06/19/12 Orzo Pasta Salad with Chicken and Leeks

"Il buon senso non è affatto così comune." (Common sense is not so common.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Orzo Pasta Salad with Chicken and Leeks
  -Fettuccine with Prosciutto and Peas
  -Baked Salmon in Parchment Paper

"Ci risiamo!" Just a quick note of thanks for being a part of our growing Italian recipe community. We're over 9,900 members now. Remember, you started it. Grazie! Keep cool, enjoy your summer and this week's recipes!

Arrivederci and grazie again!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

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 Recipe: Orzo Pasta Salad with Chicken and Leeks

Orzo Pasta Salad with Chicken and Leeks
Insalata di Orzo Con Pollo e Porri


For the Dressing:
2 tbs Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tbs white balsamic vinegar

For the Pasta:
1 and 1/2 cups orzo pasta (uncooked)
4 chicken thighs or 2 chicken breasts, with skin and bone
3 leeks, white and light green part, thinly sliced
Fresh herbs (rosemary, oregano, thyme, etc.)
Salt and freshly ground pepper


Prepare the Dressing:
In small bowl, whisk together mustard, some salt, pepper and garlic.

Add the olive oil and whisk.

Slowly add vinegar while whisking.

Prepare the Pasta:
Set the chicken on a foil lined baking sheet.

Sprinkle on fresh herbs.

Drizzle chicken with olive oil and some salt and pepper.

Roast for about 45 minutes at 400°F, or until done.

Remove chicken meat from skin and bones.

Chop the chicken meat.

Boil orzo pasta according to the package directions.


Toss with chicken.

Saute leeks in a pan heated with olive oil.

Add salt and pepper.

When tender and soft, remove from heat and toss with pasta and chicken.

Pour dressing into pasta and toss. Serves 2-3.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Fettuccine with Prosciutto and Peas

Fettuccine with Prosciutto and Peas
Fettuccine con Prosciutto e Piselli


1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 shallot, thinly sliced
3-4 tablespoons heavy cream
3 ounces fettuccine pasta
1/4 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) peas
1-2 slices prosciutto, cut into 1-inch slices
1-2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated, plus extra for serving
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper


Bring a pot of water to a boil and add salt.

Add fettuccine and cook about 7-10 minutes, until 'al dente'.

When pasta is ready, reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water.

Drain pasta and set aside.

In a medium saute pan, melt butter over medium heat.

Add shallot and cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper.

Add cream, peas and prosciutto and bring to a gentle boil.

Simmer for about 5 minutes, until peas are heated through.

Stir in Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Add pasta to pan and toss to combine.

Allow to simmer for another 1-2 minutes.

Add pasta water, a little at a time, to reach desired consistency for sauce.

Transfer to a serving bowl and top with additional Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Serves 1.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Baked Salmon in Parchment Paper

Baked Salmon in Parchment Paper
Salmone al Forno in Carta Pergamena


One 5-6 ounce skinless fish fillet (ex. salmon)
1/2 cup diced zucchini
3 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 small artichoke hearts, quartered
2 rosemary sprigs (or parsley or thyme)
1 tablespoon dry white wine
Salt and pepper
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Two 16-inch parchment paper sheets (or tin foil)


Preheat oven to 450F.

Lay one parchment paper over another, long side of the paper horizontal.

Lay herb sprigs in middle of the parchment.

Season salmon on both sides with salt and pepper.

Lay salmon on top of the herb sprigs.

Spoon in the zucchini, tomatoes and artichoke hearts over the salmon.

Season the vegetables with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Pour white wine over everything.

Seal the packet by rolling and crimping the long sides of the paper together over the fish and vegetables.

Roll and crimp the ends closed so steam does not escape.

Place on baking sheet.

Bake for about 10-15 minutes, until the salmon is cooked through (10 minutes for 1/2-inch fillet, 15 minutes for 1-inch fillet).

Before serving, carefully open the packet add just a squeeze of lemon juice over everything. Serves 1.

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:

30 Phoney Invalids Arrested In Naples

Naples - March 01, 2012 - Italian police on Thursday arrested 30 people in Naples accused of claiming false invalidity benefits since 2004 to the tune of more than four million euros.

Police said another 47 people were under investigation in the case.

Judges have ordered assets of the alleged culprits to be seized to help pay back the money.


Eh?! Just 30? What a "cazzata"! It can't be!
Add a couple of zeros and you'll still be way off!

And to have gotten away with this since 2004? What's going on here? The Naples police crack teams don't know how this monkey business starts? You get one Napolitano who cashes in on the benefits, brags to everyone on his street and before you know it, a mysterious endemic breaks out among a dozen Napolitani.

"'Fanculo", you could throw a rock and hit 7 deaf, blind and cripple suspects. That's Napolitana reality, folks.

Example: A fat Napolitano who claims to be blind does not make sense. He's blind...but he's finding his way to the refrigerator and cooking the 5 course Napolitani meals. Come on, your honor, it's easy to see right through them. Instead of his nose growing, his stomach grew. Sort of like Pinocchio gone haywire.

Most of these Napolitani who are convicted for crimes are guilty of something. Yes, sometimes, we convict them for the wrong crimes but, "porca Eva", believe us. They're guilty of something!

You're not going to find the Napolitano Ironside here where someone confesses:
Suspect: "Per favore, please, I swear I did not commit this crime."
Ironside: "Yeah, but you committed plenty of other crimes, didn't you?"
Suspect: "Well, 'si' got me there.

"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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