04/26/11 Hamburgers with Gorgonzola and Porcini

"Chi non risica, non rosica." (Nothing ventured nothing gained.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Pasta Rustica with Smoked Mozzarella
  -Pappardelle with Bean Sauce
  -Hamburgers with Gorgonzola and Porcini

Thanks again for finding the time to read your recipe newsletter and hope your summer plans are coming along fine! I look forward to connecting further in the next couple of days. Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci e grazie!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

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 Recipe: Pasta Rustica with Smoked Mozzarella

Pasta Rustica with Smoked Mozzarella
Pasta Rustica con Mozzarella Affumicata


2 packages (about 9 ounces each) dried cheese tortellini

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
2 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup vermouth
1 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
3/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted, halved
1 and 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 lb smoked mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes


Cook tortellini in large pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente', stirring occasionally.

Drain well.

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

Add onion; increase heat to high and saute until onion is beginning to brown, about 6 minutes.

Add tomatoes; saute 3 minutes.

Stir in garlic; cook 2 minutes.

Add vermouth, then parsley, basil, olives, and oregano.

Cook 4 minutes, stirring often.

Add cooked tortellini; toss over medium heat until sauce coats pasta.

Remove from heat.

Stir in cheese.

Season pasta to taste with salt and pepper and serve. Serves 6.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Pappardelle with Bean Sauce

Pappardelle with Bean Sauce
Pappardelle con Sugo di Fagioli


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 and 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 large carrot, chopped
1 large celery stalk, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 and 3/4 cups peeled butternut squash (1/2-inch cubes, 8 ounces)
One 28-ounce can Italian-style tomatoes in juice, drained (juice reserved), tomatoes chopped
2/3 cup drained canned white beans
2/3 cup drained canned kidney beans
2/3 cup drained canned garbanzo beans
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons whipping cream

8 ounces dried pappardelle or other wide noodles
1 and 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano cheese (about 5 ounces), divided


Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat.

Add onion, carrot, celery, 2 tablespoons parsley, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and bay leaf.

Saute until vegetables begin to brown, about 8 minutes.

Add tomato paste; stir 1 minute.

Add squash; stir 1 minute.

Add chopped tomatoes and all beans; stir 1 minute.

Add wine and simmer 2 minutes.

Mix in broth, cream, and reserved tomato juice.

Simmer until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.

Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

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


Return pasta to same pot.

Add sauce; toss over medium heat until coated.

Transfer to large bowl.

Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese and 1 tablespoon parsley.

Serve, passing remaining 1 cup cheese separately. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Hamburgers with Gorgonzola and Porcini

Hamburgers with Gorgonzola and Porcini


For the Sauce:
3 tablespoons extra virgin oil
3 and 1/2 lbs meaty veal bones (such as shank knuckle bones or neck bones)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk with leaves, chopped
12 cups cold water, divided
2 teaspoons tomato paste
2 fresh parsley sprigs
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 cups dry red wine

For the Hamburgers:
2 cups water
1 and 1/2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms, broken into 1/2-inch pieces
3 pounds ground sirloin
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter
Six 4-inch square or round sourdough rolls, halved horizontally
Fresh arugula
Extra virgin olive oil
Six 1/4-inch-thick slices Gorgonzola cheese


Prepare the Sauce:
Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat.

Add veal bones and saute until deep brown on all sides, about 12 minutes.

Transfer bones to bowl.

Add onion, carrot, and celery to pot.

Saute until browned, about 6 minutes.

Add 2 cups cold water, tomato paste, herbs, and peppercorns; bring to boil, scraping up browned bits.

Add bones with any accumulated juices, then remaining 10 cups water to pot.

Bring to boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until stock is reduced to 2 and 1/2 cups, about 4 hours.

Strain into 4-cup glass measuring cup, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible.

Refrigerate stock uncovered 1 hour.

Spoon off fat from surface of stock.

Place stock in heavy medium saucepan; add wine and simmer until reduced to 1 cup demiglace, about 25 minutes.

Prepare the Hamburgers:
Bring 2 cups water and mushrooms to boil in small saucepan.

Remove from heat, cover, and let stand until mushrooms soften, about 20 minutes.

Using slotted spoon, transfer mushrooms to medium skillet.

Slowly pour soaking liquid into skillet, leaving any sediment behind.

Boil over medium-high heat until liquid is reduced to glaze, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes.

Cool mushrooms.

Transfer to work surface; chop mushrooms coarsely.

Transfer mushrooms and any juices to large bowl.

Add meat, salt, and pepper; mix gently.

Shape mixture into six 1-inch thick patties.

Place on foil-lined baking sheet.

Preheat broiler.

Rewarm demiglace over medium-low heat; add butter and whisk until melted.

Remove from heat.

Place rolls, cut side up, on baking sheet.

Broil until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes.

Remove rolls; maintain broiler setting.

Arrange roll bottoms on plates.

Top with arugula.

Heat 2 large broiler proof skillets over medium-high heat; brush with olive oil.

Add 3 burgers to each skillet.

Cook to desired doneness, about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare.

Top each burger with slice of cheese.

Broil burgers until cheese begins to melt, about 1 minute.

Place burgers on roll bottoms; spoon some demiglace over.

Cover with roll tops.

Serve, passing remaining demiglace separately. Serves 6.

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:

Italy Testing Anti-Hangover Drinks

Milan - September 16, 2010 - A Milan University lab is testing so-called anti-hangover drinks to see if they really counteract the effect of having too much to drink.

"They are no scientific studies capable of gauging the inhibitory action of these products," said a team from ESAE, a unit of Milan university.

"We aim to see if the supplements in these so-called 'energy drinks' effectively lower the level of alcohol in the blood".

ESAE said it was launching a scheme to pool its data with other European alcohol research agencies.

The study will also look at the positive effects of wine as a natural anti-oxidant slowing the ageing process, said Mara Rossoni of Milan University's Vegetable Production department.

Research leader Antonio Cesare Sparacino said he hoped the study would have "a great impact" on public policy regarding youth binge-drinking, which is becoming an increasing problem in Italy, and might encourage youngsters to return to the healthier drinking habits of their parents and grandparents.

"Finalmente", help from the Milanese for Southern Italians who start drinking half past yesterday.

"The study will also look at the positive effects of wine as a natural anti-oxidant slowing the ageing process." could slow the aging process but it doesn't mean drinking 87 glasses of wine a day is going to give Sicilian farmers a skin as smooth as a baby's bottom.

By the way, there's is no such thing as a "healthy drinking habit". And our parents and grandparents were not exactly the best examples to take seriously. Ever have a couple of glasses of Sicilian homemade wine?

"Vaffanculo, get out of my way! Your generation doesn't know a thing. That there is gold in my cantina!"
"And no, I'm not an alcoholic...but my liver feels like it weighs 21 kilos."

Will there be any help for grappa drinkers? "Porca vacca", that's strong! It’s the only liquor that will make you feel sick to your stomach while you're still in the bar. You go home and pray for daylight to come as soon as possible.

How about help for counteracting the effect of cheese? We had one Italian cousin complain that after a night of drinking and puking, he had puke go up his nose. "Cacchio", no matter how many times he washed his mouth out he still smelled like Gorgonzola cheese.

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