05/04/10 Eggplant Rollatini

"Chi pecora si fa, il lupo se la mangia." (Those who make themselves sheep will be eaten by the wolf.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Stuffed Peppers With Sausage
  -Fusilli with Sausage and Mushrooms
  -Eggplant Rollatini

Bear in mind that you should conduct yourself in life as at a feast. Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci e a presto!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

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 Recipe: Stuffed Peppers With Sausage

Stuffed Peppers With Sausage
Peperoni Farciti con Salsiccia


4 medium red or green bell peppers, cleaned and cored
2 Italian sausages
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1 medium tomato, diced
1/2 cup tomato sauce or marinara
2 cups cooked brown rice
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1 tablespoon freshly chopped basil
1 teaspoon freshly chopped oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
4 slices mozzarella cheese


Preheat your oven to 400F.

Grease a baking dish and set your cleaned and cored peppers inside of it.

In a large pan over medium-high heat, brown the sausages.

Remove them from the pan and slice 1/4-inch thick on the bias.

Add the olive oil to the pan, and add the onions, garlic, and tomato.

Cook over medium-high heat for about 4-5 minutes, until the onions are tender and the tomato begins to break down.

Add the sausage back to the pan, along with the sauce, the rice, the Parmigiano cheese, and the herbs.

Stir to combine and continue to cook until heated through.

Adjust seasonings to taste with salt and pepper.

Fill the peppers with the sausage and rice mixture.

Top with the mozzarella slices.

Bake in your preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melted and peppers are slightly tender. Serves 3-4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Fusilli with Sausage and Mushrooms

Fusilli with Sausage and Mushrooms
Fusilli con Salsiccia e Funghi


1 package fusilli pasta
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
Two 8-oz cans roughly chopped Italian tomatoes, well drained (not sauce or puree)
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup dry white wine
6-8 mild Italian sausages, casings removed
1 and 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 pinch ground fennel
2 pints heavy cream
Salt and fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta till 'al dente'.

Drain, rinse with cold water to prevent further cooking, add pasta back to pot; set aside.

Over medium heat, add the olive oil, tomatoes and garlic to a large saute pan; simmer till most of the liquid has reduced, stirring often.

Add mushrooms and the wine to pan and simmer till wine has reduced to about half and mushrooms have cooked.

Add sausage and herbs, stirring often, using the back of a spoon to break up the sausage.

When sausage has thoroughly cooked and liquids are mostly reduced, add the cream, seasoning with salt and pepper per taste and stir until it reaches a simmer.

Add sauce to pasta; placing the pot back on a medium-low burner, stirring gently to incorporate sauce and ensure proper heat distribution.

Remove pasta from heat; stir in the Parmigiano cheese and serve immediately. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Eggplant Rollatini

Eggplant Rollatini
Rollatini di Melanzane


1 and 1/2 cups flour
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano cheese
2-3 medium-small eggplants (about 1.5 lbs) sliced lengthwise 1/8-inch thick
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese, drained overnight
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/4 lb thinly sliced prosciutto
1 and 1/2 cups marinara sauce
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano cheese


In one shallow dish, place 1 cup of flour.

Place two of the eggs in a second shallow dish, and beat lightly.

In a third shallow dish, place salt, and half the pepper, and the Parmigiano in a bowl with 1/2 cup of the flour and mix with a fork or a whisk until blended.

Dip the eggplant slices in the flour, then into the eggs, then into the flour and cheese mixture.

Heat olive oil in a large, deep skillet until hot but not smoking.

Place the prepared eggplant slices in the hot oil and fry for 2 minutes on each side until golden.

Remove from the skillet and place on paper-towel lined baking sheets to drain until cool enough to handle.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Place the drained ricotta cheese in a bowl and mash it with a fork.

Add the last egg, the parsley, half of the shredded mozzarella, the remaining half of the pepper, and mix well. Set aside.

To stuff the eggplant, place one slice of prosciutto on top of the eggplant.

Next, drop a heaping tablespoon of the ricotta mixture on top of the prosciutto at the wider end of the eggplant slice.

Beginning with the wider end of the eggplant, roll up, from top to bottom.

Pour 1 cup of the marinara sauce into an 8 by 12 inch baking dish.

Place the eggplant rolls side by side on top of the marinara sauce.

Pour the remaining sauce over the eggplant rolls.

Sprinkle with the 3 tablespoons of grated Parmigiano cheese and the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella.

Bake for 25 minutes or until bubbly around the edges.

Remove from the oven and let cool for 2-3 minutes before serving.

Note: To drain ricotta cheese, place it in a sieve or cheese cloth and set over a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight. Discard the whey.

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:

Mafia Hitman Tracked Down Through Facebook

Rome - March 16, 2010 - A mafia hitman's zeal for social networking proved his undoing, Italian police said Tuesday after using his Facebook account to track him down.

Pasquale Manfredi, a high-ranking member of the Nicosia-Manfredi clan of 'Ndrangheta, was nabbed in his Calabrian hideout while chatting on the social media website.

Calling himself 'Scarface', from the 1983 gangster film starring Al Pacino, Manfredi was an assiduous user and updated his profile regularly, said police. After connecting him to the account, they used it to figure out where he was connecting to the internet. Their investigation led them to an apartment in the town of Isola Capo Rizzuto near Crotone, where 'Scarface' passed the time chatting on his laptop.

Police described Manfredi as a "cold and cruel" assassin suspected of a handful of murders over the past ten years, most notably the 2004 hit on rival clan leader Carmine Arena, who was blown up with a bazooka. He is also accused of arms trafficking and extortion.

This is not the first time Italian law enforcement has used Facebook to track down criminals. Last October, police near Rome arrested a burglar who logged onto the social network during a break-in and sent messages to his friends.

5 biggest mistakes the Mafia makes on Facebook:

1. Avoid pictures: It may go without saying, but prospective mafia bosses or victims do not want to see pictures of you collecting 'insurance money' from store owners or aiming a bazooka at a rival clan member.

2. Complaining about your current job: It could be a full note about how much you hate your hideout, or how much of a nincompoop your boss is, or it could be as innocent as a status update about how your partner's gun always jams at the most inopportune moments. While everyone complains about work sometimes, doing so in a public forum where it can be found by the police, or worse, other organized criminal organizations is not the best career move.

3. Statuses you wouldn't want law enforcement to see: Everyone should know to avoid statuses like "Silvano plans to block more garbage trucks so he can get more cash for that BMW." "Who cares that I didn't dig a grave deep enough?" But you should also be aware of less flamboyant statuses like "Mamma mia, what I would do to my Godfather's daughter." "Can I bury someone in my Farmville garden, LOL?"

4. Being a loser by association: You can't control what your imbecile mafia friends post to your profile, nor what they post to their own profiles or to those of mutual mafia clans. If a victim, boss or the police sees those Friday night pictures your friend has tagged you in where he is setting fire to a warehouse, it reflects poorly on you, even if the picture of you is completely innocent.

5. Sending threats to your victims through Facebook messages: Something along the lines of "I noticed business is picking up and so, we'll be renegotiating your insurance policy" although, your name isn't mentioned in the message and the topic is something your victim is definitely NOT looking forward to. Don't do it anymore if you're one of the ones doing it - cut it out, jackass! You're not Facebook friends yet!

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