03/04/14 Roasted Vegetable Ragu

"Non si vive di solo pane." (One does not live by bread alone.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Arugula and Mint Salad with Ricotta Salata
  -Roasted Vegetable Ragu
  -Couscous Risotto with Shrimp, Asparagus and Peas

"Buon giorno a tutti!" I want to take this minute of your precious time to let you know all of us at our little bakery are thankful for your participation with us via this newsletter. Thanks for everything you're doing and we will continue to find recipes to be helpful in your kitchen. Please share this newsletter, only if you found it useful.

Arrivederci and grazie again!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Traditional Almond Cookies

"Traditional" Almond Cookies: A soft and chewy Italian almond cookie with a crisp outside and tender inside. Made exclusively from our own home grown natural almonds, the freshest farm eggs, flour, and sugar. No preservatives, additives, artificial colors, nor flavors. Serves 5-7.

900 grams (2 lbs.) is only 13.99 Euro (19.25 - 19.75 U.S. Dollars) + Shipping.

Example Order: One order to anywhere in the USA costs 13.99 Euro plus 8.70 Euro for Global Priority Mail shipping (7-10 days) for a total of 22.69 Euro (31.25 - 31.75 U.S. Dollars).

 Recipe: Arugula and Mint Salad with Ricotta Salata

Arugula and Mint Salad with Ricotta Salata
Insalata di Rucola e Menta con Ricotta Salata


One 5-ounce package arugula (about 10 cups packed)
1 cup fresh mint leaves (from about 2 bunches)
1/2 cup thinly sliced pitted oil-cured black olives
1 cup thinly sliced red onion (about 1/2 medium)
4 large oranges
One 5-ounce piece salted dry ricotta cheese, cut into 1 and 1/2-inch long, 1/4-inch thick slices

1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated orange peel
1 teaspoon orange-flower water
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


Whisk orange juice, minced shallots, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, orange peel and orange-flower water in small bowl.

Gradually whisk in olive oil.

Season with salt and pepper.

Place onion in large bowl.

Add 1/3 of dressing.


Let marinate 20 minutes.

Cut off peel and pith from oranges.

Cut each orange crosswise into 8 slices.

Add arugula, mint, and olives to bowl with onion.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss.

Add remaining dressing.


Divide salad among 6 plates.

Tuck orange slices and ricotta salata slices into salads. Makes 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Roasted Vegetable Ragu

Roasted Vegetable Ragu
Ragu di Verdure Arrosto


10 ounces fresh crimini mushrooms, quartered
3 medium carrots, thinly sliced
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large fresh fennel bulb, trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large parsnip, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 medium zucchini, trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 cups (or more) vegetable broth
One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
Nonstick vegetable oil spray


Preheat oven to 400?F.

Spray rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray.

Spread mushrooms and next 6 ingredients in single layer on prepared sheet.

Drizzle with olive oil.

Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons rosemary, salt, and pepper.

Roast until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour.

Add zucchini, 2 cups vegetable broth, and tomatoes with juices to vegetables.

Stir to blend well.

Continue to roast until zucchini are tender and juices thicken slightly, stirring occasionally and adding more broth if liquid evaporates too quickly, about 30 minutes longer.

Transfer ragu to bowl.

Mix basil, parsley, and 1 teaspoon rosemary into ragu.

Season with salt and pepper. Makes 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Couscous Risotto with Shrimp, Asparagus and Peas

Couscous Risotto with Shrimp, Asparagus and Peas
Risotto Couscous con Gamberi, Asparagi e Piselli


32 uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined
1 and 1/2 cups frozen green peas
24 asparagus spears (about 12 ounces), trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 medium carrots, peeled, cut into matchstick-size strips
3 ounces snow peas, trimmed, cut diagonally in half

1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped shallots
4 cups uncooked couscous
1 pound plum tomatoes (about 8), seeded, chopped
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups dry white wine
2 cups vegetable stock or vegetable broth
1 cup whipping cream

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese (about 3 ounces)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley


Cook frozen peas, asparagus, carrots and snow peas in large pot of boiling salted water until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3-5 minutes.


Transfer vegetables to bowl filled with ice water.

Drain vegetables and set aside.

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add shrimp and saute until pink and cooked through, about 1 and 1/2 minutes.

Transfer shrimp to medium bowl.

Heat remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat.

Add onion and shallots and saute until soft, about 5-6 minutes.

Stir in couscous and tomatoes.

Add wine and simmer until liquid is reduced by half, stirring often, about 10 minutes.

Add vegetable stock and simmer until liquid is reduced by half and couscous is just tender, stirring often, about 8 minutes.

Mix in reserved vegetables and whipping cream.

Cook couscous over medium heat until mixture thickens and is creamy, about 3-5 minutes.

Stir Parmigiano cheese, butter and parsley into risotto.

Add shrimp and mix until heated through and butter and cheese are melted and well blended, about 2 minutes.

Season risotto to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide risotto among 8 bowls and serve. Serves 8.

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 Town Celebrates First Baby In 67 Years

La Spezia - October 1, 2013 - A hamlet in the Ligurian Riviera hills is celebrating its first baby in 67 years, an arrival that has boosted its population to a whopping six.

Francesco was born last week to Michele and Sabrina Isella, a couple who said they moved to the tiny village of Lissa five years ago "because we love the woods around here".

"We didn't want to start a family in an industrialized zone," Sabrina told a local paper. "We discovered this place and decided to change our lives".

Sabrina teaches middle school in a nearby town while her jobless husband, both from Lecco north of Milan, tends to the trees surrounding their home. "We don't have any problems" they say.

Lissa residents who, like those of many isolated Italian villages, have seen their birthplace become deserted over recent decades, said they saw the blue ribbon on the Isellas' house as "a sign of hope".

Oh, that poor little Francesco. You have to feel for the little eggplant.

"We don't have any problems..."
"Porca vacca", you're living in a village with 3 other people and your husband has decided to pursue the life of Paul Bunyan. This place is chock full of problems.

And talk about burning bridges. The only explanation they all must have in common for living like this is the inherent mistrust of relatives.

And there's no worse feeling than knowing you're not alone. Walk down the street and immediately get pulled into a conversation no matter how much time has gone by (this is where the nincompoop factor kicks in):
"Si, you're right and wrong."
"No, it's ying and yang."
"Be all that you can be."

"I heard Francesco's toilet training has finally hit a turning point. I'm just a bit disappointed I'm the only one around here who shouldn't know he finally hit the bowl right."

You see? This is the type of recklessness that can throw an entire town for a loop.

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