07/02/13 Amaretti and Orange Semifreddo with Coffee Granita

"Pan di sudore, miglior sapore." (Bread that comes from sweat tastes better.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Stuffed Zucchini
  -Zucchini Blossom Omelette
  -Amaretti and Orange Semifreddo with Coffee Granita

"Un bacio a tutti!" THANK YOU for all that you do. It means the world to us! Here's to wishing you're having a happy and healthy summer season!

Arrivederci and grazie again!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Santo Trio

"Santo Trio" 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, coconut, amaretto, lemon, 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 (19.00 - 19.50 U.S. Dollars) + Shipping.

Example Order: One order to anywhere in the USA costs 14.49 Euro plus 8.70 Euro for Global Priority Mail shipping (10-12 days) for a total of 23.19 Euro (30.50 - 31.00 U.S. Dollars).

 Recipe: Stuffed Zucchini

Stuffed Zucchini
Zucchine Ripiene


4 medium zucchini, trimmed, cut into 1 and 1/2-inch lengths
1 cup canned whole, peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed
1/3 cup milk
1 slice white sandwich bread
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp crushed red chile flakes
1 clove garlic, minced
4 oz prosciutto, minced
1 oz pancetta, minced
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp thinly sliced basil


Heat oven to 400?F.

In a bowl, pour the milk over the bread and soak for about 10 minutes.

Squeeze the bread to drain the milk.

Discard the milk.

Return bread to bowl.

Using a melon baller, hollow out the zucchini pieces, leaving 1/4-inch walls, in order to form cups.

Season insides with salt and pepper.

Stir together tomatoes, 2 tbsp olive oil, chile flakes, garlic, and salt and pepper in a bowl.

Set sauce aside.

Mix bread with prosciutto, pancetta, Parmigiano cheese, parsley, egg, and salt and pepper.

Stuff mixture evenly among zucchini cups.

Heat remaining olive oil and butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat.

Working in batches, add zucchini cups.

Cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 2-4 minutes.

Transfer zucchini cups, stuffing side up, to a 9 x 9-inch baking dish.

Pour sauce over and around zucchini cups.

Bake until zucchini is tender, about 30 minutes.

Sprinkle with basil. Serves 6.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Zucchini Blossom Omelette

Zucchini Blossom Omelette
Frittata di Fiori di Zucchini


20 zucchini blossoms, stems removed (about 3 ounces)
7 large eggs, whisked to blend
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh parsley


Gently rinse and dry the zucchini blossoms.

Preheat broiler.

Heat olive oil in a 10-inch nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.

Add the onion.

Reduce the heat to medium and saute until soft, about 4-5 minutes.

Add the blossoms and saute until just wilted, turning often, about 1 minute.

Sprinkle with salt and cayenne pepper.

Spread the blossoms in a skillet in a single layer.

Increase the heat to medium-high.

Add the eggs and cook until it begins to set around the edges, lifting the omelette with a heatproof rubber spatula and allowing the eggs to flow underneath.

Continue cooking until the eggs are softly set, about 5 minutes.

Transfer the skillet to the broiler.

Broil until the top of the omelette is set, about 1 minute.

Slide the omelette onto a platter.

Sprinkle with parsley. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Amaretti and Orange Semifreddo with Coffee Granita

Amaretti and Orange Semifreddo with Coffee Granita
Amaretti e Orange Semifreddo con Granita di Caffe


1 pint premium vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
8 to 12 Amaretti cookies (Italian macaroons)
2 thin orange slices, cut in half (optional)
1 cup finely ground espresso coffee beans
3 cups water
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons orange juice
3 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
4 teaspoons finely grated orange peel


Brew espresso coffee with 3 cups of water in a coffee maker.

Pour the coffee into a small metal pan.

Add 1/2 cup of sugar.

Stir to dissolve.

Freeze for about 2 hours, stirring twice.

Cover and freeze without stirring until solid, at least 6 hours or overnight.

Using a fork, scrape the granita into icy crystals, then toss to mix.

Cover and keep frozen.

Mix orange juice, liqueur, orange peel, and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a medium bowl until the sugar dissolves.

Transfer 2 tablespoons of the mixture to a small bowl to use as a sauce.


Mix the ice cream into the remaining orange mixture.

Cover and freeze until firm, at least 6 hours.

