06/05/12 Linguine with Asparagus, Peas and Mushrooms

"La lingua non ha ossa ma fa rompere il dosso." (The tongue has no bone but it breaks them.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Sage Appetizer
  -Linguine with Asparagus, Peas and Mushrooms
  -Broiled Shrimp and Scallops

"Buon estate!" Thank you for finding those precious minutes out of your summer season for our bakery family. It's the season to cook a lot and slowly, and laugh out loud with friends and family. Enjoy your summer and this week's recipes!

Arrivederci and grazie again!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

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 Recipe: Sage Appetizer

Sage Appetizer
Stuzzichini Di Salvia


30 fresh sage leaves
1 oz (25 grams) fine white breadcrumbs
1 egg
Provolone cheese, diced
Extra virgin olive oil, for frying


Beat the egg with a pinch of salt in a bowl.

Add the sage leaves, making sure that they are completely immersed, and then set aside for 2 minutes.

Drain the sage leaves well and dip in the breadcrumbs to coat.

Heat plenty of olive oil in a frying pan.

Add the sage leaves and cook until golden brown.

Drain on kitchen paper and serve with the provolone cheese. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Linguine with Asparagus, Peas and Mushrooms

Linguine with Asparagus, Peas and Mushrooms
Linguine con Asparagi, Piselli e Funghi


1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed, cut in 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup shelled sweet peas
1/2 ounce dried morel mushrooms or 1/4 pound fresh morels, cleaned, sliced
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 pound linguine pasta
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper
Grated Parmigiano cheese


If using dried morels, place in a small bowl and add in boiling water.

Let them soak for 20 minutes.

Drain and gently squeeze out any extra liquid.

Cut in half lengthwise and set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Add asparagus and blanch until crispy tender and bright green without overcooking, about 1 minute.

Remove with slotted spoon and place under cold running water.

Set aside.

Add linguine to same pot and cook until 'al dente'.


Heat olive oil and melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add garlic, morels and 1 teaspoon salt.

Saute until garlic is fragrant and morels are tender, about 2 minutes.

Add cream and chicken stock.

Simmer until thickened and reduced by about half, 5-7 minutes.

Stir in peas and simmer until brightened and crisp tender, 1 minute.

Stir in the asparagus.

Add the pasta to the skillet and toss to combine.

Season with lots of freshly ground black pepper.

Serve with a generous spoonful of grated Parmigiano cheese for garnish. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Broiled Shrimp and Scallops

Broiled Shrimp and Scallops
Scampi e Capesante alla Griglia


1 pound medium shrimp
1 pound scallops
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup chopped parsley
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry unflavored bread crumbs
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Lemon wedges


Shell and devein shrimp.

Wash shrimp and scallops under cold running water.

Pat dry with paper towels.

In a large bowl, combine olive oil, parsley, garlic, bread crumbs, salt and pepper.

Add shrimp and scallops to mixture.

Mix until well coated.

Let stand 1 hour.

Preheat broiler.

Remove shrimp and scallops from marinade.

Gently press some extra bread crumb mixture onto shrimp and scallops.

Place alternately on 4 to 6 metal skewers.

Put skewers under hot broiler.

Broil 2 minutes or until golden.

Turn skewers over and broil on the other side 2 minutes or until golden.

Serve immediately with lemon wedges. Makes 4 to 6 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:

Mafia Fugitive Found Hiding In Wonderland Behind 'Magic Mirror'

Naples - April 01, 2012 - Antonio Cardillo, a 34-year old alleged crime boss affiliated with the Lo Russo clan of the Camorra in Naples, was arrested by Carabinieri police in a raid Saturday after they discovered a booby trap reminiscent of a classic spy novel.

Cardillo had been at large for 18 months but had apparently been living at home with his family in Marano di Napoli on the outskirts of the city.

The extravagant home called Villa Excelsia was surrounded by a large veranda and lush garden and was protected by high walls and an elaborate security system.

Acting on warrants sought by anti-mafia prosecutors, police raided the house early Saturday morning and found Cardillo's wife and two children asleep.

When police searched the master bedroom, where Cardillo's wife has been sleeping, they saw signs that the large bed had been used on both sides.

As they continued their search of the house they found a tiny remote control device that did not appear to belong to a television, computer or any other appliance.

But when they entered the walk-in wardrobe beside the master bedroom and activated the remote control, a full-length mirror that seemed to be attached to the wall moved aside.

The mirror was operated by a series of large hydraulic pistons and tubes activated by the remote control device and Cardillo was found sitting on a small red chair in the small room behind it.

Cardillo's bunker is the latest in a number of bizarre and often elaborate hideouts used by mafia bosses to evade police.

In August 2009 police arrested mafia boss Giuseppe Bastone who was found hiding in an underground bunker equipped with a skateboard he planned to use through a 200 yard secret tunnel to escape capture.

Bastone hid for a year in a 10ft by 10ft space beneath a house that was accessible through a hidden trapdoor.

Giuseppe Setola, a hit man for the Naples Camorra, evaded arrest during a police raid on his home north of Naples in January 2009 when he fled down a tunnel linked to sewers beneath his hideout.

He was captured two days later while seeking treatment for a wrist injury and is now serving a life sentence for ordering or carrying out up to 18 murders.

Naples is an odd place. I think we've mentioned this to you before. The land is filled with pizzas, magic homes, raging scooters, nursery-rhyme characters, and red hot mind-altering peppers. Why, one would almost wonder whether this land makes any sense at all?

But for all its oddities, Naples wonderland is home to an actual tear-filled bay of life lessons and advice that we can all learn from. So take another moment to dive into the world of Naples. And be careful what you eat there.

1) Be adaptable.

You poor tourist. One minute you're walking down an innocent alleyway, and the next you're clutching your travel bag with might, dodging traffic and avoiding eye contact with street vendors with psychic powers. Wonderland? "Mamma mia", this place is more like the Twilight Zone with bad Napolitano music.

Sometimes it can feel like you're the only sane person in a world gone loony. Acknowledge the insanity of it all, but push onward anyway. And even if some of your struggles never make sense, at least they'll make for a good story for your pompous-ass Italian friends.

2) Always smile.

You will first meet a friendly neighborhood Napolitano down the street from your hotel and discover the lively character can vanish and reappear at will sometimes leaving his grin and cheap after-shave fragrance behind (like Chesire Cat).

The Napolitano greets every challenge with self-control and a bewildered smile, and he becomes the only individual in Naples whom you could call a "friend."
A friend in Naples? "Porca l'oca", that's something to grin about.

It takes two to...

Gianfranco Tweedledum and Giancarlo Tweedledee are as alike as two Napolitano brothers can be. They dress alike, talk incoherently alike, even reason alike. But that doesn't stop the pair of them going to war against each other over a broken mobile phone...or a cute Napolitana in tight pants who suffers from delusions of adequacy.

Granted, we all have personal battles we need to fight at times. But there's something to be said for witnessing or assisting them. Sometimes it's better to head back to the hotel and see what there is to eat in the mini-bar than risk getting whisked away by irritable relatives.

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