05/05/09 Panna Cotta with Strawberries and Balsamic Vinegar from

"Quella destinata per te, nessuno la prenderą." (No one will take the one who is destined for you. True love waits.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Arugula and Smoked Mozzarella Salad with Vinaigrette
  -Mashed Potatoes with Fontina and Italian Parsley
  -Panna Cotta with Strawberries and Balsamic Vinegar

All of us at the bakery here in Santo Stefano Quisquina sincerely hope you enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci e a presto!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Buccellati

"Italian Buccellati" A soft and chewy fig cookie with a crisp outside and tender inside. Made exclusively from our own home grown natural figs, almonds, the freshest farm eggs, milk, flour and sugar. No preservatives, additives, artificial colors, nor flavors. Serves 5-7.

900 grams (2 lbs.) is only 10.49 Euro ($14.00-$14.50) + Shipping.

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 Recipe: Arugula and Smoked Mozzarella Salad with Vinaigrette

Arugula and Smoked Mozzarella Salad with Vinaigrette
Insalata Arugula e Mozzarella Affumicata


One 12-ounce head radicchio, halved, cored, very thinly sliced
3 cups (packed) Arugula
1/2 cup thinly sliced drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 extra virgin cup olive oil
6 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
9 ounces smoked mozzarella, cut into 1/8 to 1/4-inch-thick slices


Mix radicchio, arugula, and tomatoes in large bowl.

Place lemon juice in small bowl.

Gradually whisk in olive oil.

Season dressing with salt and pepper. Add to salad; toss.

Divide among 6 plates.

Sprinkle salads with nuts. Serve with cheese. Makes 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Mashed Potatoes with Fontina and Italian Parsley

Mashed Potatoes with Fontina and Italian Parsley
Pure di Patate con Fontina e Prezzemolo


2 lbs medium-size russet potatoes
3/4 cup half and half
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1 and 1/4 cups (packed) grated Fontina cheese (about 6 ounces)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley


Preheat oven to 375°F.

Using small knife, pierce potatoes in several places.

Place potatoes on small baking sheet.

Bake until tender when pierced with skewer, about 1 hour. Cool slightly.

Bring half and half to simmer in heavy small saucepan.

Scrape potatoes from skin into large bowl.

Using ricer, food mill or potato masher, mash potatoes.

Mix in half and half.

Add butter; stir vigorously until butter melts and potatoes are smooth.

Stir in 2/3 of cheese and 3 tablespoons parsley.

Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer potatoes to 11 x 7 x 2-inch glass baking dish.

Sprinkle with remaining cheese. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.)

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Bake potatoes until heated through and cheese melts, about 15 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Panna Cotta with Strawberries and Balsamic Vinegar

Panna Cotta with Strawberries and Balsamic Vinegar
Panna Cotta con Fragole e Aceto Balsamico


For the Panna Cotta:
2 tablespoons water
1 and 1/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
2 cups whipping cream
1 and 1/4 cups plain goat's-milk or whole-milk yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar

For the Strawberries:
2 1-pint baskets strawberries, hulled, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Prepare the Panna Cotta:
Pour 2 tablespoons water into small bowl.

Sprinkle gelatin over water.

Let stand until softened, about 15 minutes.

Whisk 1 cup cream, yogurt, and vanilla in large bowl to blend.

Heat remaining 1 cup cream and 1/2 cup sugar in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves and cream comes to simmer.

Remove from heat.

Add gelatin mixture, stirring to dissolve gelatin.

Mix hot cream-gelatin mixture into yogurt mixture in bowl.

Divide mixture among six 3/4-cup ramekins, using about 1/2 cup for each.

Refrigerate desserts uncovered until cold, then cover and refrigerate overnight.

Prepare the Strawberries:
Toss strawberries, vinegar, sugar, and pepper in large bowl to combine.

Let stand 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Spoon strawberries over panna cotta and serve. 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:

Italian Police to Drive Seized Mafia Cars

Rome - December 22, 2008 - A bright yellow Ferrari and a sleek Black Porsche Cayenne SUV, together with other vehicles seized from organized crime gangs, are now part of the national police car pool, Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said on Monday.

The minister added that the luxury vehicles will be driven around those neighborhoods where the gangs once ruled "to send a message that times have changed".

Maroni joked that he had tried to get the Ferrari and Porsche assigned to him "but that idea didn't go over too well".

Hmmm...driving a Ferrari around in Mafia controlled neighborhoods is supposed to be a deterrent? Who would like to bet all the prosciutto in Parma these luxury cars will all suddenly...disappear?

"Maroni joked that he had tried to get the Ferrari and Porsche assigned to him but that idea didn't go over too well". "Cornuto", how hilarious. You would think the Interior Minister of Minestrone would able to afford one with the two government salaries he earns for a total of over 200,000 Euros (262,000 USD).

A little history: In September 2006, Maroni told Vanity Fair that he downloads music "illegally" and thinks music should be "free and accessible to all". He added that authors should still be able to stop their work from being widely distributed on the Internet.

But the top layer of cheese on the lasagna was the infamous Via Bellerio incident of 1996. Maroni was convicted of resistance against a public official (he had attempted to bite an officer on the ankle) during a police raid of his party's building in via Bellerio in Milan, and sentenced to 4 months and 20 days, when police inspected his office.

After reading such a story, we think there's a lesson in this for all of us: When negotiating with this man, wear boots.

"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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