02/28/12 Scampi Fra Diavolo

"Quattordici mestieri, quindici infortuni." (14 jobs, 15 accidents. A jack of all trades is master to none.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Spinach and Wild Mushroom Stuffing
  -Sausage and Mushroom Lasagna
  -Scampi Fra Diavolo

"Ciao ciao." I'm grateful for your participation with me via this newsletter. Thanks for everything you're doing and we'll continue to find recipes to be helpful in your kitchen. Please share this newsletter, if you found it useful. Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci and grazie again!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Dolce per La Festa

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 Recipe: Spinach and Wild Mushroom Stuffing

Spinach and Wild Mushroom Stuffing
Ripieno con Spinaci e Funghi Selvatici


3/4 cup (1 and 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 pound assorted fresh wild mushrooms (ex. chanterelle, stemmed shiitake, and crimini), cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 9 cups)
3 cups chopped onions (about 1 pound)
2 cups chopped celery (4 to 5 stalks)
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
One 5-ounce container or bag baby spinach leaves
12 cups (generous) 1-inch cubes day-old plain rustique or ciabatta bread with crust (about 1 and 1/4 pounds)
2 large eggs
1 and 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 cup (or more) chicken broth


Melt 1/4 cup butter with olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add diced wild mushrooms and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

Saute until mushrooms are tender and beginning to brown, about 8 minutes.

Transfer mushrooms to large bowl.

Melt remaining 1/2 cup butter in same skillet over medium heat.

Add onions and celery.

Saute until vegetables are tender, about 12 minutes.

Add all herbs; saute 1 minute longer.

Add spinach and toss until just wilted, about 1 minute.

Add vegetable mixture to bowl with mushrooms.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Divide bread between 2 rimmed baking sheets.

Bake until bread is crusty but not hard, reversing sheets after 5 minutes, 10 to 12 minutes total.

Transfer to very large bowl and cool.

Butter 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish.

Stir vegetable mixture into bread.

Whisk eggs, salt, and pepper in small bowl to blend well; whisk in 1 cup broth.

Add egg mixture to stuffing, tossing to combine evenly and adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls if dry.

Transfer stuffing to prepared dish.

Bake stuffing uncovered until cooked through and brown and crusty on top, 50 to 60 minutes.

Let stand 10 minutes. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Sausage and Mushroom Lasagna

Sausage and Mushroom Lasagna
Lasagna di Salsiccia e Funghi


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Two 8-ounce packages sliced crimini (baby bella) mushrooms
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning blend
1 pound hot Italian sausages, casings removed
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1 cup dry red wine
Four 2/3 cups marinara sauce
One 9-ounce package no-cook lasagna pasta sheets
One 15-ounce container ricotta cheese
Two 8-ounce bags Parmigiano grated cheese (4 cups)


Preheat oven to 400F.

Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over high heat.

Add mushrooms, onion, and seasoning blend; saute until vegetables begin to soften, about 6 minutes.

Add sausage and saute until brown and cooked through, breaking up with back of spoon, about 5 minutes.

Add garlic and stir 1 minute.

Add wine; cook until almost all liquid evaporates, scraping up browned bits, about 2 minutes.

Set aside.

Spread 2/3 cup marinara sauce over bottom of 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish.

Place pasta (about 4) over sauce, forming 1 layer (pasta sheet may overlap slightly).

Spread 1 cup sauce over pasta sheet.

Top with 1/3 of ricotta, then 1 cup grated cheese.

Spoon 1/3 of sausage mixture over.

Repeat 2 more times with pasta, sauce, ricotta, grated cheese, and sausage mixture.

Cover with 4 more pasta sheets.

Spoon remaining 1 cup sauce over; sprinkle remaining 1 cup grated cheese over.

Cover with foil, tenting in center to prevent cheese from touching foil.

Bake lasagna 45 minutes; remove foil.

Bake until bubbling at edges and cheese is browned, about 10 minutes longer.

Let stand 15 minutes. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Scampi Fra Diavolo

Scampi Fra Diavolo


3 tablespoons butter, divided
1/3 cup seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
One 1/4 pounds uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails left intact
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 and 1/2 cups thinly sliced red onion
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
2/3 cup dry white wine
Lemon wedges


Melt 1 tablespoon butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

Add bread crumbs and stir until golden and crisp, about 2 minutes.

Transfer to small bowl; mix in 2 tablespoons parsley.

Wipe out skillet.

Sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper.

Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter with olive oil in same skillet over high heat.

Add red onion and saute until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes.

Stir in garlic and crushed red pepper and saute 1 minute.

Add shrimp and saute until barely opaque in center, about 1 minute per side.

Add white wine and simmer until liquid is slightly thickened and reduced, 2 to 3 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Stir in remaining 6 tablespoons parsley.

Transfer to shallow bowl.

Sprinkle sauteed breadcrumbs over and serve with lemon wedges. 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:

Mobile Phone Use Causes Sperm To Doze Off

Rome - November 3, 2010 - Too much time on the cellphone appears to "put sperm to sleep" and can pose a risk for male fertility, Italian doctors believe.

According to the preliminary results of a study by Rome's La Sapienza University and the Santa Maria Goretti Hospital at Latina south of the capital, "there is a correlation between cellphone use and a worsening in sperm mobility," said Andrea Lenzi, president of the Italian Society of Andrology and Sexual Medicine (SIAMS).

"The waves appear to put the sperm to sleep," Lenzi went on.

"The data are, however, preliminary and we are verifying the presence of other factors: people who speak on their cellphones a lot are often more stressed or they smoke and drink more, and that can impact sperm quality".

The study, which examined sperm from men using cellphones from a minimum of half an hour to a maximum of four hours a day, will be presented at SIAMS' annual congress in Modena Thursday.

The conference will also see new data on testicular cancer risks from DDT and the anti-oxidant-rich foods men should eat to boost their sperm count.

"Mamma mia", the hectic lives we live today are slowing down sperm mobility. No wonder, at times, we don't feel anything moving in our pants. We can almost feel that sperm quality slipping away. But what about our lazy and semi-retired friends who spend hours on the benches in the piazzas? Their sperm has to be comatose.

Here are some other factors that may be putting our "Italian sperm to sleep":

- Not having sex,
- Ugly Italian women in general,
- Women whose asses hang like Tiramisu,
- Women with visible moustaches...and pork chop sideburns,
- Women who can barely talk or hee-haw like donkeys,
- Cold water,
- Being married for 20 years (but to your sperm it may feel like 40),
- Going home to the same woman everyday for the rest of your life,
- Hearing the following words, "Eh, I do not approve of that 'cazzata' you are going to. Go home and look at your children!" (more damaging if you're berated via cell phone).

"Porca trota", and the list goes on and on...

"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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