03/23/10 Carrot Ring Cake

"Del senno di poi (ne) son piene le fosse." (Graves are filled with after-the-fact wisdom. Hindsight is 20/20 vision.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Meatballs With Potato
  -Eggplants Stuffed With Mozzarella
  -Carrot Ring Cake

Remember, savory seasonings stimulate the appetite. Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci e a presto!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Sicilian Orange Almond Cookies

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 Recipe: Meatballs With Potato

Meatballs With Potato
Polpette alle Patate


2 potatoes, boiled and drained
11 oz (300 grams) lean beef, finely chopped
2 mortadella slices, finely chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated
1 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprig, chopped
2 oz (50 grams) breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper


Mash the potatoes in a bowl while they are still hot and mix in the beef, mortadella and egg.

Stir in the Parmigiano cheese and parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Shape the mixture into eight balls.

Spread out the breadcrumbs in a shallow dish and rol1 the meatballs in them to coat.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the meatballs and cook, turning frequently, until golden brown all over and cooked through.

Remove with a fish slice and drain on kitchen paper. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Eggplants Stuffed With Mozzarella

Eggplants Stuffed With Mozzarella
Melanzane Farcite Alla Mozzarella


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
4 small eggplants, halved lengthways
7 oz (200 grams) mozzarella cheese, diced
2 salted anchovies,
4 fl oz (120 ml) tomato passata
Salt and pepper
Fresh basil sprigs, to garnish (optional)


Remove the anchovy heads, and clean and fillet the anchovies. Afterwards, soak in cold water for 10 minutes and drain.

Preheat the oven to 200C (400F) Gas Mark 6.

Brush an ovenproof dish with olive oil.

Scoop out the eggplant flesh with a small sharp knife leaving the 'shells' intact.

Dice the flesh, place in a bowl and add the mozzarella and anchovies.

Mix well, season with salt and pepper and stir in the olive oil.

Spoon the mixture into the eggplant shells and top each with 1 tablespoon of the tomato sauce.

Place in the prepared dish and bake for about 30 minutes.

Transfer to a warm serving dish. This dish may be garnished with fresh basil sprigs if you like. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Carrot Ring Cake

Carrot Ring Cake
Ciambella alle Carote


1 oz (25 grams) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
5 oz (150 grams) plain flour
5 oz (150 grams) soft brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of ground ginger
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons milk
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive or sunflower oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 oz (50 grams) raisins
3/4 oz (20 grams) shelled walnuts, chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
Icing sugar, for sprinkling


Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) Gas Mark 4.

Grease a ring mould with butter.

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg and a pinch of salt into a bowl.

Add the milk, olive or sunflower oil, butter and eggs and mix well.

Stir in the raisins and walnuts, followed by the carrots.

Pour the mixture into the prepared mould and bake for about 1 hour.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the mould, then turn out, sprinkle with plenty of icing sugar and serve. Serves 4-6.

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:

Italian Aristocrat Cousins Fight Over Non Existent Throne

Rome - February 16, 2010 - The family of Italy's last king are locked in a bitter court feud over who has the right to lay claim to the country's defunct throne more than 60 years after the monarchy was abolished.

The battle pitches Prince Victor Emmanuel, the son of Umberto II, against his third cousin, Duke Amadeo of Aosta, both of whom are descended from the 19th century king of Italy, Umberto I.

The dispute has reached court after four years of public bickering which divided the country's small but ardent band of monarchists.

It began when the duke declared he, rather than his cousin, was the real head of the House of Savoy, the name of the Italian royals until the monarchy was abolished by referendum at the end of the Second World War.

The duke, 66, argued that his cousin was no longer eligible to call himself Prince of Savoy because he had failed to secure the legally-required permission of his father, king-in-exile Umberto II, to marry a Swiss biscuit manufacturer heiress and champion water skier, Marina Doria, in 1971.

