04/10/12 Sweet Tortelli Emilia Romagna Style

"La caritą comincia a casa propria." (Charity begins at home.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Tomato and Basil Omelette
  -Salmon Salad with Tomatoes and Chickpeas
  -Sweet Tortelli Emilia Romagna Style

"Ciao bello(a)!" Just a quick note of thanks for being a part of our growing Italian recipe community. We're over 9,800 members now. Remember, you started it. Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci and grazie again!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Santo Trio

"Santo Trio" 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, coconut, amaretto, lemon, 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 ($18.75-$19.25) + Shipping.

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 Recipe: Tomato and Basil Omelette

Tomato and Basil Omelette
Frittata al Pomodoro e Basilico


4 medium tomatoes
6 large eggs
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
6 to 8 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped


Peel, seed and dice tomatoes.

Beat eggs with salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

Beat in Parmigiano cheese.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter with olive oil in a heavy 8 or 10-inch skillet over medium heat.

Add onions and garlic.

Saute until onions are pale yellow.

Add tomatoes and basil.

Cook 5 to 6 minutes or until tomato juices have evaporated.

Remove tomato mixture with a slotted spoon.

Stir into egg mixture.

Melt remaining butter in skillet over medium heat.

When butter foams, add egg mixture.

Cook 5 to 6 minutes or until bottom of frittata is lightly browned.

Place a large plate on top of skillet and turn frittata onto plate.

Slide inverted frittata back into skillet.

Cook 4 to 5 minutes longer.

Slide frittata onto a warm serving dish.

Cut into 4 wedges.

Serve hot or at room temperature. Makes 4 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Salmon Salad with Tomatoes and Chickpeas

Salmon Salad with Tomatoes and Chickpeas
Insalata di Salmone con Pomodori e Ceci


6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
Six (5 to 6-ounce) salmon fillets (about 2 pounds)
2 cups chickpeas from two (15-ounce) cans, drained, rinsed
1 and 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup (scant) small black olives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon salt-packed capers, rinsed, or drained capers in brine
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, torn if large


Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in each of 2 heavy large skillets.

Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper.

Add 3 fillets to each skillet and cook until almost cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.

Cool slightly.

Heat remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add chickpeas and all remaining ingredients except basil.

Stir until warm.

Season with salt and pepper.

Divide chickpea mixture among 6 plates.

Tear salmon into 1 to 1 and 1/2-inch pieces; scatter over chickpeas.

Garnish with basil leaves and serve. Serves 6.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Sweet Tortelli Emilia Romagna Style

Sweet Tortelli Emilia Romagna Style
Tortelli Dolci All'Emiliana


2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1/3 cup granulated sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup butter, very soft for hand mixing, or cold and in small pieces for food processor
1/3 cup chilled white wine
Strawberry or other jam
Olive oil for frying
Powdered sugar


Place flour on a pastry board and make a well in the center.

Break eggs into well and beat lightly with a fork.

Add granulated sugar, lemon zest, butter and wine.

Mix thoroughly with eggs.

Using your hands, gradually add flour starting from inside of well and work into a ball.

Place flour, eggs, sugar, lemon zest and butter in food processor with a metal blade.

Process until ingredients are blended.

Add wine and process until dough forms a ball.

Wrap dough in waxed paper and refrigerate 1 hour.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough 1/8 inch thick.

Using a 3-inch round scalloped pastry cutter or a glass, cut dough into circles.

Put 1 heaping teaspoon jam into each circle of dough.

Fold each circle in half and press edges firmly.

Pour olive oil 2 inches deep in a large saucepan or deep-fryer.

Heat olive oil to 375°F (190°C) or until a 1-inch cube of bread turns golden brown almost immediately.

Using a slotted spoon, lower tortelli a few at a time into hot oil.

Turn tortelli.

When golden brown on both sides, remove from oil with slotted spoon.

Drain on paper towels.

Arrange drained tortelli on a platter and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Serve hot. Makes 8 to 10 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:

Crisis Forces Horsemeat and Pig's Lungs on the Dinner Table

Rome - February 28, 2012 - Italians hit by the economic crisis are turning to traditional recipes including Ribollita, a Tuscan bean soup made with stale bread.

