03/25/08 Orange and Almond Biscotti from

"A chi dai il dito si prende anche il braccio." (Give them a finger and they'll take an arm.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Gnocchi con Prosciutto e Piselli
  -Risotto with Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
  -Biscotti all'Arancia e Mandorle

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


Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

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 Recipe: Gnocchi con Prosciutto e Piselli

Gnocchi con Prosciutto e Piselli
Gnocchi with Spring Peas and Prosciutto


1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled
2 quarts water
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh peas, shelled and blanched in boiling water for 2 minutes
1/4 lb prosciutto, julienned
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons butter


Put the potatoes in a pot with the water. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes at a strong simmer for 20 minutes or until tender.

Drain the water and let the potatoes cool for only a few minutes before you begin to pull the skins off. Discard the potato skins and, while still hot, pass the potatoes through a ricer into a bowl.

Add the eggs, one at a time, to the riced potatoes and mix well.

Add the flour in two stages, so you use just enough to bind the potato.

Add the second half of the flour (and have some additional flour available, in case it's necessary) and mix well to form a dough.

Divide the dough in half, and on a floured work surface, roll the first half of dough into a 1-inch-thick log.

Cut the log into 1/2-inch-thick round pieces. Lay the pieces out, and with the back of a fork or your thumb, make an indentation on one side.

Set aside and refrigerate until needed.

Cook them in several quarts of boiling, salted water for 10 to 15 seconds. They cook very quickly and are done when they float to the surface.

Heat the cream in a saucepan, add the peas, and allow to simmer for several minutes.

Add the butter to the cream, whisking in to mix well before adding the prosciutto.

Pour the sauce over the drained gnocchi, stir gently in a large serving bowl, and serve immediately. Yields 4-6 portions.

That's it!

 Recipe: Risotto with Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese

Risotto with Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese


5 cups (about) chicken broth
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 and 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
1 and 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup grated Parmigiano cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
Shaved Parmigiano cheese


Bring broth to boil in medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low; cover saucepan.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat.

Add onion; saute until very tender but not brown, about 15 minutes.

Increase heat to medium. Add rice and stir 1 minute.

Add 1 and 1/2 cups warm broth. Boil gently until broth is absorbed, stirring frequently.

Add another 1 cup broth; stir until broth is absorbed.

Add remaining 2 and 1/2 cups broth, 1/2 cup at a time, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more and stirring frequently until rice is tender and mixture is creamy, about 25 minutes.

Stir in 2 tablespoons butter and 1 cup grated cheese.

Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl.

Sprinkle with parsley and shaved Parmigiano cheese. Makes 4 first-course or 6 side-dish servings.

That's it!

 Recipe: Biscotti all'Arancia e Mandorle

Biscotti all'Arancia e Mandorle
Orange and Almond Biscotti


3 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup sugar
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3 large eggs
3/4 cup chopped blanched almonds (about 3 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup finely chopped candied orange peel
3 tablespoons orange liqueur or brandy
1 large egg yolk, beaten to blend


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Line 3 baking sheets with waxed paper. Lightly flour waxed paper.

Sift flour and baking powder into medium bowl.

Beat sugar and butter in large bowl until blended.

Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until fluffy.

Mix in nuts and candied orange peel.

Add flour mixture and liqueur; beat until well blended.

Spoon dough out onto 1 prepared baking sheet, pressing to form 12-inch-long rectangle, about 5 inches wide (dough will be very soft). Place in freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.

Cut chilled dough lengthwise into 3 strips.

Shape each strip on lightly floured surface into 12-inch-long, 1 and 1/2-inch-wide and 1-inch-high log.

Transfer logs to remaining 2 prepared sheets, 1 log on 1 sheet and 2 logs on second sheet, spacing 2 inches apart.

Brush logs with egg yolk.

Bake until golden and firm to touch (dough will spread), about 30 minutes.

Cool completely on baking sheets. Reduce oven temperature to 325 F.

Using serrated knife, cut logs into 3/4-inch-wide diagonal slices.

Stand biscotti slices upright on 2 heavy large baking sheets.

Bake until biscotti are pale golden, about 25 minutes.

Transfer to racks and cool. (Can be prepared 1 week ahead. Store in airtight container.) Makes 60.

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:

Berlusconi: Only 'Retards' Would Vote For Italy's Left

Milan - April 4, 2008 - Silvio Berlusconi has said only "retards" will vote for his rivals in Italy's general election.

"I do not believe that Italians could be retarded enough to fall into a trap like this," said the media magnate in his final rally in front of the Colosseum.

Silvio Berlusconi claimed footballer Francesco Totti 'had nothing between the ears'. Mr Berlusconi used the word "grullo", a grave insult in Florentine dialect.

