03/15/11 Cornmeal Cookies

"Ride bene chi ride ultimo." (He who laughs last laughs best.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Spinach in Cream Sauce
  -Ricotta Gnocchi with Fava Beans and Leeks
  -Cornmeal Cookies

Thank again for finding the time to read your recipe newsletter! I look forward to connecting further in the coming days. Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci e grazie!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Almonds and Amarena Cookies

"Almonds and Amarena Cookies: A cookie that has started a trend here in Sicily! They are round cookie almond balls made exclusively from our own home grown natural almonds, the freshest farm eggs, an amarena cherry center, flour, and sugar. No preservatives, additives, artificial colors, nor flavors. Serves 5-7.

900 grams (2 lbs.) is only 15.99 Euro ($22.50-$23.00) + Shipping.

Example Order: One order to anywhere in the USA costs 15.99 Euro plus 8.70 Euro for Global Priority Mail shipping (7-8 days) for a total of 24.69 Euro ($34.75-$35.25 U.S. Dollars).

 Recipe: Spinach in Cream Sauce

Spinach in Cream Sauce
Spinaci in Crema


2 and 1/4 lbs (1 kg) spinach
7 fl oz (200 ml) double cream
1 and 1/2 oz (40 grams) butter
1 teaspoon plain flour, sifted
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 and 1/2 oz (40 grams) Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated
Salt and pepper


Cook the spinach, in just the water from the wet leaves after washing, for about 5 minutes until tender.

Drain well and squeeze out the excess liquid.

Mix together the flour and cream in a bowl.

Melt the butter in a pan, add the spinach and cook over a low heat, stirring frequently, for just few minutes.

Stir in the nutmeg, season with salt and pepper, cover and simmer gently for about 10-12 minutes.

Stir in the cream and simmer gently for another 20 minutes.

Sprinkle with the Parmigiano cheese and serve. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Ricotta Gnocchi with Fava Beans and Leeks

Ricotta Gnocchi with Fava Beans and Leeks
Gnocchi di Ricotta con Fave e Porri


One 15 to 16-ounce container whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 small leek (white and pale green parts only), halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
1 large egg
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese, plus additional for serving
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2/3 cup all purpose flour, plus additional for dredging
1 cup shelled fresh fava beans or frozen double-peeled, thawed
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
12 fresh sage leaves


Set large strainer lined with double-layer damp cheese cloth over large bowl.

Place ricotta cheese in the prepared strainer; cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight. (If using fresh ricotta, you can skip this step.)

Cook leek in small pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 7 minutes.

Drain. Rinse under cold water; drain.

Using hands, squeeze leek dry.

Mix ricotta cheese, leek, egg, 1/2 cup Parmigiano cheese, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in bowl.

Stir in 2/3 cup flour.

Cover and chill mixture at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place flour for dredging in a flat bowl.

For each gnocchi, shape 1 tablespoon ricotta mixture into a ball, then drop into the bowl of flour, tossing to coat.

Transfer gnocchi to baking sheet. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover with plastic wrap; chill.)

If using fresh fava beans, blanch in small saucepan of boiling salted water for 2 minutes; transfer to bowl of ice water.

Peel beans.

Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat.

Add fava beans and sage leaves.

Saute until butter browns, favas are tender, and sage leaves are crisp, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Bring large pot of salted water to boil.

Working in 2 batches, add gnocchi and cook until tender and cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Using slotted spoon, transfer to skillet with fava beans; toss to coat.

When all gnocchi have been added to skillet, toss over medium heat to warm. Serve with Parmigiano cheese. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Cornmeal Cookies

Cornmeal Cookies


4 oz (100 grams) unsalted butter
7 oz (200 grams) plain white or Italian type 00 flour
11 oz (300 grams) fine polenta
4 oz (100 grams) caster or superfine sugar
3 free range eggs, beaten
3 and 1/2 fl oz (l00 m) milk
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
Icing sugar, for dusting (optional)


Melt the butter.

Put the flour, polenta and sugar into a large bowl and pour in the eggs, milk, butter and vanilla extract.

Mix well together.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough.

Wrap in greaseproof paper and chill for 30 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 180C (350F) Gas Mark 4.

Grease several baking trays.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick and, using a 2 and 1/2 inch (6 cm) fluted or plain cutter, cut into rounds.

Place on the prepared baking trays.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until crisp and yellow.

Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.

Store in an airtight jar. If wished, serve dusted with sifted icing sugar. Makes 28.

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:

50% of Italian Women Have Suffered Sexual Harassment At Work

Rome - September 15, 2010 - Half of Italian women aged between 14 and 65 have suffered sexual harassment or sexual blackmail at work, national statistics bureau Istat said Wednesday.

The agency said its alarming study, conducted in collaboration with the Equal Opportunities Ministry, revealed that around 10.485 million women had experienced crimes of this nature at some time in their lives. Furthermore, the situation shows no signs of abating, with 3.864 million falling victim to them in the last three years alone.

It said the most widespread offences were verbal sexual abuse (26% of the total), followed by stalking (21.6%), flashing (20.4%) and physical abuse (19%).

Women aged 14 to 24 are most likely to suffer sexual abuse, Istat added, followed by the members of the 25-34 age range.

It said women were most at risk in big cities, where 64.9% have experienced harassment, and that rates were higher than average in north-western Italy, with Piedmont registering a rate of 58.9%.

"Porca vacca", as soon as the rest of men in Italy wake up from their comas and get a wind of what Giorgio Stracquadanio said (see previous article), the number will shoot up to 81.7%.

"The most widespread offences were":

- verbal sexual abuse (26% of the total) "Rosanna, we have a problem. Seriously, you're an attractive signora. I don't really mind the moustache but if you continue growing those pork chop sideburns, then it’s time to put my foot down."

- followed by stalking (21.6%) "Hello polizia? My supervisor is stalking me again. Ok...Lorenzo has a face that is so ugly you get the nerve to shave it. His alcoholic breath can melt placenta and he’s got one of those toupees that’s allergic to his head. Be careful for he's the type who will put his hair in his pocket in order to lose his trail."

- flashing (20.4%) "Uh, boss, the only thing that comes to my mind when I see you running around my office with your shirt half-buttoned is an advertisement for liquor...hard liquor!"

- and physical abuse (19%) "Federica, I'm sorry but your breasts are starting to sag and they could interfere with your work performance. Slam the window down on the tips! They'll tighten right up."

"Women aged 14 to 24 are most likely to suffer sexual abuse...followed by the members of the 25-34 age range." Unfortunately, for the members of 25-34 age range, time and gravity are the devil's tools.

"...rates were higher than average in north-western Italy, with Piedmont registering a rate of 58.9%." By the way, the rates for Southern Italy are around .002%. It's usually managers and supervisors most at risk when they encounter employee relatives, husbands and boyfriends. The offences are stalking (15%), physical abuse (35%) and disappearing (50%).

"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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