02/22/11 Polenta Cookies

"Tutto permesso in guerra ed in amore." (All is permitted in war and love. All is fair in war and love.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Tomato Soup with Red Bell Peppers, Zucchini, and Basil
  -Strozzapreti Pasta with Meat Sauce
  -Polenta Cookies

Buon giorno! All of us at the bakery are thankful for being with us via our newsletter. We will continue to find ways to be helpful in your kitchen. Please share this newsletter, if you find it useful. Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci e grazie!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Sicilian Orange Almond Cookies

"Sicilian Orange" 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 with bits of candied Sicilian oranges, the freshest farm eggs, flour, and sugar. No preservatives, additives, artificial colors, nor flavors. Serves 5-7.

900 grams (2 lbs.) is only 14.49 Euro ($20.00-$20.50) + Shipping.

Example Order: One order to anywhere in the USA costs 14.49 Euro plus 8.70 Euro for Global Priority Mail shipping (7-9 days) for a total of 23.19 Euro ($32.25-$32.75 U.S. Dollars).

 Recipe: Tomato Soup with Red Bell Peppers, Zucchini, and Basil

Tomato Soup with Red Bell Peppers, Zucchini, and Basil
Zuppa di Pomodoro con Peperoni Rossi, Zucchine e Basilico


8 cups vegetable stock
One 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, with juices
1/2 of one medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 cup port wine
1 zucchini, quartered and cut into 1/2 inch thick wedges
2 red bell peppers, cut in 1/2-inch strips
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (or 3 tbs dried basil)
1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
Salt and pepper to taste


Put vegetable stock, tomatoes, onion, garlic and port wine in a medium or large sauce pan.

Add a pinch of salt and black pepper.

Place over medium heat and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 10 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients and return to a simmer for another 10 minutes.

Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed.

Allow to cool for about 10 minutes.

Garnish with a basil sprig and serve with crusty bread. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Strozzapreti Pasta Bolognese

Strozzapreti Pasta Bolognese
Strozzapreti al Sugo di Carne


6 tbs butter, divided
5-6 lb chuck roast, cut into 2-inch cubes
3 onions, halved and thinly sliced
One 750-ml bottle fruity red wine (ex. Chianti)
One 28-oz. can peeled tomatoes with juice
1 cup brewed espresso
1 lb Strozzapreti pasta


Preheat oven to 400F (204 C).

Melt 1 tbs butter in large ovenproof pot over medium high heat.

Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper.

Working in batches, cook beef until browned, about 4 minutes per batch.

Transfer beef to large bowl.

Reduce heat to medium.

Add remaining 5 tbs butter to the pot and melt.

Add onions and cook until soft, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.

Return beef and any accumulated juices to pot.

Add wine, tomatoes with juice, and espresso.

Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer to oven.

Braise beef until tender, about 2 hours.

Using two forks, break beef apart into more manageable chunks.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente', stirring occasionally.

Stir into beef mixture and serve. Serves 4-5.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Polenta Cookies

Polenta Cookies
Biscotti alla Polenta


1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup Italian polenta, or yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice


Preheat oven to 350F (176C).

Whisk together flour, polenta, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

Put butter, sugar, lemon zest, and thyme in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment

Beat on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Add egg and egg yolk, one at a time, beating after each addition to combine.

Mix in vanilla and lemon juice.

Gradually add flour mixture, and beat until just combined.

Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch star tip.

Pipe "S" shapes about 3 inches long and 1 inch wide, spaced 1 and 1/2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment.

Bake cookies until edges are golden, 15 to 18 minutes.

Transfer cookies on parchment to wire racks; let cool about 10 minutes.

Remove cookies from parchment, and transfer to racks to cool completely.

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:

Gaddafi Getting Too Comfortable In Italy

Rome - September 7, 2010 - Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi’s behavior during a trip last week to Italy has stirred controversy. His remarks on Islam angered church officials, and many politicians worried about the Libyan leader’s growing clout in the Italian economy.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi laid out the red carpet for Gaddafi on the Libyan ruler's fourth visit to Italy in just over a year. It marked the second anniversary of a friendship treaty between the African country and its former colonial master.

Gaddafi brought a surprise with him: Bedouin riders mounted on 30 thoroughbred horses, flown in from Libya, performed for the Italian hosts. Nearly the entire government, as well as leaders of the business establishment, were present at what one newspaper quipped was a "circus spectacle," with Gaddafi acting as ringmaster.

