02/24/09 Ravioli with Sage Cream Sauce from

"Chi la sera i pasti gli ha fatti, sta a gli altri a lavar i piatti." (If one cooks the meal then the others wash up.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Soft Polenta with Leeks
  -Ravioli with Sage Cream Sauce
  -Pork Tenderloin with Herbed Breadcrumb Crust

All of us at the bakery here in Santo Stefano Quisquina sincerely hope you enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci e a presto!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Italian cookies for the Easter Holidays

Make this Easter Holiday a memorable one by adding an assortment tray of our scrumptious Italian "dolce" at the table.
Enjoy them with a cup of espresso or a bottle of Prosecco. It will give a wonderful touch to your holiday feast, a proper ending with a touch of Sicilian sunshine.

If you would like to order for Easter Sunday (April 12) please keep in mind the following deadline: All orders must be placed by Wednesday, April 1, at 12:00 PM EST.
Click here to order!

 Recipe: Soft Polenta with Leeks

Soft Polenta with Leeks
Polenta con Porri


3 tablespoons butter
3 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced
2 and 1/4 cups (or more) water
2 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 cup polenta (Italian cornmeal)

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese


Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat.

Add leeks; stir to coat.

Cover and cook until leeks soften, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

Add 2 and 1/4 cups water, broth and bay leaf.

Bring to boil.

Gradually whisk in polenta.

Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until mixture is thick and creamy, stirring often and thinning with more water if necessary, about 35 minutes.

Remove pan from heat. Discard bay leaf.

Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter and Parmigiano cheese.

Season polenta to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide polenta among plates. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Ravioli with Sage Cream Sauce

Ravioli with Sage Cream Sauce
Ravioli con Salsa di Crema e Salvia


One 8 to 9-ounce package refrigerated vegetable-filled ravioli
1 and 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
1 and 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage or 1 and 1/2 teaspoons crumbled dried sage leaves
3/4 cup dry white wine
2/3 cup whipping cream
Parmigiano cheese shavings


Cook ravioli in large pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente', about 8 minutes. Drain well.

Meanwhile, melt butter in heavy medium skillet over medium heat.

Add pecans and stir until slightly darker and fragrant, about 3 minutes.

Using slotted spoon, transfer pecans to small bowl.

Add shallots and sage to same skillet.

Saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add wine and cream.

Increase heat and boil until sauce is reduced to generous 3/4 cup, about 5 minutes.

Add ravioli to sauce; toss.

Season with salt and pepper.

Divide between bowls. Sprinkle with pecans and Parmigiano. Serves 2, can be doubled.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Pork Tenderloin with Herbed Breadcrumb Crust

Pork Tenderloin with Herbed Breadcrumb Crust
Filetto di Maiale con Crosta di Erbe e Pane


6 cups fresh breadcrumbs made from French bread
2/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 and 3/4 teaspoons crumbled bay leaves
3 lbs pork tenderloins, trimmed
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Preheat oven to 375F.

Mix first 4 ingredients in large bowl to blend.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper.

Dip into eggs, then into breadcrumb mixture, coating completely.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add half of pork; cook until golden on all sides, about 5 minutes.

Place on rack set in large roasting pan.

Wipe out skillet.

Repeat with remaining 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon olive oil and pork.

Roast pork until crust is golden and thermometer inserted into center registers 155F, about 20 minutes.

Transfer pork to cutting board.

Let stand 5 minutes. Slice pork and serve. Serves 8.

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:

Restaurant Owner On Trial for Mistreating Lobsters

Milan - January 6, 2009 - A well-known Milanese restaurateur and his wife have been sent to trial for the mistreatment of lobsters and will find themselves before a judge in early March.

The alleged crime took place in November of 2007 when health inspectors found that live lobsters were on display for potential customers on packs of crushed ice and not inside a water tank.

According to the prosecutor in the case, Giulio Benedetti, not only did this constitute a violation of food preservation laws, but the couple were also guilty of mistreating the lobsters and causing them "unbearable physical pain" by keeping them alive out of their natural habitat, water. The prosecution also suspects that this treatment may have been a contributing factor in the lobsters' death.

The case is similar an April 2006 one in Vicenza when a restaurant operator was fined 688 euros for mistreating lobsters by keeping them on ice. The fine was the result of a complaint filed in March 2002 by a former activist from Italy's animal protection agency ENPA.

According to the restaurateur, at the time of his alleged 'crime' there were no specific guidelines on maintaining live lobsters, regulations which entered the law books only in 2004.

The general opinion of lobster men is that a hard shell lobster can survive out of the water for 24 hours or more, while soft shell lobsters, those which are regrowing their shells after shedding in the summer, are best kept in water. They also maintain that lobsters, sometimes referred to as the 'cockroaches of the sea', do not suffer in the traditional sense, even when they are thrown into boiling water for cooking.

Most lobsters in Italy are hard shells and arrive from northern Europe and North America packed in ice.

The local press in Vicenza noted at the time that the case had given the restaurant operator some excellent and free publicity.

"Figlio di una mignotta", how about sending restaurant owners to trial for the mistreatment of tourists? Have you ever been fleeced in a restaurant in Milan? "Cacchio", you would think you were being displayed on crushed ice.

See, here in Sicily we're used to having a hard time giving a crap about problems of the Milanese however, something smells fishy here (pardon the stupid pun)...

How is it the health inspectors found a few lobsters shivering from the cold but not the illegal World Cup football game going on in his kitchen? Or could it be that, in Italy, "all the roads lead to...kickback" and Signore Benedetti got off the wrong exit somewhere?

"Mamma mia", all this drama can be avoided if people would just eat a nice simple dish of "pasta con le sarde" (sardine sauce) and shut up.

"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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