06/01/10 Chocolate and Eggplant Cake

"Chi s'aiuta, Dio l'aiuta." (God helps those who help themselves.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Crostini With Peppers and Onions in Agrodolce
  -Warm Cuttlefish and Asparagus Salad
  -Chocolate and Eggplant Cake

"L'appetito vien mangiando!" (Appetite comes while you're eating!) Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci e a presto!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Italian cookies for Father's Day

Father's Day is on it's way so finish off his special feast with a cookie gift of great Italian and Sicilian taste. It's sure to please! Fresh Italian almond, fig and pistachio cookies that are shipped worldwide. Thank him for all he's done. Thank him for all he still does.

If you would like to order for Father's Day (June 20) please keep in mind the following deadline:
All orders must be placed by Wednesday, June 9, at noon EST.

Click here to order!

 Recipe: Crostini With Peppers and Onions in Agrodolce

Crostini With Peppers and Onions in Agrodolce
Crostini Con Peperoni e Cipolle Al Agrodolce


2 red peppers, seeded
2 yellow peppers, seeded
2 red onions
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling and brushing
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
6 by 1/2-inch (1-cm) thick bread slices
Salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 350F (180C) Gas Mark 4.

Cut all the peppers into eight strips and cut both onions into eight wedges.

Spread them out in a roasting tin, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss well to coat.

Bake for about 20 minutes until softened.

Remove the tin from the oven, add the balsamic vinegar, mix well and leave to cool to room temperature.

Preheat the grill.

Cut each slice of bread into three or four pieces, brush with olive oil and toast on both sides.

Top the crostini with the vegetables and serve. Serves 6.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Warm Cuttlefish and Asparagus Salad

Warm Cuttlefish and Asparagus Salad
Insalata Tiepida Di Seppie Con Asparagi


11 oz (300 grams) green asparagus, spears cut into 2-inch (5-cm) lengths
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 lb and 2 oz (500 grams) medium cuttlefish, cleaned and cut into thin strips
1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
Salt and pepper


Halve the pieces of asparagus lengthways, then parboil in salted water for about 5 minutes.

Drain and refresh under cold, running water.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the cuttlefish and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned.

Season with salt and pepper, add the parsley, garlic, coriander and asparagus and mix well.

Remove the pan from the heat, transfer to a serving dish and serve warm. Serves 6.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Chocolate and Eggplant Cake

Chocolate and Eggplant Cake
Torta di Melanzane al Cioccolato


1 large or two medium eggplants
2 oz (50 grams) plain white or Italian type 00 flour, for dusting
3 free range eggs, beaten
2-4 tablespoons (30-60ml) extra virgin olive oil
14 oz (400 grams) dark chocolate with 70 per cent cocoa solids
1 oz (25 grams) unsalted butter
4 tbs (60 ml) cherry conserve or jam
Icing sugar (infused with a vanilla pod), for sprinkling


Grease and line a 8 inch (20 cm) loose-bottomed cake tin.

Thinly slice the eggplants.

Sprinkle with salt, put in a bowl, cover and weigh down.

Leave for 30 minutes.

Rinse the eggplant slices and pat dry.

Dust in the flour and then dip into the beaten eggs.

Heat a frying pan and add the olive oil.

When the olive oil is hot, add the eggplant slices, about 6 slices at a time, and fry for 2-3 minutes, turning once, until golden.

Drain on kitchen paper.

Melt the chocolate and butter together.

Place a layer of eggplant in the bottom of the prepared tin.

Spread over some of the chocolate mixture and then some cherry conserve.

Continue layering, ending with a chocolate layer.

Leave in a cool place, but not in the fridge, until the chocolate has set.

To serve, sprinkle with sifted icing sugar. Seves 8 to 10.

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 'Narco Prince' Escapes From Clinic...Again

Reggio Calabria - April 8, 2010 - An 'Ndrangheta boss dubbed the 'Narco Prince' for running the Calabrian mafia's huge cocaine traffic with Colombia has escaped while receiving medical treatment for the second time in 11 years.

Roberto Pannunzi, 64, was in a Rome clinic after receiving temporary release on a 16-year trafficking sentence to be treated for a heart condition.

Although he had been under Italy's toughest prison regime while in jail, he was not under guard in the clinic.

His disappearance was discovered during a routine check three weeks ago, a local news agency reported.

Pannunzi first escaped while receiving treatment in 1999 but was caught in Madrid in 2004.

Italian police say he was the most important drug chief in 'Ndrangheta, whose control of the European cocaine trade has helped them overtake Cosa Nostra as Italy's richest mafia.

When he was first arrested in Medellin in 1994, Pannunzi offered agents a million dollars in cash to let him go.

"Oh, porca di quella vacca, again?!" We wonder if the police had the chance to give him a bouquet of flowers and 'get well soon' card before he sashayed out the front door.

We know what your thoughts are and we'll try to illustrate to you what went wrong (just as soon as you finish laughing)...

1.) How does a top drug chief whose organization now controls the European cocaine trade get a 16 year sentence? (Most countries would give you a 16 year sentence for armed robbery in an egg farm while holding several chickens hostage. Something went wrong.)

2.) Does such a dangerous criminal deserve medical treatment for a heart condition? (You can tell by his lovely photo that before being arrested twice his healthy daily diet consisted of ricotta, mozzarella, fried baccala, lasagna and homemade wine. For treatment he should have been reduced to eating raw fruits and vegetables usually found in dumpsters in the back of Chinese restaurants and washing it down with rain water. Once again, something went wrong.)

3.) Why wasn't he under guard in the clinic? (The clinic should have had an overmanned and overgunned police force present that patients would have had their bed pans checked for hidden drugs and explosives. And Roberto should have been operated while being handcuffed to the surgery table. "'Fanculo", something went wrong.)

4.) Obviously, someone was paid at the clinic to let him go. Who? (Either he left of his own will or he purchased 100,000 Euros worth of anesthesia and had the anesthesiologists gas the entire building. "PORCA DI QUELLA VACCA, SOMETHING WENT WRONG!)

"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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