03/20/07 Budino di Cioccolato e Castagne from

"Salve a tutti i nostri cari lettori!" Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Zucchini con Cannella e Aglio
  -Budino di Cioccolato e Castagne
  -Mattone al Cioccolato

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

Enjoy the issue!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Impt: Italian cookies for the Easter Holidays

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 Recipe: Zucchini con Cannella e Aglio

Zucchini con Cannella e Aglio
Zucchini with Cinnamon and Garlic


4 long, fancy zucchini (about 6 ounces each)
1/4 cup chicken stock
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Salt and freshly ground pepper
6 fresh, plump zucchini blossoms, cut into 1/2-inch strips (optional)


Wash, trim and cut the zucchini into 1/4 inch round slices.

In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium heat until it starts to foam.

Add the garlic and cook until it begins to turn brown, about 3 minutes. Add the zucchini, season lightly with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the zucchini is soft, about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle the cinnamon over the zucchini. Add the chicken stock and blossoms (optional), and continue cooking until the zucchini is very tender and the stock is evaporated, about 3 minutes.

Check the seasonings and adjust if necessary before serving. Serves 4.

That's it!

 Recipe: Budino di Cioccolato e Castagne

Budino di Cioccolato e Castagne
Chestnut and Chocolate Pudding


1 and 1/2 lbs (700 grams) fresh chestnuts or 435 gram can of unsweetened chestnut puree
3 bay leaves
6 ounces (175 grams) dark chocolate
6 ounces (175 grams) superfine sugar
6 ounces (175 grams) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) vanilla extract
2 fluid ounces (45 ml) dark rum
7 fluid ounces (220 ml) heavy cream
Whipped cream and/or cocoa powder (optional)


If you are using fresh chestnuts, pierce each one and put it in a saucepan with the bay leaves and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 25 minutes until tender. Drain and, as soon as they are cool enough to handle, remove the shells and skin.

Put in a food processor and blend to form a puree.

Put the chocolate, sugar, butter, vanilla and rum in a saucepan. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, then add the fresh or canned chestnut puree.

Remove from the heat and mix together until the ingredients are well blended. Pour into a large bowl and leave to cool.

Whip the cream until it just holds its shape, then fold into the cooled mixture.

Spoon the mixture into 8 ramekin dishes and chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours until firm and set.

If you prefer, top it off with a little whipped cream and/or sifted cocoa powder.

That's it!

 Recipe: Mattone al Cioccolato

Mattone al Cioccolato
Chocolate Brick


1 box of sponge cake
15 cl whipping cream
10 oz. crumbled milk chocolate
3 oz. softened butter
6 tbs rum
1 tsp vanilla extract


Trim and slice the sponge cake to fit into a loaf pan.

Melt the chocolate bits in the cream, then add the rum and vanilla.

Chill 20 minutes.

Combine the chilled mass with softened butter and blend well.

Place alternate layers of sponge cake and chocolate in the loaf pan, beginning and ending with chocolate.

Refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving. Serves 8.

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:

Total Disgust and Outcry as the Italian Government Starts to Sell Off its Heritage

May 1 - Italy's great asset-strip has begun. Desperate for revenue, Silvio Berlusconi's government has already made billions of euros out of amnesties to illegal builders and tax evaders. Now it plans to sell off the family silver, starting today.

The Italian state, says the Minister of Culture, Giuliano Urbani, owns far too much: thousands and thousands of buildings and plots of land, some of immense value, such as the Colosseum or Trevi Fountain, others of no real value. Many were properties bought as part of the practice of lottizzazione, by which the state forked out taxpayers' money to its friends and favorites for their often semi-useless buildings.

"First in the Fascist period and then in the [post-war] republic...the public sphere became greatly over-extended," the minister said. "We are not talking about selling the Colosseum, but for the first time we will establish what can be sold and what cannot."

What makes the sale possible is an elaborate regulatory code for cultural assets that comes into force today, laying down in detail how Italy's patrimony must be treated. Now state-owned buildings and land deemed of no real value can be listed for sale. If the cultural curators responsible for them do not object within 120 days, they can be sold.

Mr. Urbani said: "We have a demesne which is the product of a form of socialism that functioned like royalty. We don't have the money to conserve the works of art: we possess crumbling barracks, tumbledown historical palaces, uncultivated land, property of no interest. All this must go."

As a result, some extraordinary properties are going to come on the market. It may not be immediately obvious what one can do with a well-preserved 2,000-year-old nymphaeum (shrine of the nymphs) in central Rome or the Auditorium of Mecenate, which was once the property of the Emperor Tiberius. But these, along with a former convent and an ex-monastery, various disused barracks and some thundering 19th-century public buildings, are among the first 21 assets to be put on the list.

Heritage and environmental organizations have pounced angrily on the ministry's initiative. A group of professors and curators published an open letter, warning of "the grave danger to which our cultural patrimony is exposed".

Few believe that invaluable masterpieces such as Bernini's Trevi Fountain - famously "sold" to a tourist by the comic actor Toto - will ever end up on the block. But criticism has been focused on the "silent assent" mechanism.

Dr Marco Magnifico, director general of Fondo per l'Ambiente Italiano, a conservation society, said: "The great problem with the code is that it does not take into account the desperate situation of the Italian curators, for whom it supposes an enormous role which it will be impossible for them to fulfill." The offices of the curators, according to Dr Magnifico, are chronically short both of money and qualified staff the people on whose informed decisions the success of the initiative depends.

"It's like inviting 1,000 people to lunch but there are only 20 people in the kitchen. The table settings may look fantastic but there's no one in the kitchen so there will be nothing to eat."

The eminent art historian and curator Arturo Carlo Quintavalle fears the new code will bring about the destruction of a century of conservation work. "Four generations of curators have given their lives protecting objects and environments," he commented. "Now we are to assist in the dissolution of that whole cultural system."

"Gesu Cristo!" See what Italy is being reduced to? These Italian politicians remind us of Nero who played the fiddle while Rome burned.

With corruption that has run rampant like a virus over many years, the Italian government has no choice but to sell off its property to recuperate funds that have been stolen or badly managed.

Imagine Bill Gates purchasing the "Piazza di Spagna". I wonder if he would put his stupid logo on the steps?

Or how about a Polish company buying the leaning tower of Pisa? It would be fun to watch them trying to straighten it out, wouldn't it?

Let's just hope Italian legislature, senators and their assistants will stop humping each other long enough to listen to the sane and intelligent advice of art historians who are against these acts of stupidity.

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