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 04/10/07 Crostata di Fichi e Limoni from CookiesFromItaly.com

"Siamo tornati!" Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Insalata con Spinaci e Funghi
  -Calamari Fritti e Zucchini
  -Crostata di Fichi e Limoni

All of us at the bakery sincerely wish everyone has enjoyed their Easter Holidays! Enjoy the recipes and the complimentary news article report from "Only In Italy.com".

Enjoy the issue!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       


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 Recipe: Insalata con Spinaci e Funghi

Insalata con Spinaci e Funghi
Spinach and Mushroom Salad

Ingredients:

4 thick slices pancetta
4 cups baby spinach, cleaned
8 ounces white mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Place the pancetta on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake for 15 minutes, or until it's golden and crispy.

Meanwhile, place the spinach in a large salad bowl, and add the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper, and toss.

In a separate bowl, whisk the olive oil and vinegar until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper, add it to the salad, and toss.

Remove the pancetta from the oven, and cut it into large pieces. Serve the salad topped with the warm pancetta. Serves 4.

That's it!


 Recipe: Calamari Fritti e Zucchini

Calamari Fritti e Zucchini
Fried Calamari and Zucchini

Ingredients:

4 zucchini
2 lbs calamari, chopped
All-purpose flour, as needed
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt
2 lemons

Directions:

Rinse the zucchini thoroughly and cut into thin slices.

Pass the zucchini and the calamari in the flour.

Fill a frying pan of extra-virgin olive oil and place the calamari and the zucchini. Fry on both sides, add salt. Place on absorbing paper to absorb some of the olive oil. Place on a serving platter, serve warm with pieces of lemon to be squeezed on top. Serves 4 to 6.

That's it!


 Recipe: Crostata di Fichi e Limoni

Crostata di Fichi e Limoni
Fig and Lemon Tart

Ingredients:

8 oz (225 grams) plain white or Italian type 00 flour
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
8 oz (225 grams) superfine sugar
4 oz (100 grams) unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
6 unwaxed lemons
2 and 1/4 lbs (1 kg) fresh figs, washed
1 teaspoon (5 ml) fennel seeds

Directions:

To make the pastry, put the flour in a bowl and make a well in the center. Add the vanilla extract, half the sugar, the butter, egg yolk and salt and mix together to form a dough. Wrap in greaseproof paper and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Using a skewer, prick the skins of the lemons well. Put in a saucepan, add enough water to just cover, bring to a boil and let it boil for 10 minutes. Repeat this boiling process 3 times, changing the water each time.

Drain the lemons, reserving the water. Finely slice the lemons, leaving on the skin. Put the lemon slices in a saucepan with the remaining sugar and the reserved water. Cover and cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes until the liquid has reduced to about 1/4 pint (150 ml) and is syrupy. Drain off the syrup and reserve.

Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C)

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry and use to line a 11 inch (28 cm) flan tin. Cover the dough with the lemon slices. Slice the figs and arrange on top. Pour the lemon syrup over the figs and sprinkle with the fennel seeds. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes until the pastry is golden. Leave to cool before serving.

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:

Eternal City Says Nothing Too Sacred to Raise Money

Rome's best monuments disappearing behind ads as city cleans up peeling palazzi and flaking frescoes

Rome - May 30 - Little did the Roman workers who built the Pantheon imagine that their giant temple would still be standing 2,000 years later. They certainly could never have imagined it draped with Versace models and glistening BMWs.

But now, as the Rome authorities search for funds to keep the Eternal City in good repair, some of the world's most famous brands are eyeing the Pantheon, one of Rome's oldest and most visited monuments. They want to use its walls as advertising space.

The authorities have signed a deal with a billboard firm to pay for the Pantheon and 48 other treasures to be smartened up. They say they have no other option.

Although Italy is one of the most artistically rich countries in the world, and tourism one of the country's greatest financial assets, its Cultural Goods Ministry has a smaller proportion of the budget than equivalent ministries in France and Germany.

'We have the world's largest (cultural) heritage, but the resources of a Third World (country),' Culture Minister Giulio Urbani recently complained.

Advertising has already tempted authorities to less well-known sites. A quick tour of Rome shows that one giant advert is attached to almost every landmark. In the old market square, Campo dei Fiori, a huge pistachio-green Vespa moped is riding across the front of one building, reminding potential buyers that 'even the wind likes to be caressed'.

Off the square, a giant baby wearing a leopard-skin nappy is promoting Radio Monte Carlo. A BMW estate car looms large where the Trinita dei Monti church ought to be at the top of the Spanish Steps. A hundred yards from the balcony where Mussolini addressed the crowds in Piazza Venezia, there is a huge lollipop message from L'Oréal. In the Vatican, at the edge of St Peter's Square, Mercedes hails the pope with the message that 'not all dreams disappear at dawn'.

But the Pantheon plan is the first ancient Roman monument to be considered as an advertising opportunity. The plan has great potential, both for publicity and controversy.

The domed temple - built in AD 80 and converted into a church around 609 - is seen by most of the estimated 10 million tourists who visit the Italian capital each year. It is surrounded by cafes and restaurants in the Piazza Rotondo, a favorite gelato stop.

Under the new deal, advertising firm InterPromos hopes the 700,000 Euro restoration will take place before the end of the year. Work is likely to last at least a year, during which scaffolding will be covered with an enormous advert, rotating through different companies. At night it will be illuminated.

InterPromos spokesman Carlo Sinopoli believes advertising - controlled by law to limit the space and time adverts can be displayed - can help make Italy 'all new and shiny'.

'We hope that, if the Pantheon project goes well, we can do the same with the Colosseum. And, who knows, maybe the leaning tower of Pisa one day,' he told The Observer.

But archaeology chief Adriano la Regina believes there is no restoration going on behind most of the mega-adverts in Rome. For him, the Pantheon plan is the latest, most flagrant scam.

'Buildings are being restored just so adverts can be displayed. There is one palazzo in the Piazza Venezia that has been restored three times in the past few years,' he said.

But officials are not the only ones in favor of the advertising solution. Italia Nostra, a pressure group which campaigns to preserve Italy's heritage, believes the short-term 'visual disturbance' of giant adverts is a small price to pay for monuments to be restored.

'Sadly the days are gone when rich benefactors used to donate millions for the love of art,' said Vanna Mannucci, vice-president of Italia Nostra in Rome. 'Unfortunately our politicians are myopic. It has not entered their DNA yet that monuments are the best thing Italy has, so they are worth investing in.'

In the absence of funds and with flaking frescoes and peeling palazzi all over Italy, Mannucci is pragmatic. 'It's time to understand, the rich monuments must be made to pay for the poorer ones.'

She is delighted that the Pantheon advertisers will be obliged to fund works on more obscure buildings. 'I'm sorry for the tourists who turn up and find they can't see a monument, only an advert. But for the next 20 years or more everyone else will see it. Someone has to compromise.'

"Ma Vafanculo!" Just another example of how there is no shame in Italian society!

When the great Emperor Hadrian built the Pantheon in AD 118, there was no need to make calls to Sony and Versace for cash.

We're sure that Italy won't stop here because the government's absolute brilliance has been known to spread like a putrid fever.

How about sticking McDonald's arches on the Roman Coliseum? Buy an entrance ticket to the Coliseum and get a free "Happy Meal".

How about going for a nice test drive of a new BMW 5 Series in St. Peter's Square?

How about an 'Adidas' T-shirt on Michelangelo's David?

"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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