03/20/12 Vegetable Soup

"Ogni cuore ha il suo dolore." (Every heart has its own ache.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Vegetable Soup
  -Grilled Marinated Vegetables
  -Egg and Spinach Tagliatelle with Mushroom Sauce

"Salve e grazie!" My bakery family and I thank you for spending some time to read your recipe newsletter. It's so wonderful that daylight is getting longer. It gives us that pinch of extra comfort we so need with uncertain days like these. Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci and grazie again!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

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 Recipe: Vegetable Soup

Vegetable Soup
Minestrone di Verdura


8 cups chicken broth (or 4 cups canned chicken broth and 4 cups water)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped parsley
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 pound pancetta, finely chopped
3 cups shredded cabbage
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 potato, peeled, finely chopped
2 zucchini, finely chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1/4 pound mushrooms, finely chopped
1/4 pound string beans, finely chopped
3 or 4 pieces prosciutto rind
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese


Prepare Chicken Broth.

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan.

Add parsley and garlic.

Saute over medium heat.

Before garlic changes color, add pancetta.

Saute until lightly browned.

Stir in cabbage.

Cover and cook 1 to 2 minutes.

Add remaining vegetables to saucepan.

Cover and cook about 5 minutes.

Add broth and water, if using, and prosciutto rind.

Cover and reduce heat.

Simmer 40 to 50 minutes.

Remove half the vegetables with a slotted spoon.

Place in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.

Return to saucepan.

Season with salt and pepper.

Serve hot with Parmigiano cheese. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Grilled Marinated Vegetables

Grilled Marinated Vegetables
Verdure alla Griglia Marinate


2 large red or yellow sweet peppers
1 small, firm eggplant
4 small zucchini
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil plus extra for brushing
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
8 to 10 fresh basil leaves, finely shredded, or 1 tablespoon
Finely chopped fresh parsley


Roast peppers over an open flame or under the broiler until skin is dark brown and blistered.

Place peppers in a large plastic or brown paper bag and set aside 5 to 10 minutes.

Peel peppers.

Cut in half and remove pith and seeds.

Cut peeled peppers into large strips and place them slightly overlapping in a large, shallow serving dish.

Cut off the ends of the eggplant and cut eggplant lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick slices.

Place slices in one layer on a large tray or dish, sprinkle with salt and let stand about 30 minutes.

Pat dry with paper towels.

Cut ends off zucchini and slice in half lengthwise.

Preheat the broiler or the grill.

Brush the eggplant and zucchini lightly with olive oil and place them under the broiler or on the grill until they are golden on both sides.

Place them in the dish alongside the peppers.

In a small bowl combine the vinegar, garlic, the 1/2 cup olive oil, salt, pepper and basil and mix well to combine.

Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Pour the dressing over the vegetables, leave at room temperature 30 to 40 minutes and serve. Makes 4 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Egg and Spinach Tagliatelle with Mushroom Sauce

Egg and Spinach Tagliatelle with Mushroom Sauce
Tagliatelle All'Uovo e Spinaci Con Sugo Ai Funghi


1 pound paglia e fieno (egg and spinach) Tagliatelle
1 pound small white mushrooms
1/4 cup butter
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese plus additional for serving


Wash and dry mushrooms thoroughly and slice thin.

Melt butter in a large skillet.

When butter foams, add mushrooms.

Saute over high heat until lightly colored.

Stir in cream, parsley and salt and pepper.

Simmer 2 to 3 minutes or until cream begins to thicken.

Fill a very large saucepan two-thirds full with salted water.

Bring water to a boil.

Add pasta.

Bring water back to a boil and cook pasta uncovered until 'al dente'.

Drain pasta and place in skillet with sauce; add 1/3 cup Parmigiano cheese.

Toss pasta, sauce and cheese over medium heat until sauce coats pasta, 20 to 30 seconds.

Serve immediately with additional Parmigiano cheese. Makes 8 servings.

