03/10/09 Spinach Fettuccine with Four Cheeses from

""Mal comune, mezzo gaudio." (A common trouble is half joy. Trouble shared is trouble halved.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Portobello Mushroom and Dried Tomato Bruschetta
  -Spinach Fettuccine with Four Cheeses
  -Chicken Piccata

All of us at the bakery here in Santo Stefano Quisquina sincerely hope you enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci e a presto!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Italian cookies for the Easter Holidays

Make this Easter Holiday a memorable one by adding an assortment tray of our scrumptious Italian "dolce" at the table.
Enjoy them with a cup of espresso or a bottle of Prosecco. It will give a wonderful touch to your holiday feast, a proper ending with a touch of Sicilian sunshine.

If you would like to order for Easter Sunday (April 12) please keep in mind the following deadline: All orders must be placed by Wednesday, April 1, at 12:00 PM EST.
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 Recipe: Portobello Mushroom and Dried Tomato Bruschetta

Portobello Mushroom and Dried Tomato Bruschetta
Bruschetta di Funghi Portobello e Pomodori Secchi


1/4 cup dried tomatoes
1 cup water
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 Portobello mushroom caps (about 3/4 lb)
2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 slices crusty Italian bread


In a small saucepan simmer tomatoes in water, uncovered, until tender, about 10 minutes.

In a blender puree tomatoes, cooking liquid, and vinegar until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids) and season with salt and pepper.

Cut mushrooms into 1/4-inch-thick slices and mince garlic.

In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over moderate heat until hot but not smoking and cook mushrooms and garlic with salt and pepper to taste, stirring, until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated, about 5 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat and toss mushrooms with remaining tablespoon oil.

Keep mushrooms warm, covered.

Toast bread and spread with tomato puree.

Top puree with mushrooms. Serves 2 as a first course.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Spinach Fettuccine with Four Cheeses

Spinach Fettuccine with Four Cheeses
Spinaci Fettuccine con Quattro Formaggi


1 lb spinach fettuccine

1 and 1/2 cups whipping cream
3/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
2/3 cup grated provolone cheese
1/2 cup crumbled soft fresh goat cheese (such as Montrachet)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted


Cook pasta in pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente'.

Meanwhile, combine cream and next 6 ingredients in heavy large sauce-pan.

Whisk over medium heat until mixture simmers and is smooth.

Drain pasta; return to same pot.

Add cream sauce and Parmigiano to pasta; toss to coat.

Season with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle with pine nuts and serve. Serves 8.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Chicken Piccata

Chicken Piccata
Piccata di Pollo


4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 and 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
Additional all purpose flour

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup drained capers
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


Place chicken between 2 large sheets of plastic wrap.

Using meat pounder or rolling pin, lightly pound chicken to 1/4-inch thickness.

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.

Mix 1 tablespoon butter and 1 and 1/2 tablespoons flour in small bowl until smooth.

Place additional flour in shallow baking dish.

Dip chicken into flour to coat; shake off excess.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in each of 2 heavy large skillets.

Add 2 chicken breasts to each skillet and cook until golden and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.

Transfer chicken to platter; tent with foil to keep warm.

Bring wine, lemon juice and broth to boil in 1 skillet over medium-high heat.

Whisk in butter-flour mixture and boil until sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes.

Stir in capers, parsley and remaining 2 tablespoons butter.

Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour sauce over chicken and serve. Makes 4 servings.

That's it!

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 Only 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:

Bank Clerk Becomes Bank Robber

Bergamo - October 10, 2008 - An Italian bank clerk became a bank robber after losing all his money on the stock market, police said Friday.

The 30-year-old man, identified as S.V., left his job in this northern Italian city last year and became a stick-up man after he lost some 70,000 euros on the Milan stock market. He was caught Thursday after kidnapping a bank employee and demanding a 70,000-euro ransom.

S.V. was arrested by a police officer who came to the pick-up dressed as the bank manager who was supposed to deliver the money.

The clerk-turned-robber confessed to four previous robberies which had not produced the results he expected. He had decided to make one last "throw of the dice" to make his money back, he said.

"It was supposed to be the last heist. I was banking on going to live in Africa".

"Oh, cornuto diavolo!" There goes my dream life in Somalia.

There's little probability S.V. is going to win the "Brightest Bank Teller" award.

Dominated by the government since the 1930s and long protected from almost any international competition, Italian banks became fat, lazy, and, in some cases, susceptible to pressure from politicians and organized crime. As a result, they have been left with the highest cost structure and lowest profitability in Europe.

With time, crafty and shifty Italian bank tellers obtain a certain "inside knowledge" on how Italy's banking system really operates. Had he heeded the old proverb, "chi va piano va sano e va lontano" (he who goes slowly goes far and surely), he could have utilized this knowledge to recuperate his market losses. (Hint-hint, jackass: dormant bank accounts)

"The clerk-turned-robber confessed to four previous robberies which had not produced the results he expected." FAIL: Robs four banks and still misses the mark.

"He was caught Thursday after kidnapping a bank employee and demanding a 70,000-euro ransom." FAIL: An Italian bank teller who thinks his fellow colleagues are worth 70,000 Euros.

You want sympathy from us, S.V.?
Your banks have been swindling Italians for decades!

Fact: Italian banks charge "much higher" fees for checking accounts than in the rest of Europe. The average annual cost for an account in Europe's fourth-largest economy is 182 euros, compared with 35 in the Netherlands, 65 in Belgium, 99 in France and 108 in Spain.

"Porca miseria!" For 182 Euros, we should get an espresso and a cornetto served by the bank manager every time we drop by.

"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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