04/30/13 Pancetta Wrapped Artichokes

"Pazienza ?la madre delle virtu." (Patience is the mother of all virtues.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Pancetta Wrapped Artichokes
  -Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce
  -Risotto with Mushrooms, Leeks, and Truffles

"Ciao! Come andiamo?" Thanks again for your participation with us via our humble newsletter. And thanks for everything you're doing and we will continue to find recipes to be helpful in your kitchen. Please share this newsletter if you find it useful.

Arrivederci and grazie again!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

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 Recipe: Pancetta Wrapped Artichokes

Pancetta Wrapped Artichokes
Fondi di Carciofi


Two 14-oz. jars artichoke hearts
8 slices pancetta, halved crosswise
Olive oil, for frying
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese
1 tbsp ground black pepper


Pour olive oil to a depth of 2 inches in a 6 quart Dutch oven.

Heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350?F.

Place each artichoke heart on one end of a pancetta slice.

Sprinkle with some of the Parmigiano cheese and pepper, and roll up.

Secure with a toothpick.

Fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes.

Drain. Serves 6-8.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce

Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce
Spaghetti con Salsa di Marinara


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 oz pancetta, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1 tsp dried oregano
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 small yellow onions, minced
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Two 28-oz cans whole peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed
1 lb spaghetti pasta
20 basil leaves, roughly torn
Grated Parmigiano cheese, for serving


Heat olive oil and pancetta in a 12 inch skillet over medium heat.

Cook, stirring, until pancetta renders its fat, about 10 minutes.

Add oregano, garlic, onions, and salt and pepper.

Cook, stirring, until soft, about 8 minutes.

Add tomatoes.


Reduce heat to medium-low.

Cook, stirring, until sauce thickens, about 45 minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and add spaghetti.

Cook to 'al dente'.


Add to sauce with basil, and toss.

Sprinkle with Parmigiano cheese. Serves 4-6.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Risotto with Mushrooms, Leeks, and Truffles

Risotto with Mushrooms, Leeks, and Truffles
Risotto Ai Funghi, Porri, e Tartufi


For the Leeks:
2 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), halved, thinly sliced crosswise (about 2 cups)
3/4 cup whipping cream

For the Mushrooms:
1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, cut into 1/4 to 1/3-inch thick slices
1 large onion, halved, thinly sliced lengthwise
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 tablespoon white or black truffle oil
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves

For the Risotto:
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, divided
1 large onion, chopped
1 and 1/2 cups arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
5 cups (or more) hot vegetable broth
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano cheese
2 teaspoons shaved or chopped black truffle (optional)
Chopped fresh parsley


Prepare the Leeks:
Bring leeks and cream to a boil in heavy medium saucepan.

Reduce heat to medium and simmer until leeks are tender and cream is thick, stirring often, about 15 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper.

Prepare the Mushrooms:
Preheat oven to 400?F.

Toss all ingredients on rimmed baking sheet.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast until mushrooms are tender and light brown around edges, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.

Prepare the Risotto:
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat.

Add onion and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.

Add rice.

Stir 1 minute.

Add wine and stir until almost all liquid is absorbed, about 1 minute.

Add 1 cup hot broth.

Simmer until broth is almost absorbed, stirring often, about 4 minutes.

Add more broth, 1 cup at a time, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding next and stirring often, until rice is tender and mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes longer.

Stir in leek mixture, mushroom mixture, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, cheese, and truffle.

Transfer to large bowl.

Sprinkle with parsley, and serve. Makes 6-8 first-course 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:

And Another 1 Billion Euros Seized In Napolitano Mafia Raid

Naples - March 19, 2012 - Police carried out arrest warrants for 60 people, including 16 tax magistrates, and seized around one billion Euros (1.33 billion USD) in assets in an operation targeting the Fabbrocino clan of the Neapolitan mafia, the Camorra.

Prosecutors believe corruption led to dozens of tax disputes being settled against the State and frequently in favor of people linked to the Camorra.

Many of the people arrested have been detained in prison, while others have been put under house arrest, and others still have been forbidden from residing in Naples.

They are suspected of crimes including mafia association for money laundering and the corruption of legal proceedings.

The assets seized include company shares, bank accounts, properties, land and cars.

"Puttana della miseria", another great episode from "Alice in Naples Land".

And what punishment! A Napolitano knows well being forbidden from residing in Naples is much harsher than house arrest. That's like eating Chef Boyardee in a retirement home than Vermicelli with clams at the feast of San Gennaro.

And you can just imagine how the tax disputes were settled:

- "When I was audited many years ago the tax agent told me that he had never seen a Napolitano as honest, proud and precise in his affairs as me, and that I would never have to file a tax return ever again."

- "I took improper deductions on the tax returns I prepared because I was chosen as one of the organizers of the San Gennaro feast. And so, it was my sworn duty to be certain San Gennaro's blood would liquefy in public...and on cue.

- "I had post-traumatic stress syndrome from street combat service in Salerno, which led to the breakup of my social club, caused me emotional turmoil and flashbacks, and interfered with my talent to make wine."

- "After I moved from Salerno to Naples I asked someone in Naples about my Salerno income tax, and was told that the tax I owed Salerno was so small that it wasn't worth worrying about, so I just said "Si e vaffanculo!""

"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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