03/31/09 Chicken Breasts with Prosciutto and Sage from

"E' meglio un uovo oggi di una gallina domani." (An egg today is better than a chicken tomorrow. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Artichokes Stuffed with Pancetta and Parsley
  -Penne with Spinach, Shrimp, Tomatoes and Basil
  -Chicken Breasts with Prosciutto and Sage

All of us at the bakery here in Santo Stefano Quisquina sincerely hope you enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci e a presto!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Traditional Almond Cookies

"Traditional" Almond Cookies: A soft and chewy Italian almond cookie with a crisp outside and tender inside. Made exclusively from our own home grown natural almonds, the freshest farm eggs, flour, and sugar. No preservatives, additives, artificial colors, nor flavors. Serves 5-7.

900 grams (2 lbs.) is only 13.99 Euro ($18.25-$18.75) + Shipping.

Example Order: One order to anywhere in the USA costs 13.99 Euro plus 8.70 Euro for Global Priority Mail shipping (7-8 days) for a total of 22.69 Euro ($29.75-$30.25 U.S. Dollars).

 Recipe: Artichokes Stuffed with Pancetta and Parsley

Artichokes Stuffed with Pancetta and Parsley
Carciofi Ritti


2 lemons, halved
4 large artichokes
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 ounces pancetta,* finely chopped
1/2 cup minced fresh Italian parsley
2/3 cup water


Squeeze juice from 1 lemon into large bowl of cold water; add 2 lemon halves.

Cut stem off 1 artichoke; cut stem into 1/4-inch-thick rounds.

Place rounds in lemon water.

Starting at base of artichoke, bend outer leaves back; snap off where leaves break naturally, leaving tender yellow-green leaves attached.

Using vegetable peeler, trim outside of base until no dark green areas remain.

Rub cut surfaces with remaining lemon halves.

Cut off top half of artichoke.

Pull out purple-tipped leaves from center.

Using spoon, scoop out fibrous choke.

Place artichoke in lemon water. Repeat with remaining artichokes.

Drain artichokes and stems.

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

Add artichokes and stem rounds.

Cook until artichokes are golden, about 4 minutes per side. Remove from heat.

Transfer stem rounds to small bowl.

Mix pancetta and parsley in bowl; spoon into artichokes.

Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over artichokes in skillet.

Add 2/3 cup water; bring to boil.

Cover; cook artichokes over medium-low heat until cooking liquid is reduced by about half, about 25 minutes.

Add stem rounds; cook about 2 minutes.

Serve artichokes surrounded by stem rounds and cooking liquid. Makes 4 first-course servings

Note: *Pancetta, Italian bacon cured in salt, is available at Italian markets and some specialty foods stores.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Penne with Spinach, Shrimp, Tomatoes and Basil

Penne with Spinach, Shrimp, Tomatoes and Basil
Penne con Spinaci, Gamberetti, Pomodoro e Basilico


12 ounces Penne pasta
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 lb uncooked medium shrimp, peeled, deveined
3 garlic cloves, minced
5 large plum tomatoes, cut into thin wedges
6 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
6 cups (packed) baby spinach leaves (about 6 ounces)


Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente'.

Ladle 1 cup pasta cooking liquid into small bowl and reserve.

Drain pasta. Return pasta to pot; cover to keep hot.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

Sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper.

Add shrimp and garlic to skillet and saute 2 minutes.

Add tomatoes, 4 tablespoons basil, lemon juice and lemon peel and saute until shrimp are cooked through, about 3 minutes.

Add spinach leaves to hot pasta; toss until spinach wilts.

Add shrimp mixture and toss to blend.

Add enough of reserved pasta cooking liquid to moisten.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer pasta to bowl.

Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons basil and serve. Makes 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Chicken Breasts with Prosciutto and Sage

Chicken Breasts with Prosciutto and Sage
Petti di Pollo con Prosciutto e Salvia


2 chicken breast halves with skin and bones
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped carrot
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup (packed) slivered prosciutto (about 1 and 1/2 ounces)
1 and 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage or 1 and 1/2 teaspoons dried


Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.

Heat olive oil in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat.

Add chicken and saute until brown, about 3 minutes per side.

Transfer chicken to plate.

Add onion, carrot and celery to skillet; saute until vegetables begin to brown, about 5 minutes.

Return chicken and any accumulated juices to skillet; add wine, prosciutto and sage.

Bring to boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low.

Cover; simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 6 minutes per side.

Serve chicken with sauce. Makes 2 servings; can be doubled.

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:

Italy To Create "Fat" Database

Rome - February 4, 2009 - Italy is to create the first national database of people who are obese or overweight, the Higher Health Institute (ISS) said Wednesday.

Over 300 doctors and nurses will be stationed in 50 supermarkets across the country between February and June to offer heavier shoppers medical check-ups, tests and lifestyle advice. In return, test results will be entered into a database and the ISS will contact shoppers in the future to monitor their state of health.

The ISS hopes to collect information from around 10,000 people who are overweight or obese during the project.

More than one in three Italians are overweight and around four million are obese, according to statistics institute ISTAT.

"Buon Giorno!" When do we eat?

Obesity is certainly a problem in Italy although, we will never admit it. Putting down a fork for a moment of reflection is too much to ask for.

If asked, "Ciao, do you realize you're overweight?", we'll look you straight in the eye, smile and lie. Instead of a nose growing, a stomach will. It's like Pinocchio going berserk.

However, to some Italians, their idea of losing weight is:
- putting down their cell phones,
- taking off their glasses,
- eating only when their awake.

Italians think that losing weight is one of the most difficult things for people to do.

What?! Che cosa?! Controlling what you eat?! Stop that!
Serving in World War II was difficult.
Growing up in poverty is difficult.

Stopping the consumption of sausage, polenta, pizza, mozzarella and prosciutto is not!

"Palle!" How traumatizing! Our fat cousin, Francesco, got so upset he had to go eat tomato sauce.

"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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