04/07/09 Lemon Pistachio Biscotti from

"Val pił la pratica della grammatica." (Experience is more important than theory.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Strawberry Vin Santo Sauce
  -Grapes in Grappa with Mascarpone
  -Lemon Pistachio Biscotti

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: Sicilian Orange Almond Cookies

"Sicilian Orange" 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 with bits of candied Sicilian oranges, the freshest farm eggs, flour, and sugar. No preservatives, additives, artificial colors, nor flavors. Serves 5-7.

900 grams (2 lbs.) is only 14.49 Euro ($19.00-$19.50) + Shipping.

Example Order: One order to anywhere in the USA costs 14.49 Euro plus 8.70 Euro for Global Priority Mail shipping (7-9 days) for a total of 23.19 Euro ($30.50-$31.00 U.S. Dollars).

 Recipe: Strawberry Vin Santo Sauce

Strawberry Vin Santo Sauce
Salsa di Fragola e Vin Santo


1 lb fresh strawberries, hulled, quartered (about 4 cups)
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons Vin Santo,* Muscat wine or cream Sherry
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon (packed) grated lemon peel


Puree 1 lb strawberries in processor.

Transfer puree to heavy large saucepan.

Mix in sugar, Vin Santo, vanilla extract and grated lemon peel.

Simmer over medium-low heat until sauce is reduced to 2 cups, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Cool. (Sauce can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Makes 2 cups.

Note:*Vin Santo is an Italian dessert wine sold at some liquor stores and some specialty foods stores.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Grapes in Grappa with Mascarpone

Grapes in Grappa with Mascarpone
Uva in Grappa con Mascarpone


4 cups seedless red grapes and green grapes (about 2 lbs)
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons grappa liquor

One 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
3 and 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel


Cut 2 and 1/2 cups grapes in half; place in bowl.

Add 1/3 cup grappa. Let stand at least 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

Puree remaining 1 and 1/2 cups grapes in processor.

Transfer to strainer set over bowl.

Press on solids in strainer to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids in strainer.

Transfer 1/2 cup grape juice to medium bowl (reserve any remaining juice for another use).

Add remaining 2 tablespoons grappa, mascarpone, powdered sugar and 2 and 1/2 teaspoons lemon peel to bowl with grape juice; whisk until well blended. (Grapes and sweetened mascarpone can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately and chill.)

Divide mascarpone mixture among 6 glasses.

Top with grape mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon lemon peel and serve. Makes 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Lemon Pistachio Biscotti

Lemon Pistachio Biscotti
Biscotti al Limone e Pistacchio


2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
6 ounces (about 1 and 1/2 cups) unsalted pistachios
3 large eggs
Finely grated zest of 2 medium lemons
3 tablespoons strained lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cookie sheets or jelly roll pans covered with parchment or foil


Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350° F.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and baking powder; stir well to mix.

Stir in the pistachios.

In another bowl, whisk the eggs with the lemon zest, juice, and vanilla.

Use a rubber spatula to stir the egg mixture into the dry ingredients. Continue to stir until a stiff dough forms.

Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it in half.

Roll each half under the palms of your hands into a cylinder a little shorter than your baking sheet.

Place the logs of dough on the baking sheet, making sure they are not too close to each other or to the sides of the pan.

With the palm of your hand, press down gently to flatten the logs.

Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until the logs are well risen and have spread to about double their size.

The logs are done when, pressed with a fingertip, they feel firm.

Place the pan on a rack to cool the logs completely.

Reset the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300° F.

Place each of the cooled logs on a cutting board and cut it into 1/3-inch thick diagonal slices.

Arrange the biscotti on the prepared pans, cut side down. It isn't necessary to leave space between them.

Bake the biscotti for about 15 or 20 minutes or until they are dry and lightly golden. Cool on the pan on a rack.

Store the cooled biscotti between sheets of parchment or wax paper in a tin or plastic container with a tight-fitting cover. Makes about 60 biscotti.

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:

All I Said Was, "Christmas Present For Who?"

Genoa - December 22, 2008 - An Italian driver taken to hospital with severe burns on Monday said his mother-in-law set fire to him as they were traveling through a road tunnel near Genoa.

The man, 35, told police the pair had been "chatting about Christmas presents" when the woman, 60, suddenly poured inflammable liquid on him and put a cigarette lighter to it. The mother-in-law burned to death in the fire, which destroyed the vehicle and led to the tunnel being closed for several hours.

Forensics experts are trying to establish what liquid was allegedly used.

The man, who is separated from his wife, suffered second and third degree burns to most of his body. Hospital staff said some of his relatives shouted insults against the dead woman after being told what happened.

AHHH! You "grandissimo figlio di puttana"! What possible sane reason could you give to our readers for being in the vicinity of your separated wife's mother?

What a shame, though. He never had the chance to build better a relationship with his mother-in-law.

Wonder if he ever had the opportunity to say to her, "Rossella, I care for you ("love" would make me vomit) and I appreciate your concern. But, "cazzo", the best way for us deal with our separation is for you to let me do things my own way."

Rossella (to herself): Pazienza. Reflect...don't let this "testa di minchia" get the best of me. I will:

- accept and learn about my son-in-law's generation, culture, age, soccer team and shortsighted and meaningless brain which is naturally different than mine.

- be patient when I experience hostility, suspicion, or distance from my son-in-law. I will try to build a good relationship with him by not reacting immediately to his witless and irrelevant jokes.

- talk openly and honestly about miscommunications, arguments, or other conflicts with my son-in-law and be responsive to his needs and feelings even if I don't understand what is brewing in that thick and empty cranium of his.

Son-in-law: "Well, I couldn't give a rat's "culo" on your advice on what I should get your daughter for Christmas."

Rossella: "Oh Cristo, get ready. Here I come."

"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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