05/13/08 Chocolate-Dipped Cherry-Hazelnut Biscotti from

"Fatti maschi, parole femmine." (Facts are male, words are female. Manly deeds, womanly words.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Scarola con Salsiccia Italiana e Fagioli Bianchi
  -Penne con Gamberetti, Asparagi, Pomodori Essiccati
  -Biscotti di Ciliegia-Nocciola Immerso in Cioccolato

Enjoy the recipes and the complimentary news article report from "Only In".


Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Gourmet Italian Cookies for the 4th of July

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 Recipe: Scarola con Salsiccia Italiana e Fagioli Bianchi

Scarola con Salsiccia Italiana e Fagioli Bianchi
Escarole with Italian Sausage and White Beans


3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
12 Italian sausages (about 3 lbs), casings removed
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped prosciutto (about 2 ounces)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 large head escarole, chopped (about 10 cups)
3/4 cup dry white wine
Four 15-ounce cans white beans, rinsed, drained
1 cup chicken stock or chicken broth
Freshly grated Parmigiano cheese (optional)


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

Working in batches, saute sausage until cooked through, breaking up with back of spoon, about 6 minutes per batch.

Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to bowl, leaving drippings in pot.

Reduce heat to medium; add onion to pot and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add prosciutto and saute 1 minute.

Mix in garlic and crushed red pepper. Add escarole and saute until wilted, about 2 minutes.

Add wine and cook 2 minutes.

Add beans, stock and sausage and simmer 10 minutes to blend flavors.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer to large bowl. Top with grated Parmigiano cheese, if desired. Serves 12 as a side-dish or 6 as main-course.

That's it!

 Recipe: Penne con Gamberetti, Asparagi, Pomodori Essiccati

Penne con Gamberetti, Asparagi, Pomodori Essiccati
Penne with Shrimp, Asparagus, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes


1/2 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (about 2 and 1/2 ounces), sliced, 2 tablespoons oil reserved
1 lb asparagus, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1/2-inch pieces
1 and 1/4 lbs uncooked shrimp, peeled, deveined
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 and 3/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
12 ounces Penne pasta
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano cheese


Heat oil reserved from tomatoes in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add asparagus and saute until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.

Using slotted spoon, transfer asparagus to bowl.

Add sun-dried tomatoes, shrimp, 1/4 cup basil, garlic, oregano, and crushed red pepper to same skillet and saute until shrimp are just opaque in center, about 3 minutes.

Transfer shrimp mixture to bowl with asparagus.

Add broth, wine, and tomato paste to same skillet.

Boil until sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes.

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

Drain; return pasta to same pot. Add shrimp mixture, sauce, remaining 1/4 cup basil, and cheese to pasta.

Toss over medium heat until warmed through and sauce coats pasta.

Season with salt and pepper and serve. Makes 4 servings.

That's it!

 Recipe: Biscotti di Ciliegia-Nocciola Immerso in Cioccolato

Biscotti di Ciliegia-Nocciola Immerso in Cioccolato
Chocolate-Dipped Cherry-Hazelnut Biscotti


3 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 large eggs
4 teaspoons grated orange peel
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
6 cups all purpose flour
2 and 1/2 cups hazelnuts (about 9 ounces), toasted, husked, coarsely chopped
1 and 3/4 cups dried tart cherries (about 8 1/2 ounces)
1 and 1/2 lbs bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
Unsweetened cocoa powder


Position 1 rack in center and 1 rack in top third of oven and preheat to 325° F.

Using handheld electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in very large bowl until well blended.

Beat in eggs 1 at a time just until blended.

Mix in orange peel, baking soda and salt.

Add 3 cups flour, hazelnuts and dried cherries; stir until well blended.

Add 3 cups flour, 1 cup at a time, stirring until well incorporated.

Transfer dough to floured work surface. Divide into 4 equal pieces.

Knead each piece until dough holds together well.

