05/24/11 Caramel Espresso Float

"Amico di tutti e di nessuno e tutt'uno." (A friend to all and a friend to none is one and the same.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Potato Gnocchi with Lamb Ragu
  -Braised Chicken with Peppers and Tomatoes
  -Caramel Espresso Float

Ciao! Thanks again for finding the time to read your recipe newsletter! Enjoy this week's recipes in good health and happiness!

Arrivederci e grazie!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

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 Recipe: Potato Gnocchi with Lamb Ragu

Potato Gnocchi with Lamb Ragu
Gnocchi di Patate con Ragu di Agnello


For the Ragł:
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled
One 6-inch long fresh rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
2 lbs lamb stew meat, fat trimmed, meat cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 lb plum tomatoes, cored, coarsely chopped
1 cup (or more) water
1 teaspoon salt

For the Gnocchi:
1 and 1/2 lbs small white-skinned potatoes, unpeeled
2 and 1/4 cups (or more) all purpose flour, divided
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon (scant) ground nutmeg
1 large egg, beaten to blend
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter


Prepare the Ragł:
Heat olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat.

Add garlic, rosemary, and bay leaf; saute until garlic is golden, about 1 minute.

Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper.

Add lamb to pot; saute until browned, about 8 minutes.

Add wine; scrape up browned bits.

Stir in tomatoes, 1 cup water, and 1 teaspoon salt; bring to simmer.

Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until lamb is tender, adding more water if needed for saucy consistency, about 1 and 1/2 hours.

Discard garlic.

Season with more salt and pepper, if desired.

Prepare the Gnocchi:
Cook potatoes in large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, about 20 minutes.


Peel potatoes while still warm; press through food mill or potato ricer into large bowl.

Place 1 and 1/2 cups flour in mound on work surface; mix in 3/4 teaspoon salt and nutmeg.

Spoon potatoes atop flour mixture.

Sprinkle with 3/4 cup additional flour; mix flour and potatoes together lightly.

Pour egg atop potato-flour mixture.

Knead lightly until dough is almost smooth, adding more flour by tablespoonfuls if dough is sticky, about 5 minutes (do not overwork dough).

Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; sprinkle with flour.

Divide dough into 4 pieces.

Roll each piece on floured surface into 3/4-inch diameter rope; cut crosswise into 3/4-inch pieces.

Working with 1 piece at a time, roll gnocchi along back of fork tines, making ridges on 1 side.

Press thumb on other side, making hollow.

Place on prepared sheet. (Ragł and gnocchi can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover separately and chill. Rewarm ragł before using.)

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat; remove from heat.

Bring large pot of salted water to boil.

Add half of gnocchi; cook until gnocchi are tender and rise to surface, about 5 minutes.

Using slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi to melted butter; toss to coat.

Repeat with remaining gnocchi.

Heat gnocchi in skillet over medium-high heat, tossing until heated through.

Season with salt and pepper.

Divide gnocchi among plates.

Top with hot ragł and serve. Makes 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Braised Chicken with Peppers and Tomatoes

Braised Chicken with Peppers and Tomatoes
Brasato di Pollo con Peperoni e Pomodori


4 tablespoons (about) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 and 1/4 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs (about 12)

1 large onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley
2 bell peppers, cut into 1-inch squares
6 whole tomatoes from 28-ounce can, drained, chopped
1 cup dry white wine


Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.

Working in batches, cook chicken until golden brown, about 4 minutes total, adding more olive oil as needed.

Transfer to platter (reserve skillet).

Add onion, garlic, and parsley to same skillet; saute until onion is soft, scraping up browned bits, about 4 minutes.

Add peppers, tomatoes, and wine; return chicken to skillet.

Cover; simmer over medium-low heat 30 minutes.

Uncover; cook until chicken is tender and sauce is reduced, about 15 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper. Serves 6.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Caramel Espresso Float

Caramel Espresso Float


6 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 cups water
1/4 cup instant-espresso powder
2 cups ice cubes
1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
3 tablespoons confectioners sugar
4 generous scoops premium vanilla ice cream (from 1 pint)
2 tablespoons chopped nuts, such as almonds or hazelnuts , toasted
3 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate shavings (made with a vegetable peeler; from a 3-oz bar)


Cook granulated sugar in a dry 2 to 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, undisturbed, until it begins to melt.

Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until sugar melts into a deep golden caramel.

Remove from heat and carefully add 1 cup water (caramel will harden and steam vigorously).

Cook over high heat, stirring, until caramel is dissolved, then remove pan from heat.

Add espresso powder and stir until dissolved.

Add remaining cup water and ice cubes and stir until espresso is cold.

Discard any unmelted ice cubes.

Beat cream with confectioners sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds soft peaks.

Divide ice cream among 4 (8-ounce) glasses, then pour 1/2 cup espresso over each serving and top with whipped cream, nuts, and chocolate. Makes 4 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:

Pope: "Clean Out All the Trash...Not Only From The Streets

Vatican City - November 3, 2010 - Pope Benedict XVI took the Naples garbage crisis as his cue for a Wednesday general audience sermon where he urged faithful to "clean out the trash from our consciences and souls".

"We need to let Jesus into our consciences so they are illuminated and cleaned," said the pontiff.

"Trash is not just in the streets...only the power and light of the Lord signals the right path".

"Let us be illuminated and cleaned in order to learn the true life".

We couldn't agree more. In many parts of Southern Italy, a child’s first confession is now celebrated. Parents film the little weenie as he walks to the confessional to clean out the trash from his conscience and have a feast afterwards to celebrate his acquittal. All that’s missing is his standing on a table and reciting the confessed sins to the invited guests.

Dear Lord,

Help me to consider the feelings of Napolitani, even if most of them are full of crap and immobile from liquor.
Help me to take things more seriously, especially when I witness Sicilians with nothing fighting over nothing.
Give me patience when my Uncle Vincenzo talks about his bad childhood and why, during World War II, he had to pick bugs off my father just to eat.
Help me to take responsibility for the consequences of my actions, even though they're usually the fault of the "figli di puttana" who are governing in Rome.
Keep me open to free speech, even though I would gladly give up it up just to prevent Sicilians from expressing their pearls of wisdom.
Give me patience, even when the employees at my local post office pace themselves like slugs.

Grazie, Lord.

"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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