02/26/04 Chicken Scarpariello and Calamari Fritti from

"Salve a Tutti!" A big warm welcome to all our present and new subscribers!

Question: How do Italians prepare for 40 days of self-inflicted deprivation? Throw a party that lasts for weeks! From the Epiphany on January 6 to the beginning of Quaresima (Lent derived from the Latin term Quadragesima, or "the forty days"), il Carnevale is traditionally a time dedicated to parades and masquerade balls, to entertainment, music, and revelry.

The word Carnevale comes from the term carne levare since eating meat was restricted as a penance while preparing for Easter. The celebration itself has roots in ancient pagan celebrations such as Saturnalia and Lupercalia.

For centuries there have been parades, dances, and masquerade balls in Italy to mark the occasion. One of the oldest extant documents regarding the use of masks in Venice dates to May 2, 1268, when the citizens where banned from playing a certain game while wearing masks. Nowadays children pelt each other with coriandoli (confetti) and spray silly string, adults attend lavish costume balls, and towns such as Viareggio have a series of parades with spectacular papier mâché floats. Mischief and pranks are part of the festivities, which is the reason behind the phrase "A Carnevale ogni scherzo vale" (anything goes at Carnival).

I hope you enjoy the 3 new recipes in this week's issue. The season of Lent has just begun so in the upcoming issues I'll be sending you some fantastic recipes that do not include meat. A few of you have asked for some vegetarian dishes which I'll be more than happy to include.

This week's complimentary news article from "Only In" explains about the state wide hunt for a Roman woman who skipped out on her hospital bill.

Enjoy the issue!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Sicilian Orange Almond Cookies

"Sicilian Orange" Almond Cookies: It is a simple but very tasty combination of egg whites, flour, sugar, almonds, and candied bits of oranges. There are no preservatives, artificial colors nor flavors.
1 Kilogram (2.2 lbs.) is only 14.49 Euro ($17.75-$17.95) + Shipping.

Example Order: One order to anywhere in the USA costs 14.49 Euro plus 8.50 Euro for Global Priority Mail shipping (7-8 days) for a total of 22.99 Euro ($28.35-$28.55 U.S. Dollars).

 Recipe: Chicken Scarpariello

Chicken Scarpariello
Shoemaker's Chicken


1 (2 and 1/2 to 3 lb) Chicken Cut Into Pieces
1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
Salt and Pepper
1 Teaspoon Oregano
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 Cloves Garlic, Peeled and Sliced
1/2 Cup Chopped Onions
1 Sprig Fresh Rosemary
1 Cup Chicken Broth
1/2 Cup White Wine
Juice From 1 Lemon
3 Tablespoons Unsalted, Softened Butter
1 Tablespoon Flour
1/4 Cup Chopped, Fresh Parsley


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Mix together the flour and oregano, and season with salt and pepper. Rinse and dry the chicken pieces, and then dredge them lightly in the seasoned flour mixture. In a heavy, ovenproof skillet, large enough to hold all of the chicken pieces, heat the olive oil, and then brown the chicken well on all sides over medium heat. Be careful not to burn the oil by using too hot of heat.

Once all of the pieces are well browned, remove them to a plate. Pour out the left over oil in the pan, leaving just a tablespoon or two with the browned bits at the bottom. Add the onion and cook until soft, and then add the garlic. As soon as the garlic begins to sizzle, add the wine, and stir the browned bits at the bottom while you reduce the wine by half over medium high heat. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Break up the rosemary into pieces, and add it to the sauce. Return the chicken pieces to the skillet, and spoon the sauce over top.

Bake the chicken until done, about 20 minutes.

Remove the chicken to a warmed platter, and bring the remaining sauce to a boil. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Mix the tablespoon of flour with 1 tablespoon of softened butter. Add the remaining butter to the sauce in the skillet, and mix well. Remove the rosemary pieces from the sauce. If the sauce is thin, stir in a little of the flour and butter mixture, whisking continuously to prevent lumps.

Once the sauce has thickened, add the chopped parsley, and pour the sauce over the chicken on the platter. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

That's it!

 Recipe: Calamari Fritti

Calamari Fritti
Fried Calamari


2 lbs Cleaned Squid (Instructions Below)
1 Cup Flour
1 Cup Cornmeal
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
Olive Oil For Frying


Cleaning Squid: To clean the squid, first pull out the tentacles and head. Set these aside. Remove the cartilage that runs down the back, and anything that is inside the tube. Run under cold water. Pull off the two wing pieces, and remove the skin. Slice the cleaned tube into 1 inch rings. Take the tentacles and cut off the head just below the eyes, and discard this. Remove the hard beak inside.