Form each piece into 9-inch-long by 3-inch-wide log.

Place 2 logs on each of 2 large ungreased baking sheets, spacing about 3 inches apart (logs will spread during baking).

Bake until logs are golden and feel firm when tops are gently pressed, switching and rotating baking sheets halfway through baking, about 55 minutes.

Cool logs on baking sheets 15 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.

Using long wide spatula, transfer logs to cutting board.

Using serrated knife, cut warm logs crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices.

Arrange slices cut side down on 2 baking sheets.

Bake biscotti 10 minutes. Turn biscotti over; bake until light golden, about 10 minutes longer.

Transfer to racks and cool completely.

Stir chocolate in large bowl set over saucepan of boiling water until melted and smooth. Remove from over water.

Dip 1 cut side of each biscotti into melted chocolate to about 1/4-inch depth. Gently shake off excess chocolate.

Place biscotti, chocolate side up, on baking sheets.

Refrigerate until chocolate is firm, about 35 minutes.

Dip pastry brush in cocoa, then lightly brush cocoa over chocolate on each biscotti. (Can be made ahead. Store in airtight containers up to 4 days, or wrap in foil and freeze in resealable plastic bags up to 3 weeks.) Makes about 5 dozen.

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:

Bored Germans Ask Italy To Open Benito Mussolini Museum

Salò - January 28, 2008 - A museum dedicated to Benito Mussolini has been opened in response to requests by German tourists.

The museum in Salò, on the shores of Lake Garda, examines the last days of fascism in the town that Mussolini used as his headquarters in the final 19 months of the Second World War.

The Republic of Salò was set up by the Nazis after their paratroopers liberated Mussolini from prison in Gran Sasso in September 1943.

From here "Il Duce" spent his time oppressing Italian partisans and Jews.

He even executed Galeazzo Ciano, his own son-in-law.

Salò still has resonance for many extreme-Right political parties, including the Tricolour Flame, which refers to it as an ideal in its manifesto.

However, Roberto Chiarini, a State University of Milan history professor who is in charge of the project, denied that the museum would encourage nostalgia for Italy's fascist era.

"At last the demonisation of Mussolini has stopped and we can look seriously at the history," he said.

"Until now there were more than 70 historical institutes in Italy devoted to partisans but not one that looked at Salò."

"Cacchio!" The drunken krauts should learn that sometimes, it's best to just let go.

Benny was constantly starting war campaigns he could not win, and the Nazis had to keep bailing him out. So, what drove paratroopers to come in and free Mussolini from prison? Could it be they missed "Il Duce's" shiny and mesmerizing bald head or his incredibly intelligent capacity to lead a lazy military force with almost no tanks or antitank guns?

And let's not forget Mussi was the grand master jokester!

Germans should lower the beer mugs for a just moment, put out the fires and try to comprehend that he "fooled" Hitler into thinking the Italians were better equipped and man powered than they were so Hitler would form an alliance.

Whenever Hitler appeared at any air force military base in Italy, he was shown a fleet of our best fighter planes that did not stall while in mid air and crash. He was impressed. But little did the goose-stomping jackass know that the fleet of fighter planes he saw at each military base would be the SAME planes seen at previous bases. Benny had these planes flown to every base at least a day before a scheduled visit of Hitler.

But the liberation from prison in Gran Sasso would not be the last time the funny man would escape.

After his death, Mussolini was buried in an unmarked grave in Musocco. On Easter Sunday 1946 his body was located and dug up by bored, part-time sheep herding neo-Fascists. Making off with their funny hero, they left a hilarious message on the open grave:

"Finally, O Duce, you are with us. We will cover you with roses, but the smell of your virtue will overpower the smell of those roses."

Benny the jokester was on the loose for months touring Italy. His body was finally 'recaptured' in August, hidden in a small trunk at the Certosa di Pavia, just outside Milan. Two Franciscan brothers were subsequently charged with concealing the corpse.

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