06/05/07 Apricot and Cherry Crostata from

"Meglio essere invidiati che compiatiti." (Better to be envied than pitied.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Risotto with Vegetables
  -Fresh Fruit with Mascarpone and White Chocolate
  -Apricot and Cherry Crostata

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

Enjoy the issue!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Gourmet cookies for the 4th of July

Complete your 4th of July outdoor celebrations with a platter of our scrumptious almond, fig, pistachio and amarena gourmet cookies. It's sure to please your family and friends!

If you would like to order for the 4th of July, please keep in mind the following deadline:
All orders must be placed by Saturday, June 23, at midnight EST.

Click here to order!

 Recipe: Risotto with Vegetables

Risotto with Vegetables
Risotto con Verdura


1 lb (450 grams) rice for risotto (arborio)
7 oz (200 grams) fresh asparagus, sliced
2 zucchini (courgettes), cubed
7 oz (200 grams) fresh beans, shelled
7 oz (200 grams) fresh peas, shelled
14 oz (400 grams) fresh ripe tomatoes
1 onion, finely chopped
4 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
6 and 1/4 cups or 50 fluid oz vegetable stock
2 oz (55 grams) unsalted butter
Salt and pepper
Freshly grated Parmigiano cheese, if you like


Boil tomatoes for 1 minutes for easy peeling. Remove seeds and cube them.

Prepare all the other vegetables:
Lightly fry the onion with butter in a saucepan and then add beans, peas, courgettes (zucchini), asparagus and diced tomatoes. Flavor all these vegetables for some minutes and then pour a glass of warm water into the mixture ; season to taste with salt and pepper (if you like) and cook, half-covered, over a medium flame, for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare vegetable stock and add it together with rice to vegetables. Cook for an additional 15 minutes, half-covered, stirring now and then with a wooden spoon. Add additional stock only if necessary.

While rice is cooking, clean, wash and chop parsley. Sprinkle over risotto a minute before the end of cooking; stir very well and let cooking juice evaporate.

Serve hot with grated Parmigiano cheese. Serves 6.

 Recipe: Fresh Fruit with Mascarpone and White Chocolate

Fresh Fruit with Mascarpone and White Chocolate
Frutta Fresca con Mascarpone e Cioccolato Bianco


6 ounces white chocolate
1 cup whipping cream
1 8-ounce mascarpone cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Obtain fresh fruit, like strawberries, cherries, peaches, and nectarines.

Melt 6 ounces of chopped white chocolate with 1/2 cup whipping cream in a medium metal bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Remove the bowl from water and let the chocolate cool to room temperature.

In another medium bowl, whisk 1/2 cup whipping cream, one 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until blended and smooth. Fold melted chocolate into mascarpone.

Serve the dip with fresh fruit; strawberries and cherries are terrific with it, but peach and nectarine slices would also be fantastic.

That's it!

 Recipe: Apricot and Cherry Crostata

Apricot and Cherry Crostata
Crostata di Albicocca e Ciliegia


For the crust:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons (about) ice water

For the filling:
7 large apricots (about 15 ounces)
1 cup halved pitted cherries (from about 10 ounces cherries)
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup apricot preserves


Prepare the crust:
Blend flour, sugar and salt in food processor. Add butter; cut in using on/off turns until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Blend in water by tablespoonfuls until moist clumps form. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic; chill for 30 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.)

Roll out dough between 2 sheets of plastic to 11-inch round. Remove top sheet of plastic from dough and invert dough onto 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Remove second sheet of plastic. Press dough onto bottom and up sides of pan. Fold excess dough in, forming double-thick sides. Pierce dough all over with fork. Freeze for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375° F. Bake crust until set but still pale, piercing with fork if crust bubbles, about 25 minutes. Cool on rack. Maintain oven temperature.

Prepare the filling:
Blanch apricots in pot of boiling water for 1 minute. Transfer to bowl of ice water to cool. Drain. Peel, halve and pit apricots. Cut each apricot half into 3 wedges. Arrange, rounded side down, in crust. Arrange cherries over and around apricots. Sprinkle sugar over.

Bake tart until apricots are tender, about 50 minutes. Transfer to rack.

Stir apricot preserves in heavy small saucepan over low heat until melted. Strain.

Brush strained preserves over fruit in tart. Remove pan sides from tart. Place tart on platter. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.) 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:

Italian Over-30s Staying at Home and Loving It

Many Italians stay at home to maintain a standard of living assured by their parents.

ROME - January 31, 2005 - Italians growing weary of being stereotyped as overly dependent on their mothers got no help from government statistics showing more than 1/4 of Italians in their early 30's still live with their parents.

The state-run National Research Center said that between 1990 and 2000, the rate of people aged 30-34 still living at home rose from 14 percent to 27 percent.

"That's the trend, there's no doubt that it would be the same for the last few years as well," Adele Menniti, the center's official in charge of family studies, said Monday.

According to the center, sons linger on more than daughters: 36.5 percent compared to 18.1 percent. The figure appeared to perpetuate the cliché of Italian "mammoni," or sons who depend on maternal care well into adulthood.

Italians' reluctance to leave home is often explained by difficulties finding a house or a job, or of maintaining the same standard of living assured by their parents.

Now, as the trend increases, even people who have financial independence are reluctant to leave home, said Menniti. "In Italy one leaves home only when one gets married," she said.

The research also showed that 90 percent of Italians aged between 20-24 live at home, compared with 80 percent in 1990.

"Hey Mamma! What time do I eat?"

This cute and cuddly story is dedicated to all parents who work 2-3 jobs to make ends meet.

"Second place may be good enough for some Italian women, but relationships have come asunder from boyfriends who insist on bringing 'mamma' along on vacations." 'Mamma' does a better job of applying the suntan lotion, getting sand out of the swimming trunks and distracting your girlfriend while you try to pick up another.

"Many young men live at home with parents until their late 30s because it is less acceptable to live with someone and raise a family out of wedlock."

"Fact: Italy is projected to actually lose 10 percent of its population by 2050." This will be the result of breast-feeding children till the age of 30.

"For most Italian single men, inviting a girlfriend home is a dangerous affair: If the visit is not planned carefully, they run the big risk of bumping into the other woman in their lives, their mother."

"Italian relationships are not what they used to be. Both men and women have become unreliable." Recent statistics back up that argument. When asked if they "betray" their partner, 70% of men and 64% of women pleaded guilty.

"In a small village in the southern province of Salerno, local authorities promised to give parents $12,000 for every newborn." Despite the bribe, so far, only one child has come to light. And besides, there is not enough cash under the table to convince you the "terrible twos" is just a phase they'll grow out of.

"Many Italian parents discourage their children from working while at university because it may give the impression that they are needy." Parents are now working at the pizza counters, delivering groceries and bussing tables.

"Every Friday in Rome, marketing analyst Federico Rutiliano packs up his laundry and for $6 sends it by bus nearly 500 km to Bari, his hometown in southern Italy. There his mother washes and irons his Valentino shirts and on Sunday afternoon sends the package back to Rome in time for the next workweek." Any Italian named Federico who wears $150 Valentino shirts and lives in Rome should be beaten senseless every time he goes near a bus station with dirty laundry.

In conclusion, we would like to apologize if this story has offended you in any way. If it would make you feel better to pour your kids' breakfast over their heads, then please, go ahead.

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