The phrase recalled his use of the word "coglione", or testicle, to describe opposition supporters at the last election in 2006. However, the perma-tanned billionaire committed one gaffe too many when he went on to insult Italy's iconic football player, Francesco Totti. Upon hearing that Mr. Totti was supporting his rivals, he shrugged: "Those with nothing between their ears have nothing between their ears."

Mr. Totti has repeatedly been lampooned in Italy for being ignorant. The footballer's legions of fans rapidly forced Mr Berlusconi into an apology. Even Giulio Andreotti, Italy's former prime minister, joined the fray, accusing Mr Berlusconi of being "offside". Mr. Berlusconi grovelled: "I am sorry. I love Totti. He's a good boy. He's obviously been manipulated by the Left-wing. His wife works as a television presenter for me."

In the 2001 elections, Mr. Berlusconi won support when he promised that there would be "meno tasse per tutti (less tax for all)" and particularly "meno tasse per Totti". Meanwhile, his main rival, Walter Veltroni, blasted Mr. Berlusconi as a man from a different era.

"I hear this talk about Stalinism, about taking up arms or revolution and I think: What planet are we on? What year are we in?" he said, to 100,000 cheering supporters in Milan.

Mr Veltroni promised that he would sweep through Italy's outdated and "encrusted" political and business worlds and be a "force for change" similar to Tony Blair. While Mr Berlusconi has relaxed in anticipation of an easy victory, Mr Veltroni closed his campaign with speeches in each of Italy's four major cities: Naples, Bologna, Milan and Rome. Speaking for over an hour without notes, Mr Veltroni energized the crowd in Milan by comparing Italian life to a dream in which one cannot race ahead because one's legs are heavy. He has vowed to remove 500 "pointless" laws in order to ease the bureaucratic burden.

Mr Berlusconi has suggested Mr Veltroni will try to rig the election, and as the first votes arrived today, from Italians living abroad, the home ministry insisted it would be "as transparent as a glass house".

However, there were indications that 50,000 votes from Latin America had been tampered with, allegedly in collusion with the Piromalli clan, part of the Calabrian ?Ndrangheta mafia.

The home ministry said that Italian councils in Latin America had already been alerted and were watchful for any suspicious ballot papers.

There were allegations of vote-rigging at the last election, in 2006, which Romano Prodi won by just 24,000 votes.

"The best political leader in Europe and the world." Silvio Berlusconi, on himself.

The fog in Milan must be causing an allergic reaction with the glue from his hair plugs making his asphalt skull thicker and forcing him to say more and more stupid things.

Berlusconi is notorious for his questionable and retarded sense of humor:

In February of 2002, at a European Union summit of foreign ministers, Berlusconi made a vulgar gesture (the "corna") behind the head of the Spanish foreign minister, Josep Pique intimating he was a "cuckold" (the husband of an unfaithful wife) during an official photo shoot. This is a common joke among Italian children, but many felt it was utterly out of place in an international meeting. He explained to the participants who were acting like retards that he "was just kidding", and was trying to create a relaxed atmosphere, that this sort of meeting was meant to "create friendship, cordiality, fondness and kind relationships", and that he wanted to amuse a small group of Boy Scout bystanders.

On 2 July 2003, one day after taking over the rotating presidency of the EU Council of Ministers, he was heavily criticized by the German SPD Member of the European Parliament Martin Schulz because of his retarded domestic policy. Berlusconi responded to the apparent retard: "Mr Schulz, I know a movie producer in Italy who is making a movie about Nazi concentration camps. I suggest you play the role of a Kapo. You are perfect for the part!". Even though Berlusconi insisted that he was only joking, his retarded comparisons with the Nazis caused a brief cooling of Italy's relationship with Germany.

In 2003, during an interview with magazine editors, Berlusconi claimed that Mussolini was not a retard and had been a benign dictator who did not murder opponents but sent them "on holiday".

On 4 April 2006, less than a week before the upcoming retarded political elections in Italy, during a speech, Berlusconi stated that he holds "too high esteem of the Italians' intelligence to think that there are so many "coglioni" (a vulgar reference to a man's anatomy often used about people considered stupid) around voting against their interest".

In the run up to the 2008 Italian general election, Berlusconi claimed that right-wing female politicians were better looking than their retarded left-wing counterparts. Berlusconi was quoted as telling local media that the left had "no taste" in women. His retarded remarks provoked an angry reaction from retarded Italian center-left parties, which accused him of being a retarded sexist. Berlusconi was quoted as saying that when he looked around parliament, he found that female politicians from the right were "more beautiful" and that "The left has no taste, even when it comes to women."

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