03/09/10 Minestrone alla Milanese

"Amico di tutti e di nessuno e tutt'uno." (A friend to all and a friend to none is one and the same.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Minestrone alla Milanese
  -Greek Chicken
  -Marche Style Calamari

Remember, savory seasonings stimulate the appetite. Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci e a presto!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

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 Recipe: Minestrone alla Milanese

Minestrone alla Milanese


1 and 1/2 oz (40 grams) pork fat (lardons)
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) fresh shelled beans (borlotti)
7 oz (200 grams) shelled peas
1/2 Savoy cabbage, shredded
3 potatoes, chopped
2 zucchini, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
1 celery stick
1/2 garlic clove
1/2 onion
1 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprig
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) long-grain rice
4 fresh sage leaves, chopped
6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated, for serving


Finely chop the pork fat with the garlic and onion.

When the mixture is fine, add the celery and parsley and chop.

Put the mixture into a saucepan.

Add the tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, zucchini and olive oil and pour in 3 and 1/2 pints (2 liters) of water.

Season with salt and bring to a boil over a high heat.

Lower the heat and cook for at least 2 hours.

Add the peas and cabbage and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Add the rice and simmer, stirring occasionally, for a further 20 minutes until it is tender.

Stir in the herbs, ladle into a soup bowl and serve with grated Parmigiano cheese. The soup should be fairly thick. Serves 4-6.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Greek Chicken

Greek Chicken
Pollo Alla Greca


1 chicken
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon, strained
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
Salt and pepper


Gently rub the outside of the chicken with salt and pepper and put a pinch of each in the cavity.

Whisk 4 tablespoons of the olive oil with the lemon juice and half the oregano in a bowl, season, add the chicken and leave to marinate for at least 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) Gas Mark 4.

Drain the chicken, reserving the marinade, and place in a roasting tin with the remaining oil.

Roast turning frequently and basting with the reserved marinade, for 1 and 1/2 hours until tender.

Serve sprinkled with the remaining. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Marche Style Calamari

Marche Style Calamari
Calamari alla Marchigiana


2 salted anchovies
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 fresh flatleaf parsley sprig, chopped
1 and 3/4 lbs small squid, cleaned
5 tablespoons white wine
Salt and pepper


Remove the anchovy heads, clean and fillet them. Soak in cold water for 10 minutes and drain.

Chop the anchovy fillets.

Heat the olive oil in a pan with the garlic and parsley.

Add the squid and anchovies and season lightly with salt and pepper.

Cook over a low heat for 10 minutes, then stir in the wine and 2-3 tablespoons water.

Simmer gently for about 20 minutes until tender. 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:

90-Year-Old Former Italian Soldier Sends Threatening Letter to Little Civil Service Minister

La Spezia - February 18, 2010 - A 90-year-old former Italian soldier and resistance fighter has been questioned by police after he allegedly sent a letter threatening the life of Civil Service Minister Renato Brunetta.

Justice officials in Rome opened a probe after Brunetta's office informed them of the letter and asked police in the nearby village of Ameglia to verify whether he had indeed made the threats. The 90-year-old who served in the Russian campaign in World War II, later joined the resistance and after the war signed up with the French Foreign Legion, explained to police that he wrote the letter because "Italy is no longer the just and democratic country I fought for".

"I have circulatory problems and have been operated on but I don't have adequate health assistance. Brunetta is a symbol of a State which does not go after tax evaders or crooks but picks on the little guy," the former soldier said. In his letter, the man reportedly said that "Brunetta deserves to die".

The flamboyant minister is often at the center of press attention for his campaigns against slackers and absenteeism among public employees. He is expected to resign should he become mayor of Venice in this spring's local elections.

Because of his age, police said the angry ex-partisan did not represent a real threat and thus no charges were filed against him.

Oh, "figlio di puttana", I've fallen and I can't get up!"

"Italy is no longer the just and democratic country I fought for". We're puzzled and need clarification on your war records, Nonno.

You served in World War II. One morning, you realized Mussolini who once said, "war is to man what maternity is to a woman. From a philosophical and doctrinal viewpoint, I do not believe in perpetual peace", had lost his marbles and it was time to abandon ship. So, you became a resistance fighter.

After the war which left Italy in complete shambles, you realized your time could have been better spent watching a small herd of goats while picking fleas off yourself. Out of anger and spite you joined the French Foreign Legion.

Obviously, this must have also been a big disappointment for you must have asked yourself, "the French are trying to convince everyone that they were part of the big invasion. But the French weren't part of any invasion. They were already invaded! How can you be part of an invasion in your own country?"

So, you return back to the motherland and sulk.

And now at 90 years of age, you decide it's time to pull your pants up, put on something warm, and pick a fight with Italy's Civil Service Minister whose height and intelligence can be compared with those of a Smurf.

"Porca vacca", worrying about the so-called "symbols of State" and how they should conduct themselves. You know, he's lucky he's not a mule, but still likely to get shot anyway.

"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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