Berlusconi had only words of praise for Gaddafi and even kissed his hand.

"It is an advantage for everyone that relations between Italy and Libya have changed and are definitely positive," Berlusconi said. "Those who do not understand this and criticize Libya belong to the past and are prisoners of outdated ideas," he added.

A day earlier, Gaddafi addressed 500 young women hired by a modeling agency and paid $100 each to listen to a lecture on Islam. Gaddafi urged them to convert and said Islam should be the religion of all of Europe. The remarks caused anger. A Vatican official called them a provocation. Some Italian government officials also were disturbed, accusing Gaddafi of having transformed Rome into his own private Disneyland for his senile vanity.

Critics of Gaddafi the onetime sponsor of terrorist groups say the 2008 Italy-Libya friendship treaty has given the Libyan leader a big role in the Italian economy. In the past two years, Libya has invested nearly $40 billion in Italy, according to economic journalist Stefano Feltri.

"It is the most important foreign investor in terms of strategic investments, so they are the only foreign country who can buy shares in companies like our biggest banks and biggest energy firm," Feltri says.

Gaddafi’s Libya is now the largest shareholder in Unicredit, Italy’s biggest bank. It is planning to raise its stake in ENI, the state-owned energy company, to 15 percent, and it has interests in construction, helicopters, telecommunications and insurance as well as in the Juventus soccer team.

Libya is currently the fifth-largest investor on the Italian stock market. And the friendship treaty stipulates that Italy will provide $20 billion worth of infrastructure to Libya.

One key aspect of the treaty has prompted strong criticism from the United Nations and the European Union; the agreement under which Tripoli intercepts and takes back immigrants who try to enter Italy by sea.

Rome has been widely accused of turning a blind eye to human-rights violations in Libyan camps where would-be immigrants are detained. Opposition Parliament member Furio Colombo says 50 percent of those seeking to enter Italy are asylum seekers, and Italy cannot turn them back under international law.

"They wanted someone to perform the dirty work for Italy, paid by Italy but without the Italians being involved and without public opinion knowing anything, to make sure no boats of refugees could pass through," Colombo says.

Now, Gaddafi is saying he should be paid millions by the EU to keep African migrants out of Europe.

Many Italians are wondering what will be the ultimate cost of an agreement with the dictator of a country that has never ratified an international treaty on human rights and who now plays such a key role in Italian business.

"Cornuto", we don't understand this love affair between our chuckle-faced, butt-sucking, unfunny jackass of a Prime Minister and his ugly Libyan girlfriend. How annoying is it that more people read about Gaddafi when he visits this country than during his entire career as supreme dictator "della minchia"?

Look at the history between this sand "coglione" and Italy:

- In 1970 Gaddafi expelled Italians living in Libya and confiscated their property (Libya: "Arrivederci Italiani!").

- In 1985 Italy's Prime Minister Craxi refused the request by U.S. President Reagan to extradite the hijackers of the Italian cruise ship "Achille Lauro" and for the murder of American citizen, Leon Klinghoffer (Italy: Well, at least, they didn't sink the ship. Just cover up the bullet holes, clean up the blood and it's as good as new).

- In 1986 Craxi warned Gaddafi that the U.S. would bomb his country. Craxi not only said no to U.S. flights over Italy, but he used all the channels available to him to warn the dictator, saving his life. (Italy: "Pronto, hello Gaddafi? Buon giorno! How are you? Listen carefully...")

- In 1986 Libya fired two Scuds at the U.S. Coast Guard navigation station on the Italian island of Lampedusa, in retaliation for the failed bombing. The missiles passed over the island, landing in the sea, and caused no damage. (Italy: "Oh, figli di puttane, che minchia fate?!)

- In September 2010 Gaddafi addressed 500 young Italians women hired by a modeling agency and paid $100 each to listen to a lecture on Islam. Gaddafi urged them to convert and said Islam should be the religion of all of Europe. (Italian women: "Is Islam a new modeling agency in Milan? I'll convert if it will help my modeling and 'escort' career. I don't care what I did to the 'Women's Movement'! I'll move where my career takes me. The wind whistling through my head is starting to annoy me!")

- In the past two years, Libya has invested nearly $40 billion in Italy. (Libya: "We want receipts." Italy: "'Fanculo, we're one step away from cooking our pizzas in the sand!")

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