the rice uncovered over low heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, for at least 40 minutes until the rice becomes creamy and soft.

Pour the rice into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it cool completely before storing it in the refrigerator overnight.

Stir into the cold rice the egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest and flour.

Fold in gently the whipped egg whites.

Heat at least 3 inches of olive oil in a frying pan until it reaches 180°C.

Drop the rice fritters with a teaspoon into the hot oil, keeping them well separated. The fritters should be no bigger than a walnut.

Turn the fritters with two ladles or two forks so that they become golden on all sides and get a spherical shape.

Cook the fritters in more bathes, for about 5 minutes each time, and when ready put them in a dish with a few sheets of kitchen paper, so that it absorbs the excess oil.

Serve them warm sprinkled with plenty of sugar. Makes about 60 fritters.

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:

Italy Vows To Eliminate American Squirrels

Genova - May 12, 2012 - Italy is waging war on a group of American invaders that are threatening the existence of their European peers.

American grey squirrels, which were first introduced into Europe in 1948, have thrived in the parks of the northeastern region of Liguria since the 1960s.

With 10-inch-long bodies, equally long tails and a weight that can reach 21 oz, American grey squirrels are bigger than European red squirrels. These strong Americans invaders steal the Europeans’ food and carry diseases that are lethal to locals.

To defend the indigenous squirrel population, Liguria, Piemonte and Lombardia regions, as well as the Italian Environment ministry, have launched a project aimed at uprooting the estimated 300 American grey squirrels living in the Levante Genovese Park.

The cost of the war against American squirrels, nearly 2 million euros, is partially covered by the European Union.

This squirrel war has its ‘general,’ Andrea Balduzzi, a professor of natural sciences at the University of Genoa.

At dawn, the professor and his student troops go after the invaders, armed with traps and cages. Once caught, the animals are transferred to vets to be sterilized before being released in natural parks.

And squirrels caught outside the park are executed by euthanasia.

It's amazing the brilliance that could cross the minds of some Italian lawmakers. There could be just one valid explanation: Ventilation.
In other words, there was no fresh air in that room and the lawmakers got dizzy.

A helpful and common cure would be to open a window or go for a walk in the park. We would suggest the lovely Levante Genovese Park.
Don't worry about the squirrels. Just ignore them and they'll ignore you.

And did you know Italians have a couple of things in common with squirrels?

- Squirrels in general are found on every continent except Antarctica and Australia.
From 1861 to 1985, more than 26 million Italians left Italy to seek a better life. Yes, they are found on every continent including Antarctica where it is easier to reason with the seals than the Calabrese.

- Squirrels eyes are positioned in such a way that they can see some things behind them.
The eyes of most Italian state employees are also positioned in a way that they can see work that needs to be done behind them. So they avoid it and disappear just as quickly and quietly as a squirrel can.

And you would think Italy would have become accustomed to getting invaded by now.

- 1072: The Normans conquered Sicily, Calabria and Napoli, and establish a kingdom over Southern Italy.
Not one peep from Northern Italy. In their defense, it's difficult to condemn an invasion and show outrage when you have a smile on your face.

- 1796-1800: Napoleon conquers northern Italy, ends Milano's occupation by Austria, ends Genova's independence and annexes Piedmont, Tuscany and the Papal state to France. Took the 'Mona Lisa' and hung it in his bedroom. Southern Italy: "Burns, doesn't it? Vaffanculo and welcome to the club."

- 2012: 1000 shipments of pureed tomatoes weighing 200 kg invade Italy from China every day, destined for the Italian market to be sold as if it were 'Made In Italy'.
As you can see, we need a EU project aimed at uprooting the disease carrying, lawmaking population responsible for this.
We need to go track them down with cages and traps, have them sterilized by vets and make sure there is enough Italian Chinese marinara sauce for their linguine.

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