06/30/09 Cherry Tart

"Vedi Napoli, e poi muori!" (See Naples, and then die!) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Bufala Mozzarella and Tomato Salad
  -Smoked Fish and Rice Salad
  -Cherry Tart

Hope your summer plans are coming along fine. Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci e a presto!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Sicilian Orange Almond Cookies

"Sicilian Orange" 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 with bits of candied Sicilian oranges, the freshest farm eggs, flour, and sugar. No preservatives, additives, artificial colors, nor flavors. Serves 5-7.

900 grams (2 lbs.) is only 14.49 Euro ($20.00-$20.50) + Shipping.

Example Order: One order to anywhere in the USA costs 14.49 Euro plus 8.70 Euro for Global Priority Mail shipping (7-9 days) for a total of 23.19 Euro ($32.00-$32.50 U.S. Dollars).

 Recipe: Bufala Mozzarella and Tomato Salad

Bufala Mozzarella and Tomato Salad
Insalata di Mozzarella di Bufala e Pomodoro


4 balls bufala (or burrata) mozzarella
6 assorted heirloom tomatoes
2 bunches baby Arugula
1.5 ounces white balsamic vinegar
3 ounces extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly cracked black pepper


Take the mozzarella and cut them into fourths.

Cut the tomatoes into both large oblique chunks and thin circles.

Starting with the thin circles of tomatoes sliced, lay four slices flat in the center of each plate, overlapping the them a bit.

Take a small handful of the baby arugula and throw it down on top of these, followed by each 1/4 piece of mozzarella, which will go in the center of each tomato slice, wedge side up.

Next, take the large, oblique chunks of tomatoes and place them in the center, tiered over each other, alternating colors and throwing in a few pieces of baby arugula here and there for color.

Drizzle some white balsamic vinegar over the tomatoes and mozzarella as well as some of the olive oil.

Top off with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Smoked Fish and Rice Salad

Smoked Fish and Rice Salad
Insalata di Riso e Pesce Affumicato


For the Concentrated Fish Stock:
2 and 1/4 lb (1 kg) white fish heads, gills and bones removed
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or l oz (25 grams) butter
6 black peppercorns, lightly crushed

For the Salad:
11 oz (300 grams) long grain rice
1 smoked salmon slice, cut into strips
1 smoked swordfish slice, cut into strips
4 radishes, sliced
1/2 inch (1 cm) piece of fresh horseradish root, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon walnut oil
Juice of 1 lemon, strained
Juice of 1 lime, strained
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
Salt and pepper


Prepare the Concentrated Fish Stock:
Heat the olive oil or butter in a saucepan.

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

Season with salt and add the peppercorns.

Pour in 1 and 3/4 pints (1 liter) warm water, add the fish bones and heads, cover and bring to a boil.

Skim off any residue that may rise to the surface.

Lower the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes until the stock has reduced by half.

Remove from the heat, leave to cool slightly, then strain.

Prepare the Salad:
Bring the fish stock to a boil in a saucepan.

Add the rice and cook for about 20 minutes until tender.

Drain and leave to cool.

Place the radishes, horseradish, salmon and swordfish into a salad bowl.

Whisk together the olive oil, walnut oil, lemon juice and lime juice in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Pour the dressing over the rice salad.

Toss and sprinkle with the dill.

Store in a cool place (not the refrigerator) until ready to serve. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Cherry Tart

Cherry Tart
Dolce di Ciliege


5 oz (150 grams) caster or superfine sugar
1 egg
2 egg yolks
Rind of 1/2 lemon, grated
5 oz (150 grams) unsalted butter, softened and diced, plus extra for greasing
7 oz (200 grams) plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting

For the Filling:
8 fl oz (250 ml) milk
1/2 vanilla pod, slit
2 egg yolks
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) caster or superfine sugar
1 oz (25 grams) plain flour, sifted
3/4 oz (20 grams) unsalted butter
9 oz (250 grams) black cherries, stoned
2 tablespoons brandy


Prepare the Pastry:
Beat together the sugar, egg, one of the egg yolks, the lemon rind and a pinch of salt in a bowl until pale and fluffy.

Beat in the butter, a little at a time, then stir in the flour.

Tip out on to a work surface and knead gently, then shape into a ball and leave to rest in a cool place for 30 minutes.

Lightly beat the remaining egg yolk.

Prepare the filling:
Put the milk and vanilla pod in a saucepan and bring just to the boil, then remove from the heat.

Beat together the egg yolks with 2 oz (50 grams) of the sugar and stir in the flour.

