06/07/11 Carrot Risotto

"La gente in case di vetro non dovrebbe gettare le pietre." (People in glass houses should not throw stones.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Chickpea Fritters
  -Carrot Risotto
  -Salmon Fishcakes

Ciao! We're grateful for your participation with us via this newsletter. Thanks for everything you're doing and we will continue to find recipes to be helpful in your kitchen. Hope your summer plans are filled with happiness and good health. Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci and grazie again!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Traditional Almond Cookies

"Traditional" Almond Cookies: A soft and chewy Italian almond cookie with a crisp outside and tender inside. Made exclusively from our own home grown natural almonds, the freshest farm eggs, flour, and sugar. No preservatives, additives, artificial colors, nor flavors. Serves 5-7.

900 grams (2 lbs.) is only 13.99 Euro ($20.00-$20.50) + Shipping.

Example Order: One order to anywhere in the USA costs 13.99 Euro plus 8.70 Euro for Global Priority Mail shipping (7-10 days) for a total of 22.69 Euro ($32.75-$33.25 U.S. Dollars).

 Recipe: Chickpea Fritters

Chickpea Fritters


3 cups water
2 cups chickpea flour
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
2 and 1/4 to 2 and 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Parchment paper
Deep-fat thermometer


Lightly oil an 8 by 4-inch loaf pan (6-cup capacity) and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang at each end.

Whisk together water, chickpea flour, sea salt, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 2 and 1/2 to 3-quart heavy saucepan until smooth.

Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon (to prevent lumps from forming), until very thick and mixture pulls away from side of pan, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Transfer mixture to loaf pan, smoothing top.

Cool, uncovered, then chill, surface of mixture covered with plastic wrap, until firm, at least 3 hours.

Lift chickpea block out of pan using parchment and transfer to a work surface.

Gently flip over block and discard parchment, then pat dry.

Cut block crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices for panelle.

Preheat oven to 300F.

Heat 1/2 inch olive oil (about 2 cups) in a deep 10-inch heavy skillet until it registers 375F on thermometer.

Fry panelle in 5 batches, carefully turning occasionally with tongs, until golden and puffed, 3 to 5 minutes per batch, and transfer to paper towels to drain.

Keep warm on a baking sheet in oven while frying remaining batches.

Arrange panelle on a platter and sprinkle with parsley and cheese. Serve immediately. Makes 10 antipasto servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Carrot Risotto

Carrot Risotto
Risotto Alle Carote


For the Vegetable Stock:
3 cherry tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 turnips, coarsely chopped
2 leeks, trimmed and coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 potatoes, coarsely chopped
2 onions, coarsely chopped
1 celery stick, coarsely chopped

For the Risotto:
12 oz (350 grams) risotto rice
4 young carrots, chopped
2 oz (50 grams) Emmenthal cheese, shaved
6 fl oz (175 ml) dry white wine
2 oz (50 grams) butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons single cream
Salt and pepper


Prepare the Vegetable Stock:
Place all the vegetables in a large saucepan, pour in 1.5 liters (2 and 1/2 pints) of water, add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil.

Lower the heat and simmer gently for about 20-25 minutes.

Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly, then strain into a bowl pressing down well on the vegetables with a wooden spoon.

Prepare the Risotto:
Bring the vegetable stock to a boil.

Put the carrots and wine in a food processor and process to a puree.

Melt the butter in another saucepan.

Add the onion and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 4-5 minutes.

Add the carrot puree to the pan, increase the heat to medium and cook for just a few seconds, then stir in the rice.

Add a ladleful of the hot stock and cook, stirring, until it has been completely absorbed.

Continue adding the stock, a ladleful at a time, and stirring until each addition has been absorbed. This will take about 18-20 minutes.

About 5 minutes before the rice is tender, season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in the Emmenthal cheese and cream.

Remove the pan from the heat, cover and leave to stand for 2 minutes before serving. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Salmon Fishcakes

Salmon Fishcakes
Svizzere Di Salmone


14 oz (400 grams) salmon fillet, chopped
2 and 1/2 oz (65 grams) butter, softened
3 oz (80 grams) breadcrumbs
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) bread, crusts removed
7 fl oz (200 ml) milk
1 lemon
1 oz (25 grams) clarified butter
Salt and white pepper


Prepare Clarified Butter:
Put the butter in the top of a double boiler or a heatproof bowl and set over barely simmering water.