The duke also argued that the prince forfeited his right to the dynastic title because in order to be allowed to return to Italy from exile in 2002, Victor Emmanuel had to formally recognize the Italian republic as the country's legitimate government.

The feud even erupted into violence when Victor Emmanuel was accused of punching the duke twice in the face following a dinner held by King Juan Carlos I of Spain in honor of the wedding of his son.

But now a court in Tuscany has finally ruled the 73-year-old prince is the true heir to the dynasty, which has its roots in the north-east of Italy and ruled the whole country after it was unified in 1861.

It ruled the Savoy royal title can now only be used by Prince Victor Emmanuel and his son, Prince Emmanuel Filiberto, who is best known to Italians as the recent winner of a reality television show, Dancing with the Stars.

It also ordered the Duke of Aosta to pay his cousin 49,000 Euros in compensation as well as the costs of the trial.

The court pointed out that the "dynastic squabbles underlying this affair" had no legal relevance to the modern Italian state because the monarchy had been abolished more than 60 years ago.

It also highlighted the fact the prince was descended from the last king of Italy while the duke came from only a "junior branch" of the royal family.

The court ruled that the duke's use of the Savoy name had been "unmerited" and ordered him to bring his "harmful conduct" to an immediate end.

Prince Emmanuel, who has been embroiled in a series of scandals including an incident in which he fatally shot a German tourist who climbed aboard his yacht off Corsica in 1978 and, more recently, charges of recruiting prostitutes for clients at a Swiss casino, praised the court's decision.

"The judge understood the vile and harmful action that Duke Amadeo had construed against me, my son and the Royal House of Savoy, an action which has been rightly punished," he said.

But a furious Duke Amadeo vowed to fight on. "I respect the judgment but naturally I don't agree with it and I'm going to appeal," he said.

It was not just the claim to a long defunct royal line that was at stake. The Savoy name also confers the control of various charitable institutions and entitles the holder to call himself prince of Venice and Piedmont - although the positions are purely titular.

"Porca di quella vacca", isn't it entertaining to see two people with nothing fight over nothing?

Here are some more fun filled facts about the Prince of Pepperoni:

- Vittorio Emanuele and his family hold no official titles, nor do they have royal or governmental duties because Italy is now and has been a republic since 1946. (In other words, he has plenty of free time on his hands. Therefore, he should put on a cowboy hat, get on a jackass and ride out of town. He should go play "bocce" in Naples somewhere seeing that he is also known as the Prince of Naples.)

- His full birth name is Vittorio Emanuele Alberto Carlo Teodoro Umberto Bonifacio Amedeo Damiano Bernardino Gennaro Maria di Savoia. (Each and every one of those people can kiss my ass.)

- Vittorio Emanuele has worked as a banker and an aircraft salesman, and then an arms dealer. (He would have made a bad mailman.)

- He is also a claimant to the title of King of Jerusalem. (Move over King David and make way for the new King of the Jews.)

- Vittorio Emanuele unilaterally declared himself King of Italy on 15 December 1969. (Hard to believe he was able to do so that morning without the need of getting out of bed.)

- In 1978 he was tried in France on a murder charge, of which he was cleared of unlawful killing but convicted of a firearms offence. Vittorio Emanuele discovered his yacht's rubber dinghy had been taken and attached to another nearby yacht. Arming himself with a rifle, he attempted to board the yacht. He shot at a passenger he had awakened; the shot missed the passenger but mortally wounded and killed a passenger sleeping on the deck of another adjacent yacht. (How do you get through to someone who is limited in his capacity? The dinghy had more brains.)

- Vittorio Emanuele also said in recent years that the anti-Semitic laws passed under Mussolini's regime were "not that terrible". ("Cazzo", there goes the King of Jerusalem title.)

- In May 2004, following a dinner held by King Juan Carlos I of Spain on the eve of the wedding of his son Felipe, Vittorio Emanuele punched his cousin Amadeo of Savoy twice in the face. (Hmmm...First punch for giving a more expensive wedding present? The second for the wives wearing matching evening gowns?)

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