03/18/08 Hazelnut Espresso Shortbread Cookies from

"Fatto trenta, facciamo trentuno." (Made thirty, we should make thirty-one" or better "Made thirty, let's make thirty-one. Note: said by pope Pope Leo X on July 1, 1517, when he created 30 new cardinals. Another priest, who seemed to him also worthy, was nominated during the ceremony.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Crostini di Tonno e Pepe Arrosto
  -Orecchiette con Salsiccia e Salsa di Pepe Rosso
  -Biscotti di Nocciola e Espresso

Enjoy the recipes and the complimentary news article report from "Only In".


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 ($21.25-$21.75) + Shipping.

Example Order: One order to anywhere in the USA costs 13.99 Euro plus 8.70 Euro for Global Priority Mail shipping (7-8 days) for a total of 22.69 Euro ($34.75-$35.25 U.S. Dollars).

 Recipe: Crostini di Tonno e Pepe Arrosto

Crostini di Tonno e Pepe Arrosto
Tuna and Roasted Pepper Crostini


24 1/4-inch-thick diagonal slices cut from a long thin loaf of Italian or French bread

For the tuna spread:
A 6-ounce can Italian tuna packed in olive oil, not drained
3 flat anchovy fillets
1 garlic clove, minced and mashed to a paste with a pinch salt
1 teaspoon drained capers
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 red bell peppers, quick-roasted, peeled and cut into 24 strips
1 tablespoon drained capers
Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 350 F.

On a large baking sheet arrange bread slices in one layer and toast in middle of oven until golden and crisp, about 10 minutes.

Prepare tuna spread:
In a food processor puree spread ingredients until blended well and season with salt and pepper.

Toasts, tuna spread, and roasted peppers may be prepared up to this point 3 days ahead, toasts kept in an airtight container at room temperature and tuna spread and roasted peppers chilled, covered, in separate bowls.

Bring tuna spread and roasted peppers to room temperature before serving.

Top toasts with tuna spread and roasted pepper strips and sprinkle with capers and pepper to taste. Makes 24 crostini, serving 12.

That's it!

 Recipe: Orecchiette con Salsiccia e Salsa di Pepe Rosso

Orecchiette con Salsiccia e Salsa di Pepe Rosso
Orecchiette with Sausage and Red Pepper Sauce


1 and 1/2 lbs sweet Italian sausage
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 red bell peppers, chopped coarse
3 large cloves garlic, chopped fine
A 28 to 32-ounce can whole tomatoes including juice
1 and 1/2 lbs fresh Orecchiette or 1 and 1/4 lbs dried Orecchiette


Remove sausage meat from casings.

In a large heavy skillet heat olive oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and cook sausage, stirring to break up lumps, until golden.

Transfer sausage with a slotted spoon to a plate and pour off all but about 3 tablespoons of fat from skillet.

Add bell peppers and garlic to skillet with salt and pepper to taste and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until bell peppers are softened, about 5 minutes.

In a blender or food processor coarsely puree tomatoes with juice and stir into bell pepper mixture with sausage.

Simmer sauce, covered, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Sauce may be made ahead, cooled completely, uncovered, and chilled, covered, 1 day or frozen 1 month.

In an 8-quart kettle bring 7 quarts of salted water to a boil.

Cook orecchiette until 'al dente' (about 6 minutes for fresh, longer for dried) and drain in a colander.

In a large heated bowl immediately toss pasta with sauce. Serves 6 as a main course.

That's it!

 Recipe: Biscotti di Nocciola e Espresso

Biscotti di Nocciola e Espresso
Hazelnut Espresso Shortbread Cookies


2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons hot water
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Blend flour, brown sugar, cornstarch, 1 tablespoon espresso powder and salt in processor.

Add butter and vanilla.

Using on/off turns, process until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Add nuts; blend until finely chopped.

Transfer dough to floured work surface. Knead just until dough comes together. Divide dough in half.

Press each half into 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Bake until deep golden brown, about 25 minutes.

Transfer shortbread to rack; cool 2 minutes. Remove pan sides.

Cut each shortbread round into 24 wedges. Cool completely.

Mix 2 tablespoons hot water and remaining 1 teaspoon espresso powder in small saucepan. Add chocolate.

Stir over medium-low heat until chocolate is smooth. Remove from heat. Cool slightly.

Drizzle chocolate mixture over cookies. Let stand until chocolate sets. (Can be prepared ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week, or freeze up to 1 month.) Makes 4 dozen.

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:

Priests Preparing For Basketball Tournament

Rome - February 27, 2008 - Priests and trainee clergymen will soon be shooting hoops and slam dunking in the name of the Catholic Church as the Vatican gears up for a new basketball tournament.

On the heels of last year's Clericus Cup football championship comes the Clericus Cup basketball competition, open to all men of the cloth and anyone registered at one of the city's pontifical training colleges or universities. Philadelphia-born basketball star Marques Green, who plays for the Italian league's Avellino team, has sent his blessing for the presentation of the Catholic championship on Friday.

The new competition is organized by the Centro Sportivo Italiano, a Christian body that promotes education through sport and also masterminds the Clericus Cup football tournament.

The second edition of the Vatican football competition got under way in November, with 16 squads battling to take part in the final scheduled for May 3. The tournament follows most standard soccer rules but games only last 60 minutes and referees show a blue card to players who get a bit hot under the collar, putting them in a 'sin bin' to cool off for five minutes.

But ball sports are not the only competitive leisure activities getting a holy seal of approval. Earlier this month around 50 priests gathered at the Passo del Lupo ski resort in Sestola to show off their freestyle and slalom skills on the slopes for the ninth edition of the Priest's National Ski Championship, which has adopted the slogan "may the lord ski with you".

"Madonna Santa, Shoot!" Priests admiring the athletic prowess of other people. To them, anyone that uses the stairs is an athlete.

10 Commandments of Holy Basketball

Thou shalt not believe anything you read in glowing sports news reports about priests until thou hast seen it demonstrated with thine own eyes. Everybody is talented in a church.

Thou shalt not believe that an obese priest who comes into camp can play well solely based on faith.

Thou shalt practice on the Sabbath.

Thou must think outside the confession box.

Thou shalt taunt.

Thou shalt accept responsibility and suffering for thy team's pathetic actions.

Thou shalt not honor and respect the judgment of the officials.

Loyalty to thy team is always compromised.

Thou shalt win at all costs.

Thou shalt rely on the Lord, the one big Scorer, to bail out the unworthy team.

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