Heat for about an hour. At this point, the water content of the butter will have evaporated and the casein will be deposited on the bottom in a hazelnut-color layer.

Line a strainer with muslin and pour the liquid through.

Pour the clarified butter into a screw-top jar, close the lid and store in the refrigerator. If used instead of normal butter, halve the quantity.

Prepare the Fishcakes:
Tear the bread into pieces, place in a bowl, add milk to cover and leave to soak for about 10 minutes.

Drain and squeeze out.

Grate the rind of half the lemon and peel the other half, removing all traces of pith from both halves, and slice thinly.

Mix together the salmon, soaked bread and butter in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Divide the mixture into four, shape into balls, then flatten gently with your hand.

Pour the remaining milk into a shallow dish and mix together the breadcrumbs and lemon rind in another shallow dish.

Melt the clarified butter in a frying pan.

Dip the fishcakes first in the milk, then in the bread crumb mixture and fry for about 4 minutes on each side.

Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

Place on a warm serving dish and garnish with the lemon slices. Serves 4.

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:

Bakers Vs Farmers: "Stop Baking Bread!"

Rome - September 28, 2010 - The Italian National Bakers Federation (FIPPA) on Tuesday voiced its opposition to the decision by Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti to authorize farmers to make and sell bread.

"We have nothing against farmers entering our sector but only if it is under equal conditions and subject to the same rules," FIPPA Chairman Luca Vecchiato said.

"But from one day to the next we find ourselves having to compete with a category which pays more than three times less tax than we do," he added.

"Making matters even worse is the way they can sell their products, at farmers markets which already receive vast incentives and have drawn criticism from various retailer associations," Vecchiato said.

According to the FIPPA chief, "the decree signed by Minister Tremonti sets the stage for a market free-for-all, where the ones who will lose out will be the 350,000 people employed in over 26,000 artisan bakeries".

In a reply to the complaint, the Coldiretti farmers union said that the bread made and sold by farmers will be exclusively produced using domestic flour "while over half the bread on the market today is made using foreign flour without any indication of its origin provided to consumers".

Tremonti's move to expand the number of farm-related products farmers can transform into a final product and sell, Coldiretti added, "is very important because it allows us to recover authentic ingredients, types of bread and production techniques which otherwise would risk extinction".

"This is also an opportunity to boost the consumption of a product which is essential to the Mediterranean diet, the purchase of which statistics show fell a further 2.4% in the first half of 2010," Coldiretti said.

Bread has been one of the fundamental foods of our tables for as long as Italian history has been recorded. We take it quite seriously. The crucial criteria for the perfect Italian loaf is that it is unsweetened, yeast-leavened, and baked fresh into a thick oval loaf with tapered ends. And the flour has to be exclusively "Made in Italy". Just the slightest imperfection could push our cousin, Maurizio, to almost change the expression on his rigid sunburned face at the dinner table (a very quiet guy, doesn't utter a sound).

"But from one day to the next we find ourselves having to compete with a category which pays more than three times less tax than we do..." That's a lot of bull "cazzate" because Italians farmers lose three times more than bakers do in any given year!

Does a baker have to deal with a sheep that wakes up one morning and says to himself, "That's it, I've had enough of this, vaffanculo!", and run off the side of a cliff with a few faithful idiots close behind? "Cacchio", you know how difficult it is to write that off? You never hear about a bakery employee throwing himself in an oven with other employees following suit, do you?

And what's wrong with hard working farmers baking and selling bread? Can you blame our brothers? They've been screaming over the fact that sub-standard versions of our favorite foods are being imported and that consumers like you are being misled by the branding. Take a look at 'Brenner Pass' which runs under the Alps. That's where the "faccia di culo" truckers bring in milk, meat, cheese and other foods from who knows where.

Cousin Nino: "Where did you get the mozzarella I bought from you yesterday, Paolo?
Paolo: "Ah, mamma mia, that came from my uncle Pino's farm from over the hills over there (points out the door). You see? The best there is. Did I ever tell you my Uncle baptized me and helped my poor family open this little bottega?"
Cousin Nino: "Si si, fifty-seven times. Well, Paolo, I opened the package and the mozzarella turned blue...just like the color of your head when I finish baptizing you."

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