06/02/09 Semolina Pudding from

"Chi trova un amico, trova un tesoro." (He who finds a friend finds a treasure.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Celery in Bechamel Sauce
  -Carp with Olives
  -Semolina Pudding

Hope your summer plans are coming along fine. Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci e a presto!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

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 Recipe: Celery in Bechamel Sauce

Celery in Bechamel Sauce
Sedano alla Besciamella


1 oz (25 grams) butter, plus extra for greasing
3 heads of white celery, trimmed
1 and 1/2 oz (40 grams) Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated

For the Bechamel Sauce:
2 oz (50 grams) oz butter
2 oz (50 grams) plain flour
18 fl oz (500 ml) milk
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
Salt and pepper


Prepare the Bechamel Sauce:
Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat.

Whisk in the flour.

Pour in all the milk, whisking constantly until it starts to boil.

Season with salt, lower the heat, cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for at least 20 minutes. Bechamel sauce should not taste floury.

Remove the saucepan from the heat.

Taste and add more salt if necessary and season with pepper and/or nutmeg.

If the sauce is too thick, add a little more milk.

If too runny, return to the heat and add a knob of butter mixed with an equal quantity of plain flour.

Note: For a richer bechamel sauce, replace half the milk with the same amount of double cream; for a lighter bechamel sauce, add half milk and half water.

Prepare the Celery:
Preheat the oven to 200C (400F) Gas Mark 6.

Grease an ovenproof dish with butter.

Halve the celery stalks lengthways and cook in salted, boiling water for 10 minutes, then drain and place in the prepared dish.

Spoon the bechamel sauce over them, dot with the butter and sprinkle with the Parmigiano cheese.

Bake for about 15 minutes until golden and bubbling. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Carp with Olives

Carp with Olives
Carpa alle Olive


Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprig, chopped
4 carp, cleaned and soaked
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
12 green olives, stoned and chopped
Salt and pepper


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

Brush an ovenproof dish with olive oil.

Mix together the garlic and parsley in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and stuff the cavities of the carp with the mixture.

Place the carp in the prepared dish, pour 1 tablespoon of the vinegar over each fish and sprinkle with the olives.

Bake for about 40 minutes.

Transfer the carp to a warm serving dish and spoon the cooking juices over them. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Semolina Pudding

Semolina Pudding
Budino di Semolino


2 oz (50 grams) sultanas
1 oz (25 grams) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
Breadcrumbs, for sprinkling
l and 1/4 pints (750 ml) milk
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) caster or superfine sugar
5 oz (150 grams) fine semolina
Grated rind of 1 lemon
4 eggs, lightly beaten


Put the sultanas in a bowl, add warm water to cover and leave to soak for 15 minutes, then drain and squeeze out.

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

Grease a mould with butter and sprinkle with breadcrumbs to coat.

Pour the milk into a saucepan, add 4 fl oz (120 ml) water and the sugar and bring to the boil.

Sprinkle in the semolina, add a pinch of salt and simmer, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter, sultanas, lemon rind and eggs.

Pour the mixture into the prepared mould and bake for 40 minutes. Serves 6.

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:

Italians Sick of Driving And Not Buying New Cars

Rome - February 5, 2009 - Hopes that upcoming government incentives will jump start the automobile market in Italy were slightly diminished Thursday by a poll which found that 56.5% of Italians are driving less and 75% have no intention of changing cars. On the bright side, the report found 82.2% of Italians considered owning a car as something indispensable and only 1.5% have given up owning one because of the economic situation.

Among the Italians who are driving less, 85.3% said this was in order to save money on fuel and maintenance, while 13.2% claimed it was for the environment.

Out of the 25% of Italians ready to buy a new car only 19.7% said they would opt for a more economic one, while 50.9% said they would stay in the same price range as their previous vehicle, 26.1% were ready to spend a little more and 3.4% said money would be no object.

The incentives the government is expected to adopt to boost car sales include a 1,000-euro subsidy for a 'greener' (Euro 4 or 5) car in place of a more polluting (Euro 0-2) vehicle.

New car buyers would also be exempted from road tax for three years and a current 1,500-euro government contribution for changing to cars powered by gas, electricity or hydrogen would rise to 2,000 euros.

"Faccia di culo", 70 euros (90 USD) to fill up a tank?! I'll buy a fuel efficient mule instead.

People who say Italians do not know how to drive are measuring us by the wrong scale. We have a very controlled recklessness to our driving and we now do what is necessary to save money on gas and maintenance.

Rules of the Italian Road:

"Look at this testa di minchia kissing my bumper!" Italians drivers are much more comfortable driving much closer than is typical in America. 'A centimeter is as good as a kilometer,' is a motto we love and we couldn't care less of getting that close. If you know to expect this and do not panic by slowing down, or worse, touching your brakes, you will be fine. After all, this reduces air resistance and increases mileage.

"These cornuti keep cutting me off!" When driving in Italy, your responsibility is to those in front of you and those to your side. Rear-view mirrors are solely used for checking our good looks. If there is an opening in front of you, it is your obligation to fill it, or we will fill it for you. After all, the more we cut off the faster we arrive to our destination and the more money saved on gas.

"Look! Stop signs and traffic lights are useless to these coglioni!" Time and mileage are of the essence for the Italian driver. We do not have money for brake maintenance nor the patience and will to downshift gears. Besides, it is irresponsible to go through an uncontrolled, blind intersection quickly without at least a look or a small toot on the horn.

"There is no place to park, cazzo!" You would be quite surprised at how difficult it is to find parking in downtown Italy. The sidewalk parking space is savored and rarely abandoned. After all, it helps to avoid wasting gas driving around the neighborhood for 30 minutes in search of unoccupied sidewalk space.

"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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 Adriana's Homemade Italian Gourmet Cookies; Italian gourmet almond, fig, pistachio and sesame cookies baked and shipped from our bakery in Italy to you; all natural, fresh, and baked to order. Great Italian recipes!

 Italian humor and news; visit and subscribe today and feed your sense of intellectual superiority by reading and wondering how Italy still survives after 56 governments in 50 years!
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