Italians facing a long, hard winter with less money to spend in the supermarket thanks to the economic crisis are being encouraged to rediscover the cheap, traditional recipes of their ancestors.

Soups made with old bread and even pig's lungs are unlikely to appear on the menu of Michelin-starred Italian restaurants in London, New York or Rome, but they are being touted as the nation's real cooking, made at a fraction of the price of many modern dishes.

"Old recipes are a richness that Italy boasts, that were perfected during periods of poverty and are a way to come through the crisis eating well," said Carlo Petrini, the head of the slow food movement, which campaigns for traditional, sustainable foods.

Petrini said the secret of Italy's low cost, old-style cuisine was the use of leftovers, from Tuscany's Ribollita vegetable soup, made with stale bread, to "le Virtu" (the virtues), a soup made in the town of Teramo with every winter vegetable left in the cupboard.

"Nothing got wasted and the name of the soup is no coincidence. Young women once had to know how to make it before they got married," said Petrini. "Today food is a commodity. It needs its value back and to achieve that you cannot throw it away. Thanks to the crisis the young are rediscovering this and luckily their parents and grandparents are still around to teach them."

In a roundup of nearly forgotten dishes, a national paper listed "Sbira" soup, a Genovese speciality made with tripe, mushrooms, lard, bread, pine nuts and meat sauce that was favored by policemen and prison guards and served as the traditional last meal to prisoners sentenced to death.

Any talk of cutting out waste in Italian cooking inevitably revolves around making better use of the lesser known parts of animals including offal, which was a peasant staple for centuries, notably in Rome where prime cuts were reserved for the rich, leaving tripe as the city's signature dish.

Arneo Nizzoli, 76, who runs a renowned restaurant in northern Italy near Mantua, said busloads of cookery students were now showing up to eat his maialata meals, where he uses as much of the pig as possible, from pig's lung soup to cotechino, a type of sausage, made with tongue, to pig's lard set with garlic, parsley and onion and spread over browned slices of polenta.

"In this cold weather the TV is telling people to eat vegetables and fruit to resist. What is that about? What about lard?" he said.

Pig's noses, cheek and feet, which all find use in Nizzoli's kitchen, cost half a euro a kilo, compared with over 20 Euros (26 USD) for cured pig's ham or prosciutto.

"Sometimes I feel like a culinary archaeologist, but doing it my way means spending less and raising fewer pigs," he said. "These dishes take hours to cook, but if people are out of work they may have that time."

Horsemeat was once fed to children as a key source of iron by Italian mothers but young customers were now reluctant to try his horse stew, which is slow cooked for hours, said Nizzoli. "Horses were traditionally eaten here when they died but kids today just aren't interested," he said.

We have to admit that most traditional Italian dishes are outstanding and delicious. Although they are quite inexpensive to prepare, they do come with a hefty moral price.

Nonna: "You see what happens? Eh?"
Nonno: "You see what happens when your generation gets greedy and ruins the world? Eh?"
Nonno and Nonna: "Porca miseria, you all come back to us for help! All of you! ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION TO US?!"

(The reprimanding, loud and incoherent. Just like WWII Japanese pilots going down with the plane.)

Nonna: "During the war, I created and sowed together all the clothing for your Nonno, myself and my children! All of you embarrass us with your designer clothes!"

(After that war, this was a woman who was coming out of the beauty parlor with cotton candy hair. They're supposed to start out with blonde but she came home with puffed-up orange.
"Porca Eva, Nonna! Who are you supposed to be this week?")

Nonna: "Oh, and look at your Nonno. He always got food on the table during the war!"

(Our Nonno was a butcher and was considered the supreme highlight of the family. And that food on the table was the scraps he was stealing from the shop.)

"Mamma mia", it's amazing how an interesting story on Italian food can quickly turn into an issue of hatred and hypocrisy.

By the way, horsemeat makes the best "braciole".

You take the meat, add a lot of garlic and basil, roll it with thread and you put in some nice tomatoes.
You can eat it all the time and look fabulous. You'll never get another pimple to pop.

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