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 07/05/11 Affogato Espresso

"Tempo, marito e figli vengono come li pigli." (Weather, husbands, and sons come as you take them.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Spaghetti with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Pignoli Nuts
  -Affogato Espresso
  -Cream Cheese Crostata with Orange Marmalade

Thanks again for finding the time to read your recipe newsletter! How are your summer plans coming along? I look forward to connecting further in the coming days. Enjoy your summer season and this week's recipes!

Arrivederci and grazie again!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       


 Cookie of the Week: Almonds and Amarena Cookies

"Almonds and Amarena Cookies: A cookie that has started a trend here in Sicily! They are round cookie almond balls made exclusively from our own home grown natural almonds, the freshest farm eggs, an amarena cherry center, flour, and sugar. No preservatives, additives, artificial colors, nor flavors. Serves 5-7.

900 grams (2 lbs.) is only 15.99 Euro ($22.50-$23.00) + Shipping.

Example Order: One order to anywhere in the USA costs 15.99 Euro plus 8.70 Euro for Global Priority Mail shipping (7-8 days) for a total of 24.69 Euro ($35.00-$35.50 U.S. Dollars).


 Recipe: Spaghetti with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Pignoli Nuts

Spaghetti with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Pignoli Nuts
Spaghetti con Pomodori Secchi e Pinoli

Ingredients:

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1 pound spaghetti
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 to 10 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/4 cup toasted pignoli (pine) nuts
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmigiano cheese or crumbled ricotta salata (optional)

Directions:

Place the sun-dried tomatoes in a heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water, and set aside to soften for about 15 minutes.

Bring a large covered pot of salted water to a boil.

Add the pasta and cook until 'al dente'.

While the pasta cooks, in a small pan on low heat or in a microwave-safe bowl, heat the olive oil and garlic until golden.

Set aside.

Drain the sun-dried tomatoes, reserving the soaking liquid.

Cut the tomatoes into thin strips.

When the pasta is done, drain it and place in a serving bowl.

Add the cooked garlic, sun-dried tomato strips, pine nuts, and parsley.

Toss well.

Stir in some of the reserved sun-dried tomato soaking liquid to moisten the pasta, if needed.

Season with salt and pepper.

Serve hot, topped with grated cheese if you like. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Affogato Espresso

Affogato Espresso

Ingredients:

1 pint chocolate ice cream
8 tablespoons finely chopped bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate
8 tablespoons hot freshly brewed espresso coffee
8 tablespoons dark rum

Directions:

Divide ice cream among 4 dessert bowls or coffee cups.

Spoon 2 tablespoons each of chocolate, espresso, and rum over ice cream and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Cream Cheese Crostata with Orange Marmalade

Cream Cheese Crostata with Orange Marmalade
Crostata con Crema di Formaggio e Marmellata di Arance Amare

Ingredients:

For the Crust:
1 and 1/2 cups cake flour
4 and 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 large egg yolk
9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Nonstick vegetable oil spray

For the Filling:
One 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2/3 cup orange marmalade
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Directions:

Prepare the Crust:
Mix flour and sugar together on work surface.

Make well in center of mixture; add egg yolk.

Scatter butter cubes over flour mixture.

Using hands, gently mix ingredients together until well blended and dough forms.

Flatten dough into disk; wrap in plastic and chill at least 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Spray 9-inch diameter tart pan with removable bottom with nonstick spray.

Press dough onto bottom and up sides of prepared pan.

Bake until golden brown and cooked through, pressing with back of fork if crust bubbles, about 20 minutes.

Cool crust in pan on rack.

Prepare the Filling:
Beat cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, and sugar in medium bowl until smooth.

Spread filling evenly in cooled crust; chill 1 hour.

Spread marmalade evenly over filling.

Sprinkle almonds over. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

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:

Italy Producing Wine 24/7, Non-Stop

Rome - June 13, 2011 - Italy last year overtook France to become the world's biggest wine producer and data for this year show a surge in Italian wine exports, the Coldiretti farmers' union reported.

Citing data from the European Union, Coldiretti said the last harvest produced 49.6 million hectoliters of wine in Italy compared to 46.2 million hectoliters in France.

"It is with great pride that we can say we are the world's leading wine producer, having surpassed France not only in value but also in volume," Italian Agriculture Minister Saverio Romano said.

"This benchmark is also thanks to the excellent performance our wines are having abroad, with a 31% increase in exports to the United States in the first two months of 2011," he added.

"We are also first for quality, with over 60% of the wine we produce bottled with recognized denomination of origin labels. But we can even do better, we must do better," Romano said.

Italy had surpassed France in the past for bulk unbottled wine production, much of which was exported to France where it was used to blend more famous bottled wines like Beaujolais.

Italy overtook France also for the production of sparkling wines with 4.2 million hectoliters of Prosecco and spumante bottled compared to four million hectoliters for French Champagne.

It wasn't tough to overtake France (even for Italy). After all, we're talking about a country whose greatest contribution to cuisine was the souffle...or the flat cake; something puffed up with a lot of hot air and full of fattening crap.

Sometimes ideas or stories take on lives of their own, and some Italian-wine lovers become unconscious and moronic believers in what are the wine equivalent of urban legends. But don't worry, our disciples, we're here to help your loved ones or arrogant friends make less of fools of themselves.

Here are some examples of those myths:

1) Chianti is a cheap wine in straw packaging.

Some very fine Chianti wines have always existed, but they used to represent a tiny minority of all Chianti. Now the red-checkered-tableclothed tables have changed course, taken Fettuccine Alfredo off their embarrassing menus, and offer a majority of Chianti wines of high quality. Chianti Classico, the type of Chianti most commonly found outside of Italy, is particularly ok. Prices have risen with the quality, and now you can easily find $25-$30 bottles of Chianti Classico in decent wine shops. Inexpensive and crappy $10 bottles of Chianti do still exist including some in the ridiculous and flammable straw packaging, but the category as a whole has moved uptown.

2) Italy's best wines are all red.

It's ok, it's an understandable misunderstanding. After all, Italy makes about twice as much red wine as white wine, and most of Italy's most famous wines, Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino, and so forth are red. But certain parts of Italy definitely have what it takes to make fine white wines, and producers in those areas are doing just that. When the Campania region is not juggling a decade-old garbage crisis and the Camorra Mafia, it's producing two terrific whites, Greco di Tufo and Fiano di Avellino.

3) Italian wines should be enjoyed with just Italian food.

Eh, no. Any time you drink the wine of a particular wine region with the food of the same region, the combination is usually suitable and melodic. In the case of Italian food, no wines taste better than Italian wines...even if you drink a hearty wine of the poor and corrupt South with a dish that's typical of a racist Northern region. Luckily, Italy's wines are incredibly food-friendly that their pairing talent extends far beyond the prejudice Italian kitchen.

"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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