03/01/11 Turkey, Bean & Tomato Soup

"Troppi cuochi guastano la cucina." (Too many cooks spoil the broth.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Turkey, Bean and Tomato Soup
  -Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage
  -Orange and Almond Biscotti

Buon giorno! I'm grateful for every day we can spend together. Thanks for being part of the newsletter and part of my larger community. You matter to us. If ever I've missed sending you a reply and you want to be sure you're seen, just hit reply to this or write to me here. I never mean to miss your messages. I get buried sometimes, and it takes a bit of effort. But you're worth it. Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci e grazie!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

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 Recipe: Turkey, Bean and Tomato Soup

Turkey, Bean and Tomato Soup
Zuppa di Tacchino, Fagioli e Pomodoro


1 and 1/2 cups roasted chicken or turkey, shredded
2 cups chopped fresh fennel
4 ounces sliced pancetta, chopped
One 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes
2 cups homemade chicken broth
One 15-ounce can cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil


Saute fennel and pancetta in heavy large pot over high heat until pancetta starts to brown, about 4 minutes.

Add tomatoes.

Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.

Mix in broth, beans, shredded turkey or chicken, paprika and crushed red pepper.

Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Mix in basil. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 3-4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage

Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage
Ziti al Forno con Salsiccia Italiana


1 pound Italian sausage, sweet or hot, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
1 pound dry ziti pasta
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 jar homemade tomato sauce
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 cup Parmigiano cheese
2 slices Provolone cheese, torn into pieces
1 roasted red pepper, diced
Kosher salt
Pinch red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat the oven to 400F.

Coat a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray, and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add Kosher salt, and boil pasta for 1 minute less than the package directions. Drain.

Meanwhile, brown sausage in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add red pepper and garlic.

Cook for about 30 seconds.

Drain mixture, and set aside.

In a large bowl, toss the pasta, tomato sauce, sausage mixture, mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup Parmigiano cheese, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

Transfer mixture into the prepared baking dish, and top with the Provolone and remaining Parmigiano cheese.

Bake until cheese is golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Serves 6.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Orange and Almond Biscotti

Orange and Almond Biscotti
Biscotti di Mandorle e Arancia


6 ounces blanched whole almonds
4 teaspoons candied orange, finely chopped
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
Zest Of 1 orange
2 tablespoons orange juice


Preheat oven to 350F.

Mix together the flour, sugar and baking powder.

In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, candied peel, zest, and orange juice.

Mix the dry ingredients into the egg mixture until mixed, then add the almonds.

Pour onto a lightly floured surface and using floured hands gently knead for a minute or two and then divide into two pieces.

Shape each piece into a log and place the logs onto a lightly greased baking sheets.

Bake for about 20 minutes until lightly browned.

Cool ten minutes, then slice the logs with a serrated knife into 1/2 inch slices.

Lay these slices cut side down and then return to the oven to bake another 5 minutes.

Cool, then store in an airtight container. Makes about 20-24 biscotti.

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:

Pompeii’s Mystery Horse Is A Donkey

Naples - November 3rd, 2010 - Indeed, the identity of the strange breed of 'horse' that has been discovered in 2004, at Pompeii, has been cleared out by a Cambridge University researcher, who realized it was actually a donkey.

Back in 2004, when academics unearthed skeletons found at a house in the ancient Roman town that was covered in ashes in 79 AD, they thought it belonged to an extinct breed of horse. The mistake was made at the DNA analysis, and Susan Gurney from the University's Institute of Continuing Education, working with Dr Peter Forster on horse genetics at the University of Cambridge, realized the mistake when she revisited the study.

What happened really was that there seems to have been a mix-up in the lab, which led to horse DNA being combined with donkey DNA, creating an artificial hybrid that actually never existed.

Six years ago, the skeletons of equids having belonged to a rich Roman household in Pompeii were analyzed. There were found in the stables of a probably wealthy politician, and all five of them were very well preserved by the volcanic ash that covered Pompeii and Herculaneum, when Mount Vesuvius erupted.

The team then analyzed the mitochondrial DNA sequences (mtDNA) of each of the horses, and found that one of them had a mysterious type of DNA, that was no longer found today, probably an unknown breed of horse, which had disappeared. Luckily, Susan Gurney examined the research and found that there was an accidental combination of a donkey mDNA sequence with that of a horse.

She explained in her journal article that the first 177 nucleotides matched existing patterns of donkey, and the next 193 nucleotides matched those of an existing breed of horse.

"Looking at the research with hindsight, it's possible to recognize two separate strands of horse and donkey DNA," she said.

"In addition, the horse DNA that appears to have been inadvertently mixed in with the donkey's genetic information is the same type as that found in another Herculaneum horse, which might be the source of the mistake."

This research could still have its importance, because apparently the DNA of this newly identified donkey finds its closest match with the DNA of domestic donkeys related to the Somali wild ass that lives in Italy today.

This might be evidence that the 'Somali' ass lineage dates back to at least Roman times, whereas in other European countries, asses are often descended from the Nubian lineage.

And the horse is really a donkey..."puttana miseria". And to imagine this incredible news would have never come to light if that house in Pompeii would have collapsed on the academics of asses.

Susan Gurney: "Looking at the research with hindsight, it's possible to recognize two separate strands of horse and donkey DNA."
Napolitano researchers: "Looking at these crumbling walls with hindsight, it's possible to recognize the amount of restoration and maintenance funding we're going to make disappear."

Here is a list of other Naples studies currently under close analysis:

1) Many of the houses in Pompeii contained the very well preserved remains of large households of six or more residents. 1,930 years later, the tradition of large households in Naples continues with a number of Napolitani cousins all living under the same roofs.

2) Why do 67% of open market vendors wear dirty socks?

3) There recently was a 2 million Euro study that discovered that most of the streets in Naples were filled with garbage and criminal tension. We think it was the same group of researchers that found criminal tension with vendors who wear dirty socks but can tell the difference between an ass and a horse.

"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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