06/24/08 Honey, Anise and Almond Biscotti from

"Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate." (Abandon all hope, ye who enter here. Inscribed above the Gates of Hell in Dante Alighieri's Inferno (III, 9); also commonly written (by students) above the entrance to examination halls in universities.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Capunata 'i Cacuocciuli
  -Fettuccine con Pesto, Fagiolini e Patate
  -Biscotti di Miele, Anice e Mandorla

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


Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Buccellati

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

900 grams (2 lbs.) is only 10.49 Euro ($16.25-$16.75) + Shipping.

Example Order: One order to anywhere in the USA costs 10.49 Euro plus 8.70 Euro for Global Priority Mail shipping (7-8 days) for a total of 19.19 Euro ($29.75-$30.25 U.S. Dollars).

 Recipe: Capunata 'i Cacuocciuli

Capunata 'i Cacuocciuli
Artichoke Caponata


For the tomato sauce:
35-oz can Italian plum tomatoes, drained
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried basil

For the vegetables:
6 oz large green olives with pits (20)
3 lemons
2 lb baby artichokes, about 2 and 1/2 by 1 and 1/2 inches (20)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 celery ribs, halved crosswise
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar


Prepare the tomato sauce:
Crush tomatoes in a bowl with your hand.

Cook garlic in olive oil in a 1 and 1/2-quart saucepan over low heat, turning occasionally, until pale golden, about 10 minutes.

Discard garlic.

Stir in tomatoes, sugar, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer vigorously, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce is reduced to a thick pulp, about 20 minutes.

Prepare the vegetables:
Smash olives with a meat pounder or flat side of a large knife. Remove pits.

Soak olives 30 minutes in cold water, changing water every 10 minutes. Drain.

Juice 2 lemons into a large bowl half filled with cold water and add lemon halves.

Working with 1 artichoke at a time and running knife through remaining lemon before each cut, trim about an inch from tops and cut off stems.

Pull off tough outer leaves and quarter artichokes lengthwise.

Put them in lemon water as trimmed.

Drain artichokes well and pat dry.

Heat olive oil in a large heavy skillet over moderately high heat, then saute artichokes, stirring, 2 minutes.

Add salt to taste and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

While artichokes cook, blanch celery in boiling water 2 minutes and transfer with tongs to a bowl of cold water to stop cooking.

Thinly slice.

Add celery, olives, and capers to artichokes.

Cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until hot.

Stir in vinegar and cook 1 minute.

Add tomato sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer 5 minutes.

Serve at room temperature with a few grindings of black pepper. Serves 6.

Note: Caponata is best 1 day after it's made. It keeps, covered and chilled, 1 week.

That's it!

 Recipe: Fettuccine con Pesto, Fagiolini e Patate

Fettuccine con Pesto, Fagiolini e Patate
Fettuccine with Pesto, Green Beans and Potatoes


3 cups (packed) fresh basil leaves (about 6 ounces)
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 tablespoons walnuts
2 garlic cloves
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese (about 3 ounces)
8 ounces green beans, trimmed, halved
8 ounces white potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
12 ounces fettuccine


Blend basil, 1/4 cup olive oil, pine nuts, walnuts and garlic cloves in processor until finely chopped.

Add grated Parmigiano cheese.

With machine running, gradually blend in remaining cup of olive oil. Set pesto aside.

Cook green beans in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.

Using 4 to 5-inch-diameter strainer, transfer beans to large bowl.

Return cooking water to boil.

Add white potatoes and boil until tender, about 7 minutes.

Remove potatoes with same strainer and transfer to bowl with beans.

Return cooking water to boil.

Add fettuccine to same pot. Boil until pasta is 'al dente', stirring occasionally.

Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup cooking water.

Return green beans, white potatoes and cooked pasta to pot.

Add pesto and toss to coat.

Gradually add enough reserved cooking water to coat pasta with moist sauce.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

That's it!

 Recipe: Biscotti di Miele, Anice e Mandorla

Biscotti di Miele, Anice e Mandorla
Honey, Anise and Almond Biscotti


2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
2 teaspoons aniseed, crushed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cups slivered almonds (about 6 ounces), lightly toasted


Whisk first 4 ingredients in medium bowl to blend.

Whisk oil, sugar, honey, eggs, lemon peel, aniseed and vanilla in large bowl until smooth.

Stir in flour mixture, then nuts.

Cover and refrigerate dough until well chilled, about 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Butter and flour 2 large baking sheets.

Spoon out dough in 3 equal strips (2 on one sheet, spaced well apart, and 1 on second sheet).

Using well-floured hands, shape strips into 2-inch-wide by 1-inch-high logs.

Bake logs until just springy to touch, switching and turning pans after 10 minutes, about 20 minutes total (logs will spread).

Cool 15 minutes on sheets. Maintain oven temperature.

Using large spatula, gently transfer logs to work surface.

Using serrated knife, cut each log on diagonal into 2-inch-thick slices.

Arrange slices, cut side down, on baking sheets.

Bake until bottom side browns, about 7 minutes.

Turn cookies over. Bake until bottom side browns, about 7 minutes longer.

Transfer to racks and cool (cookies will crisp as they cool). (Can be made 2 weeks ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.) Makes about 48.

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 Criminal Begs For Jail

Naples - June 13, 2008 - An Italian crook begged to go back to jail after telling wardens life behind bars was better than living with his wife again.

Prison bosses had freed Luigi Folliero, 45, to serve the second year of his two-year sentence for theft under house arrest.

But after just two days at home he fled back to Ponte San Leonardo jail, near Naples, and pleaded to go back in his old cell because he could not stand being at home with his wife.

He told wardens: "She never stops moaning and nagging."

"Oh cazzo, non c'è lo faccio più!"

Most Italian women nag because it is in their sick nature to do so. They grew up watching incredibly sympathetic mothers, aunts and grandmothers around them doing it and were taught that it was the best way to handle incompetent Italian men and their occasional inability to function on a normal human level.

Sometimes Italian women nag over some seemingly insignificant and stupid thing in order to work their way onto larger unimportant issues. She knows that it is going to force you to climb the wall and plans on using that anger later to bring up whatever it is that is really bothering her.

Luigi doesn't understand that the sad truth is you have to work on a relationship.

When Luigi met his girl and tried to get her into bed, that wasn't hard work. It was fun!
He was dating and having a great relationship, It wasn't hard work. It was fun!
"Cristo, I can't wait to see my lovely girl!"

Then he got married and 5 to 6 years into it...

"Oh, mio Dio! We have to go see a counselor!"
"Cazzo, she's still here!"
"Porca miseria, she's yelling at me!
"Uffaa, I've got to give a little, she's got to give a little!"


Most married Italian men scream at others not to get married, but they don't listen.
They don't listen!

"But my wife is different..."

And then you have Luigi telling other prison inmates, "There is no difference..."

A marriage is a large tomato field and we all have tomato presses.

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