05/02/05 Carciofi Ripeni from

"Ciao a tutti gli amanti d'Italia!" Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery.

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Carciofi Ripeni
  -Pesto Salsa
  -Pollo alla Marinara

They're fairly easy to prepare and your family will love them!

We hope you enjoy the recipes in this week's issue and the complimentary news article report from "Only In" .

Enjoy the issue!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Whole Pistachio Cookies

"Whole Pistachio" Cookies: Dedicated to pistachio lovers! A soft and chewy pistachio cookie made from whole pistachios, egg whites from the freshest farm eggs, flour, and sugar. No preservatives, additives, artificial colors, nor flavors. 900 grams (2 lbs.) Serves 4-6.

900 grams (2 lbs.) is only 17.99 Euro ($22.75-$23.25) + Shipping.

Example Order: One order to anywhere in the USA costs 17.99 Euro plus 8.50 Euro for Global Priority Mail shipping (7-8 days) for a total of 26.49 Euro ($33.50-$34.00 U.S. Dollars).

 Recipe: Carciofi Ripeni

Carciofi Ripeni
Stuffed Artichokes


1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
6 large artichokes
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons walnuts, toasted
1 16-ounce container whole-milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup dry white wine


Fill large bowl with cold water; add lemon juice. Cut off stem and top 2 inches from 1 artichoke. Using scissors, cut off pointy ends of outer artichoke leaves. Using melon baller, scoop out fuzzy choke from center of artichoke, forming opening. Place artichoke in lemon water. Repeat with remaining artichokes.

Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add artichokes and cook until artichoke hearts are tender when pierced with metal skewer, about 15 minutes. Drain. Cool to room temperature.

Coarsely chop walnuts in processor. Transfer 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts to small bowl and reserve. Add ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup olive oil, garlic, salt, white pepper, and nutmeg to walnuts in processor; process until well blended. Transfer ricotta mixture to bowl. Stir in parsley. Season to taste with additional salt and white pepper.

Using teaspoon and fingertips as aids, spoon ricotta mixture into center of each artichoke, then spoon some mixture between artichoke leaves. Pour remaining 1/4 cup olive oil into 13x9x2-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Arrange stuffed artichokes in dish. (Can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Pour 3/4 cup water and wine into bottom of dish with artichokes. Cover dish with foil and bake until artichokes are very tender and stuffing is slightly firm, about 40 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle reserved 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts over artichokes. Bake uncovered 10 minutes longer. Let stand 10 minutes and serve.

Market tip: Be sure to choose large, deep green artichokes that are heavy for their size and with firm leaves that are fairly tighly closed. Avoid artichokes with split or ragged leaves. Makes 6 servings.

That's it!

 Recipe: Pesto Salsa

Pesto Salsa
Pesto Sauce

Some say using a blender rather than a food processor results in a smoother puree. When combining pesto with pasta, Ligurians mix a small ladle of the cooking water into the pesto just before adding the noodles; this dilutes the concentrated sauce and helps it adhere to the pasta.


4 cups fresh basil leaves (from about 3 large bunches)
1/2 cup virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated pecorino Sardo or Parmigiano cheese
1 teaspoon coarse salt


Combine first 4 ingredients in blender. Blend until paste forms, stopping often to push down basil. Add both cheeses and salt; blend until smooth. Transfer to small bowl. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Top with 1/2 inch olive oil and chill.) Makes about 1 cup.

That's it!

 Recipe: Pollo alla Marinara

Pollo alla Marinara
Chicken Marinara


7 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3 shallots, peeled, chopped
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano cheese
1 cup all purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
6 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
3/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese


Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Add tomatoes, oregano, and crushed red pepper. Simmer until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Mix in basil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Blend breadcrumbs and Parmigiano cheese in small bowl. Place flour and eggs in separate shallow bowls. Coat chicken with flour, then eggs, then breadcrumb mixture, patting to adhere.

Heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil in heavy large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and sauté until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Spoon 1/4 cup sauce over each chicken breast. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Reduce heat to medium. Cover; cook until chicken is cooked through and cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Rewarm remaining sauce; serve alongside chicken. Makes 6 servings.

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:

Naples Sighs with Relief as Patron Saint's Blood Liquefies.

ROME (AFP) May 1 - Inhabitants of the southern Italian city of Naples relaxed when the blood of their patron Saint Gennaro liquefied in mid-morning, a day late, and so put off any imminent disasters.

According to the city authorities the blood, in two small vials, turned to liquid at 10:29 (0829 GMT) in the presence of a congregation of the devout and local dignitaries gathered to celebrate mass in the Treasury chapel of the cathedral where the blood is kept in a safe under the altar.

The phenomenon can happen three times a year: on September 19, the festival of San Gennaro, who was beheaded in AD 305, on the Saturday preceding the first Sunday in May, and on December 16, the anniversary of the AD 1631 eruption of Mt Vesuvius, halted, legend says, by the saint.

The Vatican does not recognize the liquefaction as a miracle, preferring to describe the event as a marvel.

Ceremonies to mark the liquefaction began Saturday with a mass in the Santa Clara basilica where the vials had been conveyed in procession through the streets of Naples with the silver and gold bust of the saint.

Two giant screens had been erected so Neapolitans could follow the ceremony which included prayers for the three Italians being held in Iraq. But after seven appeals from the cardinal archbishop conducting the service the substance remained obstinately coagulated.

Failure to liquefy is believed to foreshadow bad news and word spread throughout the city even though the prelate said that "to believe that non-liquefaction of the blood is the forerunner of bad things to come is a superstition."

He called for more prayer and said that the liquefaction could happen when the vials were taken back to their usual home in the Treasury at the cathedral.

The first time the phenomenon was observed was in 1389. It did not happen at all in 1976 but has occurred every year since though on nine occasions since 1981 it has been late to happen.

"E' un miracolo!" Hmmm...Is it really a miracle?

Naples is officially the most dangerous, corrupt and impoverished major city in Italy. Those Neapolitans go through hell almost every day! Mafia, corruption, baby gang crimes, stupidity, incomprehensible dialects, body odor and bad music.

This may be hard to believe but couldn't it be that the liquefaction is having an opposite effect on the city? Every time that blood liquefies, everyone rejoices the miracle and run to take cover!

That blood should stop liquefying for at least a couple of years to give time for Mt Vesuvius to erupt again and clean up the city.

"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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