07/08/08 Panna Cotta with Strawberry-Vin Santo Sauce from

"Chi ha la mamma sua non piange mai." (He who has his own mother never cries.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Pasta con Fagioli di Ceci
  -Fettuccine con Sugo di Funghi Porcini
  -Panna Cotta con Salsa di Fragole e Vin Santo

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


Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

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 Recipe: Pasta con Fagioli di Ceci

Pasta con Fagioli di Ceci
Pasta with Garbanzo Beans


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
3 and 1/4 cups (or more) chicken broth or vegetable broth
One 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed, drained
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 cup uncooked small elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano cheese


Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat.

Add onion, celery, garlic and bay leaf; saute until onion is golden and tender, about 7 minutes.

Add 3 and 1/4 cups broth, garbanzo beans, tomato paste and crushed red pepper.

Bring to boil.

Add macaroni; reduce heat to medium and boil gently until macaroni is very tender, adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls if mixture is dry, about 15 minutes (mixture will be thick but some broth should remain).

Season with salt and pepper. Discard bay leaf.

Stir in parsley and 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Ladle pasta mixture into 4 bowls. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmigiano cheese. Makes 4 first-course servings.

That's it!

 Recipe: Fettuccine con Sugo di Funghi Porcini

Fettuccine con Sugo di Funghi Porcini
Fettuccine with Porcini Mushroom Sauce


1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
4 large shallots, chopped
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed if sandy
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream
12 ounces fettuccine
Grated Parmigiano cheese


Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add shallots and saute until beginning to brown, about 4 minutes.

Add mushrooms and stir to coat.

Add broth and cream and bring sauce to boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until mushrooms are tender, about 20 minutes.

Uncover and boil until sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente', stirring occasionally.

Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water.

Return pasta to pot. Add sauce; toss over medium-low heat until heated through, adding reserved cooking water by tablespoonfuls if pasta is dry.

Season with salt and pepper. Serve, passing cheese separately. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

That's it!

 Recipe: Panna Cotta con Salsa di Fragole e Vin Santo

Panna Cotta con Salsa di Fragole e Vin Santo
Panna Cotta with Strawberry-Vin Santo Sauce


1/4 cup cold water
4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
4 cups whipping cream
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon orange blossom honey
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Vin Santo,* Muscat wine or cream Sherry

2 cups pine nuts (about 9 ounces)
Additional pine nuts

For the strawberry vin santo sauce:
1 lb fresh strawberries, hulled, quartered (about 4 cups)
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons Vin Santo,* Muscat wine or cream Sherry
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon (packed) grated lemon peel


Prepare the panna cotta:
Pour 1/4 cup water into metal bowl; sprinkle gelatin over. Let stand until gelatin softens, about 10 minutes.

Set bowl in saucepan of simmering water. Stir just until gelatin dissolves, about 1 minute.

Combine cream, sugar, honey and vanilla in heavy large saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.

Add gelatin mixture and Vin Santo; whisk until well blended.

Divide 2 cups pine nuts among ten 3/4-cup custard cups.

Divide cream mixture among cups. Chill overnight.

Set cups in small bowl of warm water to loosen panna cotta, about 20 seconds each.

Run small knife between panna cotta and custard cups. Invert panna cotta onto plates.

Spoon sauce over. Sprinkle with additional pine nuts; serve. Makes 10 servings.

Prepare the strawberry vin santo sauce:
Puree 1 lb strawberries in processor.

Transfer puree to heavy large saucepan.

Mix in sugar, Vin Santo, vanilla extract and grated lemon peel.

Simmer over medium-low heat until sauce is reduced to 2 cups, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Cool. (Sauce can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Note: *Vin Santo is an Italian dessert wine sold at some liquor stores and some specialty foods stores.

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:

Prostitute Rejects Tax Bill

Parma - June 23, 2008 - A Uruguayan prostitute working in Italy is refusing to pay taxes on her suspected earnings since she came to the country in 2004.

The woman, 32, was recently presented with a bill of 90,000 euros ($140,000) for undeclared income the Italian tax man has estimated at more than 350,000 euros ($550,000). The Finance Guards did not say how they arrived at the figure but the woman herself told a Parma paper she had regular professional clients from as far away as Milan who paid her a sort of monthly 'salary'.

She said she was determined to fight the case in the courts, arguing that she should not be expected to pay taxes for an often dangerous activity in which she had never been protected by the law.

"I've had to protect myself. No one listened to me when I asked for help. The police said they couldn't step in unless blood was shed. And now they're asking for taxes?"

The woman's lawyer said authorities should provide regulated and protected facilities for prostitution if they wanted to tax sex workers. He also pointed out that prostitution itself is not a crime in Italy, as opposed to living off prostitutes' earnings.

The case rekindled parliamentary debate about legalizing prostitution with leftwing MPs calling on the government to "recognize as a profession the provision of remunerated sexual services from one consensual adult to another".

The rightwing Northern League, which has backed a hard line on prostitution, said the woman should be thrown out of the country.

"Porca di quella bruttissima puttana...di governo!"

Taxes in Italy truly drive you up the Italian wall, both financially and psychologically.

Unfortunately, this whore-like tax fraud amongst Italians has led to a putrid upward spiraling cycle in which the state knows citizens like Miss Uruguay 1995 are going to cheat, so taxes them to Dante's hell in the hopes of bringing in at least enough to keep their whore-like circus running, and the citizens, under the incredible weight of preposterously high taxes are pushed to prostitution and cheat even more.

So more taxes.
And more cheating.
And more taxes again, cazzo!

Italians 'savor' countless different types of taxation, levied on a local, regional and national level; everything from income tax to a levy for taking away the trash. Not only are the taxes disproportionately high here, they are also almost ridiculously numerous. There really is little in Italy that one can do that is not taxed including enjoyment from scratching your ass.

Most documents needed for any sort of official whore-like transaction, from applying for a driver's license to renting a property, must be presented "in bollo", meaning with a tax stamp affixed. Even if you want to put up an index card at the local butcher's to try and sell your lazy whore-like goat who hasn't produced milk since the last Italian government fall, the thing has to have a "bollo" on it.

There is a tax on keeping your passport current.
There is a tax on your driveway (passo carrabile).
There is a tax on the sign above your store.

There is a tax that goes to the state TV RAI for the privilege of watching incredibly crappy news and whore-like shows. Of course, the tax applies even if you have just a clock radio in the bedroom, an answering machine that plays bad music in the office and outdated newspapers and magazines in the reception area."

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