03/26/13 Linguine with Grill Roasted Clams

"Ambasciatore non porta pena." (The ambassador is not the guilty one.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Cheese, Zucchini and Red Onion Focaccia
  -Mascarpone Polenta with Wild Mushrooms and Ricotta
  -Linguine with Grill Roasted Clams

"Ciao a tutti!" Hope you're having a great time preparing your Italian recipes. Yes, you'll find lots of them out there, but ours are authentic Italian recipes written by Italians that grew up in Italy, many of them having been passed down from generation to generation. From the bottom of all our hearts, we hope you enjoy them. Stay tuned for more are on the way.

Arrivederci and grazie again!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Sicilian Orange Almond Cookies

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 Recipe: Cheese, Zucchini and Red Onion Focaccia

Cheese, Zucchini and Red Onion Focaccia
Formaggio, Zucchine e Cipolla Rossa Focaccia


One 10-ounce tube refrigerated pizza dough
3/4 cup garlic and herb cheese spread (such as Alouette), divided
3/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano cheese, divided
1 small red onion
One 7 to 8-inch long zucchini (yellow or green), cut crosswise into 1/8-inch thick rounds, divided
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
Extra virgin olive oil
Nonstick vegetable oil spray


Preheat oven to 400?F.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Spray with nonstick spray.

Unroll dough onto parchment.

Spread half of herb cheese over 1 long half of dough, leaving 1/2-inch plain border.

Sprinkle with half of Parmigiano cheese and 2 tablespoons parsley.

Using parchment as aid, fold plain half of dough over filled half (do not seal edges).

Spread remaining herb cheese over top.

Sprinkle with remaining Parmigiano cheese.

Remove enough outer layers of onion to yield 2-inch diameter core.

Cut into 1/8-inch thick rounds.

Arrange 1 row of zucchini down 1 long side of dough.

Arrange onion rounds in row alongside zucchini.

Arrange 1 more row of zucchini alongside onion.

Brush vegetables with olive oil.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake bread until puffed and deep brown at edges, about 20-25 minutes.

Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon parsley. Makes 4-6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Mascarpone Polenta with Wild Mushrooms and Ricotta

Mascarpone Polenta with Wild Mushrooms and Ricotta
Mascarpone Polenta con Funghi Porcini e Ricotta


1 cup ricotta cheese
2 cups hickory-wood smoke chips (do not soak in water)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus additional for drizzling
8 ounces assorted wild mushrooms (such as oyster and stemmed shiitake), thinly sliced
2 tablespoons minced shallot (about 1 small)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 cups water
1/2 cup polenta (coarse cornmeal)
6 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano cheese
1 cup thinly sliced radicchio
Sea salt, for sprinkling
Chopped fresh chives
Chopped fresh Italian parsley


Place ricotta in small baking dish.

Line large pot with 2 layers heavy-duty foil.

Scatter wood chips over foil.

Set metal steamer rack atop chips.

Cover pot tightly and heat over medium-high heat until chips begin to smoke, 10 to 12 minutes.

Place dish with cheese atop steamer rack.

Remove from heat, cover tightly, and let cold-smoke for 1 hour (do not remove lid or smoke will escape pot).

Remove cheese from pot (cheese will have colored slightly).

Spoon off any liquid that forms around cheese.

Season cheese with salt.


Heat 1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat.

Add mushrooms and saute until beginning to brown, about 7 minutes.

Add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, shallot, and thyme.

Saute until shallot is soft and beginning to brown, about 1 minute.

Stir in 1 tablespoon butter.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Bring 2 cups water to boil in heavy medium saucepan.

Gradually whisk in polenta.

Reduce heat to low.

Cover and cook until very soft and thick, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour.

Stir in mascarpone, Parmigiano cheese, and remaining 2 tablespoons butter.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Rewarm mushroom mixture.

Add radicchio and stir until slightly wilted, about 1 minute.

Divide polenta among plates.

Spoon smoked ricotta atop polenta.

Divide mushrooms among plates.

Sprinkle with sea salt, chives, and parsley.

Drizzle with olive oil and serve. Makes 6 appetizer servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Linguine with Grill Roasted Clams

Linguine with Grill Roasted Clams
Linguine con Vongole alla Griglia Arrosto


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 and 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel, divided
3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 and 1/3 cups white wine
2 and 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 canned anchovy fillets, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
Coarse kosher salt

4 dozen small clams (such as littleneck), scrubbed
12 ounces linguine


Heat olive oil in small deep saucepan over medium-low heat.

Add garlic, 3/4 teaspoon lemon peel, and crushed red pepper.

Saute until garlic is soft, about 3 minutes.

Add wine, increase heat, and boil until mixture is reduced to 1 cup, about 6 minutes.

Remove sauce from heat.

Mix in lemon juice, anchovies, 1 tablespoon parsley, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon lemon peel.

Season with coarse salt.

Prepare barbecue (high heat).

Arrange clams on grill rack.

Cover grill.

Cook clams 5 minutes.

Uncover and cook without turning until clams open.

Transfer to rimmed baking sheet as they open, retaining juices in shells, about 5 minutes longer (discard any clams that do not open).

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente'.

Drain pasta and divide among 4 large shallow bowls.

Arrange 12 clams in shells with juices on pasta in each bowl.

Spoon sauce over.

Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon parsley. Makes 4 main-course 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:

Husband Stabbed In the Weiner After Admitting To Cheating By Phone

Livorno - May 14, 2012 - A 61-year-old man died on Monday after being repeatedly stabbed in the 'weiner' and abdomen by his wife. She admitted to attacking him in a jealous rage after he admitted he had spent Saturday night with another woman in the Italian port city of Livorno.

The 61-year-old man was admitted to hospital on Sunday in Livorno a critical condition and operated on after the frenzied attack by his 57-year-old wife late Saturday.

She said she attacked him when he returned home drunk, after he'd confessed his infidelity in a phone call, but only called an ambulance late on Sunday when her husband's condition had worsened.

The woman, who is originally from Germany, faces murder charges and was on Monday being questioned by police.

"Cazzarola", what is this? It caught us off guard.
Why didn't he follow protocol?
Why did he call in the cheating?

Dear naive women, what Italian films are you downloading and watching that makes you assume you're going to find the Garden of Eden when you visit Italy? Look at this case. The German subtitles in the film were way off.

Why do women who date/marry/enslave Italian men assume it's mandatory we be on top of each other every minute to prove our love? "Porca Eva", come on! It's unnatural for the Italian male species to be with a person after a prolonged period of time.

And how is it possible you don't get tired of us? It's gotten to the point where we're contacting you by phone to let you know we're defiling other people. Some of us writers have been on this planet for well over 30 years...and we're tired of ourselves!

By the way, there is no need to exhibit such crude violence when you're angry. Getting racked over the head with a pizza shovel or whacking a 'weiner' with a wooden spoon is much more painful and embarrassing.

However, and in our defense, when it comes to sentiments and having a good time we can be gentlemanlike. After all, we have a so-called Latin lover reputation to uphold. We think this reputation rumor had to be started by a few ugly American women who got to together with their ugly European girlfriends over a few bottles of wine and the BS started flying around.

And to our German female friends who come down and visit us every summer, we're not going to take offense to this story. We would love to entertain you and show you around Sicily...if you weren't too occupied with puking from all the Italian beer you drink.

"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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