04/15/14 Cream Of Lettuce Soup

""Life is a combination of magic and pasta." Federico Fellini Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Cream Of Lettuce Soup
  -Spaghetti with Anchovies
  -Monkfish with Lemon

"Buona sera a tutti!" Thank you for reading your new Italian recipes. Hope you're trying to get used to this strange spring season we're having. I look forward to connecting with you again in the next couple of days.

Arrivederci and grazie again!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

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 Recipe: Cream Of Lettuce Soup

Cream Of Lettuce Soup
Crema di Lattuga


For the Meat Stock:
1 and 3/4 lb (800 grams) beef (no fat), cut into cubes
1 lb 5 oz (600 grams) veal, cut into cubes
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 oz (50 grams) coarsely chopped carrots
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) leeks, trimmed and coarsely chopped
1 celery stick, coarsely chopped

For the Lettuce Soup:
3 lettuces, coarsely shredded
1 egg yolk
18 fl oz (500 ml) milk
1 oz (25 grams) butter
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 tablespoon Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated
Salt and pepper


Prepare the Meat Stock:
Place the meat in a large saucepan, add cold water to cover and bring to a boil. Cooking and gentle simmering are essential for a great meat stock.

Skim off any residue that rises to the surface and add the carrots, leeks, onion, and celery and season with salt.

Lower the heat and simmer for about 3 and 1/2 hours to 4 hours.

Remove from the heat, strain into a bowl and leave to cool.

Then chill in the refrigerator.

When the fat has solidified on the surface carefully remove and throw away.

Prepare the Lettuce Soup:
Bring the milk and 18 fl oz (500 ml) of the meat stock to a boil.

Season with salt.

Add the lettuce and cook for 5-6 minutes.

Transfer to a food processor and process to a puree.

Pour into a clean pan.

Melt the butter in another pan.

Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 3-5 minutes.

Stir into the puree.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Simmer for 15-17 minutes.

Lightly beat the egg yolk with the Parmigiano cheese in a soup tureen.

Gradually ladle in the soup, stirring constantly. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Spaghetti with Anchovies

Spaghetti with Anchovies
Spaghetti Con Acciughe


5 oz (150 grams) salted anchovies
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 garlic clove
1 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprig
12 oz (350 grams) spaghetti
Salt and pepper


To fillet the whole salted anchovies, cut off the head and tails, and press along the backbones with your thumb.

Soak in cold water for 10 minutes and then drain.

Chop the anchovies very finely with the parsley and garlic.

Place the mixture in a salad bowl and stir in the olive oil.

Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of salted, boiling water until 'al dente'.

Drain and tip into the salad bowl.

Toss well.

Season with pepper. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Monkfish with Lemon

Monkfish with Lemon
Coda di Rospo Al Limone


2 and 1/4 lbs (1 kg) monkfish
2 lemons
6 fl oz (175 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, very thinly sliced


Preheat the oven to 220?C (425?F) Gas Mark 7.

Remove and discard the membrane from the monkfish and break the backbone in a few places.

Make small slits in the flesh and insert the slivers of garlic.

Season with salt.

Place in an ovenproof dish.

Halve one of the lemons and squeeze the juice from one of the halves.

Peel the remaining lemon and lemon half, removing all traces of the pith, and slice thinly.

Cover the fish with the lemon slices.

Pour in half of the olive oil.

Place the dish in the oven.

When a large amount of the liquid has formed on the base of the dish, carefully pour it off.

Add the remaining olive oil and the lemon juice.

Lower the oven temperature to 180?C (350?F) Gas Mark 4 and bake for about 40-45 minutes.

Transfer to a warm serving dish. Serves 4.

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:

Leave the Gun...and Even the Cannoli

Venice - October 1, 2013 - A proud Italian who was so irritated with what he saw displayed in a window shop in Venice decided to take a photo and send it to the Palermo edition of Italy's largest-circulation daily newspaper; a fake Sicilian cannoli advertised as the real thing.

"It represents a damage to the entire Sicilian pastry tradition and an insult to tourists who think they are tasting one of the best products of that tradition," he wrote to the paper.

The cannoli on display in the Venice store are made with puff pastry and filled with whipped cream. A real Sicilian cannolo is made with crispy dough and filled with sweet and creamy ricotta cheese.

Cannoli are so important in the culinary tradition that they have been included in the list of "Italian traditional food products" by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies of the Italian Government.

"Disgraziati", no shame. If you're expecting a rant against those Venetians, forget it. Not in today's issue. (Give us a chance to finish dusting the office.)

"Si", we realize it's insulting to us Sicilians, but if you suggest to a Venetian that he/she shouldn't burn their bridges the typical arrogant response you'll get is, "Oh, minchia, that's ok! I have a boat right outside. Next topic!"

Those Venetians are who they are. But, "mamma mia", our Italian compatriots who emigrated to the United States are another story.

The cannoli versions with which Americans are most familiar tend to involve variations on the original concept of the Sicilian dessert. This is definitely due to the adaptations made by bored Italians who emigrated to the USA in the early 1900s...and jokingly claimed the limited availability of important ingredients.

Cannoli (warning: can only be found on the black market):
2 quarts whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup superfine sugar
Confectioner's sugar (for dusting)
and crispy tube-shaped shells

"Oh, no, no,'s not the same. Per favore, please, don't insist. It's not the same."
The bull crap sounds familiar, doesn't it?
And what's insulting is they'll say it with a straight face.

Pete (American baker): "How about a custard of sugar, milk, and cornstarch?"
Gaetano (emigrant comic): " It could work. Try the corn."
Pete: "Still doesn't taste right. We can flavor it with vanilla or orange flower water."
Gaetano: "Ah, ah, ok. Water with the flower."
Pete: "By the way, my wife had a great uncle from Salerno who came over on the boat after the war."
Gaetano: "If she says so..."

Note: If we may defend Italians for a quick moment. Italians don't lie. They just say things that, one generation later, turn out to be untrue.

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