Place the cleaned calamari in the freezer for 5 minutes before cooking. Put 2 inches of oil into a pot, and heat to 375 degrees F. Mix the flour, cornmeal and spices together in a plastic bag. Drop in the calamari and shake well to cover with the coating. Drop the calamari into the hot oil, and cook for just under a minute, until they are golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve with your favorite dipping sauces.

Cooks Note: A great way to serve fried calamari, is to put a handful on top of a dish of spaghetti already dressed with a good spicy tomato sauce. If you prefer a crispier crust to your calamari, dip them in beaten egg before dropping them into the coating. Serves 4.

That's it!

 Recipe: Gnocchi con Gorgonzola

Gnocchi con Gorgonzola
Gnocchi With Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce

When you use less flour, you end up with a lighter gnocchi. As with all gnocchi recipes, the trick is to not overwork the dough, and to use only as much flour as is needed to create a soft, workable dough. By using the yolk of the egg alone, the dough stays more tender than it would with the whole egg. When you want to cook the gnocchi, drop into boiling water. When they rise to the surface they are complete.


4 Medium Sized Potatoes (about 2 lbs)
1 Large Egg Yolk
1-2 Cups Of Flour

Gorgonzola Sauce:

4 oz. Gorgonzola Cheese (Room Temperature)
1 oz. Butter
8 oz. Heavy Cream


Fresh Chopped Parsley
Grated Parmigiano


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Wash and dry the potatoes. Bake the potatoes until they are fork tender, about 45 minutes. While the potatoes are baking prepare the sauce by cooking the cheese, butter and cream over low heat until the cheese has completely melted into the cream and the sauce has slightly thickened. Set aside. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel and put through a potato ricer.

While still warm, place the prepared potatoes on a large board forming a mound with a hole in the center. add the yolk and the salt into the center. Slowly start adding the flour a little at a time, mixing well with your hands and continue until you have created a soft workable dough. Knead gently only briefly until you have achieved a smooth, pliable if slightly sticky dough. To shape the gnocchi, first break the dough into fist sized pieces, and roll each piece into a log about the thickness of your thumb. Cut into 1 inch pieces. To finish, take a fork and place it against your work board. With it's back towards you, press each piece of dough with your index finger firmly up the length of the fork tines. Let the gnocchi fall back onto the board and continue with the remaining pieces in this manner. Place the prepared gnocchi on a lightly floured baking sheet and either cook immediately, or keep refrigerated until ready to use, preferably not more than 3 hours.

To cook, drop carefully into salted boiling water and remove immediately as they have all floated to the surface. Drain and top with the gorgonzola sauce. Serve sprinkled with the fresh, chopped parsley. Offer grated parmesan at the table. Serves 4-6.

That's it!

Submit Your Thoughts


 It Could Only Happen 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, a sample of today's edition.

Italy police hunt woman in breast implant sting.

ROME, Feb 12 (Reuters) - An Italian woman who had her breasts enlarged with the biggest silicone implants available is being hunted by police after she skipped out on the 7,500 Euro ($9,500) plastic surgery bill.

Police say they have few leads as the woman used a false name but are relying on a photograph and her unusually large bra size to find her, a newspaper reported on Thursday.

The woman did a runner from the exclusive private hospital in Rome a day after the two-hour operation which doubled her bust size, her plastic surgeon Jamal Salhi told the Corriere della Sera on Thursday. "Unfortunately this kind of fraud isn't that unusual," Salhi lamented.

Hmmm...Can you imagine all the sexual harassment going on in Rome by the Italian police at this very moment? Every woman with a big chest and similar looks to this silicone thief is a possible suspect!

A couple of questions to all you wonderful women: Eh...are we (men) responsible for this? Do we drive you to this kind of behavior?

"Only In Italy" Subscribe today and feed your sense of intellectual superiority by reading and wondering how Italy still survives after 56 governments in 50 years! Click Here to Subscribe!
 Only In

 Read Past Issues
 What's New?
 Order Our Cookies!
 Tour Our Bakery
 About Adriana
 People are Talking!
 Customer Service
 Our Privacy Policy

 Submit Your Thoughts
 Email Adriana



 Abbacchio Cacciatora
 Cicoria Soup
 Costoletta Valdostana
 Farfalle Arugula Pesto
 Fettucine Artichoke Pesto
 Pescespada a Ghiotta
 Torta di Ricotta

 More Recipes!



Questions: Need more Italian recipes? How about Italian gift ideas? Or just plain Italian fun?

Subscribe to these interesting newsletters from our closest and trustworthy Italian affiliates located here in Italy? Just click the sites that may interest you and sign up:

 Silver From
 Oregano From
 Only In




Copyright ©2000-2004 FromItaly di Ciccarello. ISSN: 1724-7985. All Rights Reserved. Please read our Privacy Policy