03/27/12 Spaghetti with Anchovies in Tomato Sauce

"La troppa curiosita spinge l'uccello nella rete." (Too much curiosity will pull the bird towards the net. Curiosity killed the cat.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Asparagus Crostini with Pancetta
  -Spaghetti with Anchovies in Tomato Sauce
  -Arugula and Ricotta Calzones

"Buona primavera!" Thank you for finding those precious minutes for our bakery family. Postpone the worries and the drama for life is too short. Cook slowly, laugh out loud, live truly and try to forgive quickly. Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci and grazie again!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

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 Recipe: Asparagus Crostini with Pancetta

Asparagus Crostini with Pancetta
Crostini di Asparagi con Pancetta


1 tablespoon Sherry wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons butter, melted, divided

2 ounces sliced pancetta
1 pound thick asparagus, tough ends trimmed
Four 1/2-inch thick slices egg bread, halved lengthwise


Preheat oven to 450°F.

Whisk vinegar and mustard in small bowl.

Gradually whisk in olive oil and 1 tablespoon melted butter.

Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper.

Place pancetta on rimmed baking sheet.

Bake until crisp, about 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook asparagus spears in large skillet of boiling salted water until tender, about 5 minutes.

Drain asparagus; pat dry.

Transfer warm asparagus to large bowl; add vinaigrette and toss to coat.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Toast bread slices and brush with remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter.

Arrange 2 toasts on each of 4 plates.

Divide pancetta, then asparagus among toasts.

Drizzle any remaining vinaigrette over and serve. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Spaghetti with Anchovies in Tomato Sauce

Spaghetti with Anchovies in Tomato Sauce
Spaghetti con Acciughe in Salsa di Pomodoro


Extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and very finely sliced
2 big handfuls of pine nuts
1 big handful of raisins
12 salted anchovy fillets
3 heaping tablespoons tomato puree
1 large glass of red wine
1 and 3/4 cups stale bread crumbs
1 pound dried spaghetti


Heat a pan, add 6 tablespoons of olive oil, then add garlic and fry slowly.

When it begins to color, add the pine nuts, raisins, and anchovies and continue frying for another 2 minutes, until the anchovies have melted.

Add the tomato puree, wine and stir in well.

Leave to simmer on a medium heat for 3 minutes. The sauce should be quite thick, like tomato sauce, but if you prefer thinning it down, add a little water.

Heat a little olive oil in a separate pan, add the bread crumbs and fry until toasted, crunchy, and golden.

Leave to cool on paper towels.

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to the package instructions.

Drain and mix with the sauce.

Check the seasoning and divide onto 4 plates.

Serve sprinkled with the prepared bread crumbs. Makes 4 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Arugula and Ricotta Calzones

Arugula and Ricotta Calzones
Calzone di Rucola e Ricotta


1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 oz baby arugula (8 cups packed)
6 oz whole-milk ricotta (2/3 cup)
3 oz whole-milk mozzarella, coarsely grated
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 lb frozen pizza dough, thawed


Put oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 450°F.

Cook garlic in olive oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add arugula and cook, stirring frequently, until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer to a sieve and press hard on arugula to squeeze out as much excess liquid as possible, then coarsely chop.

Stir together ricotta cheese, mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, yolk, salt, and pepper until blended, then stir in arugula.

Quarter dough, then roll out each piece into an 8-inch round with a rolling pin.

Put one fourth of cheese filling (about 1/3 cup) in center of 1 round and fold dough in half to enclose filling and form a semicircle.

Press edges together to seal.

Beginning at 1 end and working toward the other, stretch sealed edge outward, pinching and rolling edge to form a rope.

Transfer to an oiled 17 by 12-inch heavy baking sheet.

Make 3 more calzones in same manner, transferring to baking sheet.

Bake calzones until golden and puffed, 12 to 15 minutes.

Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes before serving. Makes 4 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:

Italian TV Anchor Records Foreign Correspondent Blues Album

Naples - February 24, 2012 - A veteran Italian television news anchor with a passion for the blues released an album on Friday in which he riffs on his assignments from the Iraq war to the Madrid train bombs to protests in Iran.

Neapolitan Sandro Petrone, a former folk singer in the 1970s who now works for public television channel RAI 2, has filled his album "Last Call: Notes from a Correspondent" with blues, swing and ballads looking back at his career.

"I want to see the world from the mountains of North Tehran, I want to cry blood on the tracks of Atocha, I want to spit sand on the streets of Nassiriyah before the time comes," he sings in one number entitled "Coming Home Blues".

The 12 songs contain extracts from reports and letters by the correspondent from various parts of the world, including Brazil, Iran, Iraq and Liberia.

Petrone returned to music "to express more clearly what he wants to say about lands in tumult, about men and women in tumult, about himself in tumult," said his website filled with pictures of the crooner performing.

"Maybe journalism is more powerful but the art of music can finally reach some hearts," the note said. "When he left music and Naples to be a correspondent and not a singer, the music stayed with him as a companion."

Eh, no offense but we can't stand Napolitano records...which should be of no surprise to any of our readers. (No, sorry. We did not soul search during our extra long hiatus.)

We always get these Napolitano CDs as cheap presents (or as a goof) and we have to constantly throw them out. In fact, my hand hurts from constantly throwing these CDs out.

And, "minchia", why do all Napolitani songs sound exactly alike? We don't know why they put pauses between the songs. It should just be one giant song about Mamma, misery and death.

However, in all fairness, "Last Call: Notes from a Correspondent" must be a brilliant compilation of hits. It had to be produced by the Napolitano, George Martin. Unfortunately, we won't be able to find the time to buy and critique the songs (not even at gun point).

"Petrone returned to music "to express more clearly what he wants to say about lands in tumult, about men and women in tumult, about himself in tumult..." Hmmm...sounds like he is referring to Iran, Iraq and Naples. We've heard about plenty of tourists in tumult after visiting the third land in particular.

And what a coincidence. Foreign correspondents from these countries felt the same way when they came to do a news piece on Naples. One of them had to be inspired to write a blues record too.

"Last Time: That This Correspondent Visits Naples"

"I want to see the world from the mountains of garbage..."
"I want to cry blood after eating hot chili peppers and taralli..."
"I want to spit sand on the streets when I see her with more food caught in her teeth...than I eat the whole day..."
"La-laaa, La-laaa..."

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