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:

And Silvio Gets Away With It...Again

Rome - February 27, 2012 - An Italian court on Saturday dismissed a corruption case against Silvio Berlusconi, ruling that the statute of limitations had expired on charges that the Italian billionaire allegedly paid his lawyer to give false testimony in the 1990s to shield him from prosecution.

A panel of judges delivered a brief ruling, stating that the statute of limitations had expired without elaborating on the substance of the actual case. The judges are due to release their motivations within 90 days. Mr. Berlusconi's lawyers said they planned to file a motion seeking an acquittal for Mr. Berlusconi.

The ruling capped a long-running trial that began in early 2007 and was repeatedly interrupted by the billionaire's tenure as prime minister from 2008 to late 2011.

Mr. Berlusconi faces two other trials on charges of tax fraud, paying an underage woman for sex and abusing his office in an attempt to cover up the relationship. He has denied those charges, claiming he is the target of persecution by left-wing magistrates.

In November, Mr. Berlusconi was swept out of office by the euro-zone debt crisis, but he remains a major force in Italian politics. He is the founder of Italy's biggest political party, the conservative People of Freedom Party, and his support of Italy's new Prime Minister Mario Monti is vital to the survival of the Italian government.

Over his 18 years in politics, Mr. Berlusconi has survived dozens of criminal investigations and many trials. In some trials, he was acquitted while in other trials the statute of limitations expired.

Saturday's ruling is likely to embolden Mr. Berlusconi's allies who have long called for an overhaul of the Italian judiciary in order to speed up trials and demand more accountability from prosecutors.

"This shouldn't happen to anyone in Italy regardless of whether they're prime minister," said Maurizio Gasparri, a lieutenant in Mr. Berlusconi's party. "Even the most anonymous Italian should have the guarantee that a prosecutor will be unbiased."

A judge indicted Mr. Berlusconi in Oct. 2006 on a corruption charge for allegedly paying U.K. lawyer David Mills $600,000 between the end of 1999 and the early months of 2000. The payment, prosecutors alleged, served as compensation for misleading testimony that Mr. Mills allegedly gave to prosecutors who were investigating Mr. Berlusconi in the 1990s. Mr. Mills denied the charge, saying he received the payment from someone else.

Mr. Mills, who was tried separately from Mr. Berlusconi, was convicted of corruption in Feb. 2009 and sentenced to four years and six months in prison. In 2010, however, Italy's highest court struck down the sentence, ruling that the statute of limitations had run out.

On a (rare) serious note, many all over the planet ask what are the reactions of the Italians. What would you like for us to say? We knew it was coming...again.

It's just another chapter in the story of a man who suffers from the Napoleon or "little man" syndrome.

To save his mega empire and himself from jail, he entered politics and distorted and destroyed the Italian judicial system. In less than 10 years he had managed to have about 36 "ad-personam" laws passed in Parliament to make sure he would come out unscathed.

Because the statute of limitations in Italy does not begin until the case is heard in court -- rather than when a defendant is charged with the crime -- attorneys simply need to delay court dates until the statute of limitations expires. "Capisci"? "Si"?

The time between court dates can be many months. You meet up in court one day and then again maybe another day 4, 6, 27 months later and for only about 12-14 minutes, until the trial is over. That's why rat-bastard Italian lawyers always advise their clients to go to the bathroom at home, show up to court 2 hours early and make absolutely sure you're in that court room when your turn is called.

Judge: "Buongiorno to all. Case of 'Minchione vs Scassapalle' will now begin..."
Judge: "Eh, Signore attorney, where is your client?
Attorney: "He...he's here bending down, tying his shoelaces."

Berlusconi: "The Mills trial is just one of numerous invented proceedings against me. In total, more than 100 legal procedures, over 900 prosecutors have busied themselves with me and with my company. These persecutions against me are not just a world record but a record for the universe and the entire solar system."

"Porco Giuda", you see? How can one comment?
We don't comment on how many real hairs he has left on his head.
We try to act as if he's got natural hair and we get on with our daily lives.

"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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