Remove the vanilla pod from the milk and add the milk to the mixture in a thin continuous trickle, stirring constantly.

Pour the mixture into a saucepan and bring to the boil over a low heat, stirring constantly.

Remove the pan from the heat and place the butter on top, then spread it gently with a knife blade to prevent a skin from forming.

Leave to cool.

Put the cherries into a saucepan, sprinkle with the remaining sugar, add the brandy and bring to the boil over a low heat, then simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200C (400F) Gas Mark 6.

Grease a tart tin with butter.

Roll out two thirds of the pastry on a lightly floured surface and line the prepared tin.

Pour in the cooled custard and spread the cherries evenly on top.

Roll out the remaining pastry into a round and place over the filling.

Crimp the edges well to seal, brush with the beaten egg yolk, score with a fork and pierce with the point of a knife.

Bake for 45 minutes, then leave to cool in the tin before serving. Serves 6-8.

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:

Coca Cola Will Not Take Over Venice

Venice - February 23, 2009 - Coca-Cola is not "buying" Venice, its city council said Monday, reacting to polemics over a planned million-dollar partnership between the drinks giant and the lagoon city.

An Italian daily reported Monday that the city was "selling itself" to Coca-Cola in a 2.1 million-dollar deal that will involve "vending machines in every corner of the city", including St Mark's Square, where tourists are forbidden from picnicking under strict council rules on urban decorum. But Maurizio Calligaro, the council's chief of staff, said the 60 vending machines would not be placed on public soil, let alone near landmarks such as St Mark's.

"Fifteen distributors will be placed on the principal vaporetti landing stages, the others will be inside council carparks and in the limited traffic zone of the mainland. Where's the invasion?" Calligaro said.

He also stressed that the vending machines would not bear the Coca-Cola logo, quashing rumors that the brand name would be plastered all over the city. Venice Mayor Massimo Cacciari, who has long bemoaned a lack of state funds for the upkeep of city monuments and churches, said he was "astounded" by the polemics over the deal, adding that it was no different from others adopted in the past.

"This is a financial strategy that today is simply indispensable for safeguarding our monuments and artistic heritage and is in line with culture ministry guidelines," Cacciari said.

"It follows a strategy we've adopted with other equally prestigious collaborators - Lancia for the restoration of the Ducal Palace, Swatch for the Biblioteca Marciana, Replay for Ca' Rezzonico and Bulgari for the Scala d'Oro".

The mayor added that the idea that Venice could be safeguarded "by philanthropy alone" was unrealistic.

"These idealists who protest against strategies such as (the Coca Cola deal), which by now have been adopted in all the cities of the world, should have the good taste to indicate an alternative, or, even better, provide for the needs of the city from their own pockets," he said.

Cacciari last month warned that Venice's monuments and churches risked falling into ruin because too much state aid is being directed into a controversial project to protect the lagoon city from sinking. The experimental 4.3 billion-euro Moses scheme is scheduled to come into action in 2014 and involves moveable flood barriers that rise from the seabed to block the lagoon from the Adriatic Sea when high tides are forecast.

A longstanding opponent of the costly scheme, Cacciari has warned that there are no guarantees that it will work.

Bob Dylan (When I Paint My Masterpiece):
"Sailin' 'round the world in a dirty gondola"
"Oh, to be back in the land of Coca-Cola!"

"Vaffanculo Bob!"

"Ah, minchia!" Nothing like standing shin-deep in dirty lagoon water paying 5 euros (6.35 USD) for a can of carbonated water with some flavoring and sugar. Well, if one considers the legal fleecing that goes on every day in Venice, what are the alternatives? Harry's Bar?

Harry's Bar is probably the most famous named bar in the world due to its association with people like Ernest Hemingway and Truman Capote. "Cazzo", and who could forget the refined, dignified and grossly overfed Orson Welles who would chug down two bottles of Dom Perignon at one sitting?

Unfortunately, some tourists turn into complete ignorant jackasses and convince themselves they have to go in and have one of their famous "Bellini" concoctions.

"Ah, minchia again!" Nothing like a glass of 3-4 oz of supermarket peach juice and stock sparkling wine for 14 euros (18 USD). And if you're not a jackass enough to order a second round, then the barmen politely point to the flooded piazza outside that awaits you.


One third fresh peach juice,
Two thirds chilled Prosecco sparkling wine.

THE SECRET: Make sure to pour the peach juice into the glass first.

"Huh?! Figlio di puttana..." Disappointing, isn't it?"

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