02/23/10 Bread Gnocchi In Broth

"A chi dai il dito si prende anche il braccio." (Give them a finger and they'll take the arm. Give them an inch and they'll take a mile.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Bread Gnocchi In Broth
  -Potatoes with Vegetable Sauce
  -Lamb with Mushrooms

If dishes were wishes, then I wish you many. Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci e a presto!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

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 Recipe: Bread Gnocchi In Broth

Bread Gnocchi In Broth
Gnocchi di Pane In Brodo


For the Vegetable Stock:
2 celery sticks, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 leek, trimmed and chopped
1 onion, chopped

For the Gnocchi:
4 oz (120 grams) breadcrumbs
2 oz (50 grams) Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated (plus extra for serving)
2 eggs
1 small fresh chive, chopped
Salt and pepper


Prepare the Vegetable Stock:
Place all the vegetables in a saucepan.

Pour in 2 and 1/2 pints (1.5 liters) water, season with salt and bring to a boil.

Lower the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes.

Prepare the Gnocchi:
Mix together the breadcrumbs, Parmigiano cheese, eggs and half the chive in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. The mixture should be thick enough so, if necessary, add more breadcrumbs.

Shape the mixture into 1/2-inch (1-cm) balls.

Cut into short lengths and slightly flatten the middle with your finger.

Strain the vegetable stock into a clean pan and return to the heat.

Add the bread gnocchi to the stock. When they float to the surface they are ready.

Ladle into a soup tureen, sprinkle with the remaining chive and serve with Parmigiano cheese on the side. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Lamb with Mushrooms

Lamb with Mushrooms
Agnello Ai Funghi


2 and 1/4 lb (1 kg) shoulder of lamb, boned and rolled
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
1 lb and 2 oz (500 grams) porcini mushrooms
8 fl oz (250 ml) double cream
1 oz (25 rams) butter
2 garlic cloves
1 fresh parsley sprig, chopped
Salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 200C (400F) Gas Mark 6.

Season the meat with salt and pepper and brush it all over with lightly salted olive oil.

Place in a roasting tin with the olive oil and roast for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, separate the stems and caps of the porcini, then slice the caps and chop 3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) of the stems.

Remove the lamb from the tin, cover with foil and keep warm.

Pour 6 fl oz (175 ml) warm water and the cream into a pan, add the chopped porcini stems and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a frying pan, add the porcini caps and cook over a high heat until lightly browned.

Add the garlic, season with salt and pepper, lower the heat to medium and cook for a further 15 minutes.

Remove and discard the garlic and add the parsley.

Carve the lamb into thin slices, place on a warm serving dish, pour the hot sauce over them and serve surrounded by the porcini caps. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Potatoes with Vegetable Sauce

Potatoes with Vegetable Sauce
Delizia di Patate alla Crema Dell'Orto


1 and 1/2 lbs (675 grams) potatoes
2 oz (50 grams) butter
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
5 tablespoons dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon plain flour
1 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprig, chopped
4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
Salt and pepper


Cook the whole, unpeeled potatoes in plenty of salted water for 30-40 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt 1 and 1/2 oz (40 grams) of the butter in a pan, add the carrot, celery and shallot and cook over a high heat, stirring frequently, until browned.

Add the wine and cook until it has evaporated.

Season with salt and pepper, lower the heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is creamy.

Mix the remaining butter with the flour to a paste, stir into the mixture and simmer for a few minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley and basil.

Drain, peel and thinly slice the potatoes.Arrange the slices like sun rays on a warm serving dish and spoon the sauce over them. 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 Reopen Murder Case...450 Years Later

Palermo - February 12, 2010 - For centuries it had been thought that Baroness Laura Lanza was murdered by her father, Cesare, in an "honor killing" for which he was later pardoned. But the hilltop town of Carini in Sicily believes that Cesare Lanza may have acted in league with the baroness's husband, Don Vincenzo La Grua, who wanted to remarry. Her husband also feared that her lover might have tried to claim a part of his estate had she had children from her illicit affair.

The baroness was killed in 1563 in Carini's 11th century castle when she and her lover, Ludovico Vernagallo, were caught in bed together.

"Justice wasn't done back then," said Gaetano La Fata, the mayor of the town 20 miles from Palermo, who has decided to reopen the case and exhume the remains of the lovers.

They are believed to have been buried in a common grave under the crypt of the town's church, the Chiesa Madre.

"We hope that DNA tests and criminal profiling will help us discover the motive behind the crime and establish whether there was more than one assassin."

Sicilian police have called in an international team of forensic scientists and criminologists to help solve the case, 447 years after it shocked the island's inhabitants. Local police will work together with American experts and Marco Strano, a psychologist and criminologist, in a collaboration which is due to start next month.

"The idea for the investigation began as a joke," said Mr Strano. "I visited Carini in June and when I met the mayor I teased him for not having resolved the murder yet, so he challenged me to solve it.

"There was a trial held at the time, but though both father and son-in-law had their properties temporarily confiscated, they were soon declared innocent, probably thanks to their noble status and the legal right for fathers and husbands of adulterous women to commit honor killings," said Mr Strano.

"If we are lucky enough to find and identify their bones, it might be possible to verify the cause of death, whether they were run through with a sword or stabbed with a dagger. If there was more than one weapon used, it's likely there was more than one murderer."

The bedroom where the couple was murdered has recently been restored. A red handprint has been painted on the wall to mark the spot where, according to local legend, the struggling baroness left a bloody imprint.

"Porca Vacca!" The cheeks of my ass are quivering with anticipation!

Has sanity left us? Is anybody reading this stupid newsletter?
Why aren't Sicilians running out into the streets rioting over this?

Could the ending of this Sicilian soap opera be of any interest today? How silly. How stupid.
You see, this is what happens when the lawmakers in Palermo drink, eat too many "milza" (cow spleen) sandwiches and date farm animals.

"Sicilian police have called in an international team of forensic scientists and criminologists to help solve the case..." Hmmm...there's an entire island infested with organized crime families infiltrating every aspect of Sicilian society (including when the sun should shine or not) and our main concern is to find out if a baroness whore was run through with a sword or dagger.

Look, at any given point of the day there's Mafia action...and plenty of it. Even chickens can't lay their eggs in peace without being shaken down for a percentage."Cacchio", there's lots of Mafia in Italy. You know how Vermont has maple syrup? We have Mafia.

We sincerely hope the crime is solved as soon as possible so that Sicilians can move on to the next mystery which is, why is it difficult to keep a pair of socks together?

Why do we always lose one?

"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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