Coarsely crumble 1 to 1 and 1/2 of the cookies into each of the 4 semifreddo glasses.

Top each with 1/2 a cup of granita and another 1 to 1 and 1/2 crumbled cookies.

Top each with a scoop of ice cream.

Drizzle 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of orange sauce over the ice cream.

Garnish them with orange slices. Makes 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:

Italians Bid Their Luxury Cars A Tearful Goodbye

Rome - February 29, 2012 - Wealthy but worried Italians are selling off their Porsches, Ferraris and other luxury cars at a record rate to avoid the scrutiny of tax inspectors.

Many of the supercars are being exported through dealers to France, Germany and Austria, while others are ending up in South America and Eastern Europe.

Second-hand vehicles are being snapped up for re-sale by entrepreneurs from Poland, Ukraine, the Czech Republic and Moldova.

Owning a high-powered BMW or Mercedes has become an unwelcome sign of noticeable wealth ever since a much-publicized crackdown by Italy's tax police, the Guardia di Finanza, on the exclusive ski resort of Cortina d?Ampezzo at Christmas.

Tax inspectors traced the owners of 133 Lamborghinis, Ferraris, SUVs and other top-end cars that they found parked in the streets of the resort, a playground for the wealthy in the Dolomites.

They found that 42 of the owners (nearly a third) had declared incomes of less than 22,000 Euros ($29,000 USD) a year. A further 16 claimed to be earning less than 50,000 Euros ($65,500 USD) a year.

Police in Milan, Rome and other cities have carried out similar checks, taking down drivers' licenses and number plates and passing them onto tax authorities, who check whether the owners' declared incomes are sufficient to support their extravagant lifestyles.

In Florence, tax police stopped a brand new Mercedes and found that it was driven by a builder who declared no tax returns at all and whose wife was on welfare payments.

Last year, around 60 used Porsches were exported from Italy each week. That figure has now jumped to around 200.

Some owners are so scared of running into spot checks by the tax police that they are asking dealers to come and collect their cars at home.

"One client was scared of driving 10 kilometers from his house to here," Lorenzo Schiatti, who owns a Jaguar and Land Rover dealership in Reggio Emilia, northern Italy, told a national newspaper. "He was afraid that he'd be stopped by a Guardia di Finanza checkpoint."

"We don't have definitive numbers because it is difficult to quantify but it looks like thousands of cars are leaving Italy each month," said Sirio Tardella, the director of Unrae, an association of foreign car manufacturers.

Filippo Pavan Bernacchi, the president of Federauto, an association representing dealerships, said owning a luxury car had become "almost a crime" in Italy these days.

"Super" Mario Monti, Italy?s prime minister, has made a priority of clamping down on tax evasion since he replaced Silvio Berlusconi in November. He needs to whittle away at Italy?s 1.9 trillion Euro public debt, amid concerns that it could go the way of Greece.

But the challenge is enormous. A recent government study estimated that Italy?s black economy, which includes evasion of income tax and VAT, amounts to 275 billion Euros a year, or 17.5% of GDP.

"Porca puttana", after reading this story, did you also get the incredible urge of putting on a hula-hoop and swinging it around for 30 minutes?

"In Florence, tax police stopped a brand new Mercedes and found that it was driven by a builder who declared no tax returns at all and whose wife was on welfare payments." Nice job of being discreet, "faccia di culo?" He was just like Liberace saying, "I don't want anyone noticing my clothes."

In the 2008 fiscal year:

- Restaurant owners declared an average net income of 13,800 Euros ($18,000 USD). That's an average of 38 Euros ($50 USD) a day. That means when the restaurants are full, two customers pay and the rest make a run for it out the back door.

- 1 out 4 helicopter owners declared an average net income of 20,000 Euros ($26,000 USD). Obviously, the "testa di cazzo" can afford a helicopter seeing that he's not paying restaurant bills.

- Yacht owners declared an average net income of 1,500 Euros ($2000 USD) a month...which happens to be the average monthly rent for yacht space down at the port. That means that the owners are not eating for all their money goes towards rent. You'll sometimes see these "figli di puttane" pull up and drop anchor in front of soup kitchens.

- Night club owners declared a lost average of "negative 6000 Euros" (-$7,800 USD). That means when kids order a rum and coke or a mohito, the bartender also gives them 20 Euros.

Ah, for the love of Dio, Italian Heaven has got to be a place where these people don't exist!

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