03/29/04 Red Snapper Livornese from

"Buon Giorno!" A big warm welcome to all our present and new subscribers!

All of us at the bakery hope everyone is in excellent health and gotten past this rough and depressing winter. Spring is here and, hard to believe, Easter is already around the corner! Where has the time gone?

Growing up in a Sicilian household, my family, like most Sicilian families, needed little provocation to gather on special occasions and even less on religious holidays. The Easter holiday was anxiously awaited, especially after 6 weeks of fasting and abstinence during Lent. The opportunity to have distant relatives visit and other loved ones was one of the things that we all anticipated, but what really made those occasions memorable was the feasting, a chance to break from our normal routine and enjoy special Italian food!

Just as Christmas is characterized by typical foods such as "baccala" (dried cod), "capitone" (eel), "tortelline in brodo" and "panettone", Easter too has it's typical specialities. While dishes may vary from region to region, and sometimes from family to family within the same region, there are many dishes that are common throughout Italy, with only the ingredients varying. Those common dishes provide a sense of continuity with our heritage and brotherhood with our fellow Italians, while those dishes particular to an area, highlight the uniqueness of the regions from which they hail. My family's food traditions are clearly weighted toward those of the Sicilian region, since my mother is always the cook and of Sicilian heritage.

Lamb has certainly always made an impressive presentation. In our home, it is always accompanied by garlic roasted potatoes, a tossed salad made with Italian greens such as romaine lettuce and red peppers. Along with this we have large bowls of olives, marinated artichoke hearts, pimientos, sliced tomatoes topped with fresh parsley and garlic, and finocchio. Our feast, as well as any "proper" Italian feast, always included plenty of wine.

Sicilian Easter dolce run the gambit with rich combinations of ingredients such as in a "Cassata". This Sicilian Easter speciality is made from sponge cake, ricotta, liqueurs, chocolate and candied peels.

The Easter celebratory dinner includes quite an array of foods but none of it would be nearly as delicious if not for the blessing of being able to share and enjoy it with family and friends.

I hope you enjoy the 3 new recipes in this week's issue. A few of you have asked for some popular but simple Italian fish dishes which I have included in today's issue. It also appears that some of our readers have written complaining that they need more recipes so we just might have to publish some more for you!

This week's complimentary news article from "Only In" explains the blessed Pope's latest request from us.

Enjoy the issue!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Impt: Easter Ordering Deadlines

Easter comes a bit early this year (April 11) so there's just a few days left to order our delicious Italian cookies for your Easter dinner. If you would like to order please keep in mind the following deadlines:

USA, Canada, and South America Orders
All orders must be placed by Wednesday, March 31, at midnight EST.

European Union Orders
All orders must be placed by Sunday, April 3, at midnight, Greenwich time.

Click here to order!

 Recipe: Tagliolini alla Checca

Tagliolini alla Checca
Tagliolini with Uncooked Tomato Sauce


1 lb Tagliolini Pasta
10 best quality beefsteak tomatoes with the insides scooped out, skinned and diced
5 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
One-half cup julienned fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh buffalo mozzarella cut in one-half inch cubes


Marinate the diced tomatoes with the garlic, bay leaf, basil, salt and pepper and extra virgin olive oil overnight.

Cook the tagliolini al dente in salted, boiling water, drain and plate. Top with the marinated tomato mixture, some freshly julienned basil and the buffalo mozzarella. Serves 4.

That's it!

 Recipe: Pescespada Siciliana

Pescespada Siciliana
Swordfish Sicilian Style


4 Swordfish steaks
1 large clove of garlic chopped fine
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup olive oil
Juice of 3 lemons
1/2 cup white wine
Salt and pepper to taste


Combine oil, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper, lemon juice and white wine in a small bowl.

Place swordfish in a lightly oiled baking pan and cook under broiler for around 10 minutes until just done. Pour marinade over fish and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.

Transfer swordfish steaks to serving plates, spoon marinade on top and serve. Serves 4.

Alternate cooking method on grill:

Cook swordfish on grill until just done.

While swordfish is cooking heat up a large frying pan, either on the other side of the grill or on the stove. When fish is cooked transfer to frying pan, pour marinade over and cook on top of grill for 1 to 2 minutes.

Transfer swordfish steaks to serving plates, spoon marinade on top and serve. Serves 4.

That's it!

 Recipe: Red Snapper Livornese

Red Snapper Livornese
Red Snapper Livornese Style


4 red snapper fillets
15 oz Italian plum tomatoes, crushed with juices
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken broth
12 gaetta olives, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons of capers
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup of olive oil


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat olive oil in large saute pan over medium heat. Add olives, onion and capers, cook until onion is translucent.

Add tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. Place red snapper fillets in pan. Add wine, broth and salt and pepper to taste. Place in oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve fillets with sauce spooned over top. Serves 4.

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, a sample of today's edition.

Pope Says Sundays for God, Not Sports.

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - March 26 - Pope John Paul on Friday said Sunday should be a day for God, not for secular diversions like entertainment and sports.

"When Sunday loses its fundamental meaning and becomes subordinate to a secular concept of 'weekend' dominated by such things as entertainment and sport, people stay locked within a horizon so narrow that they can no longer see the heavens," the pontiff said in a speech to Australian bishops.

John Paul criticized the "culture of the 'here and now,'" urging Church leaders to "lead men and women from the shadows of moral confusion and ambiguous thinking."

The 83-year-old pope also encouraged Christians, especially young people, to remain faithful to Sunday Mass, saying the secular culture was undermining family life.

"Madonna Santa!" Take a minute to imagine a world without Sunday football...

Frightening, isn't it?

God bless the Pope and his dear preachings. He knows that ending Sunday football would certainly bring the planet closer to World Peace:

-husbands would be forced to pay attention to their wives,

-less guerilla warfare between fans,

-and an enormous crumble of beer sales.

Let's wish lots of luck to the pontiff! He'll have better luck trying to part the Atlantic ocean than "unlocking" men from that narrow horizon.

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