07/19/11 Tangerine Granita

"La lettera C è la più soggetta al tradimento - cugino, cognato, e compare." (The letter C is most likely to betray - cousin, brother-in-law, friend.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Three-Cheese Pizza with Pancetta and Mushrooms
  -Cauliflower and Caramelized Onion Tart
  -Tangerine Granita

"Ciao!" Everyone at the bakery hope your summer season is full of health and happiness. Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci and grazie again!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

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 Recipe: Three-Cheese Pizza with Pancetta and Mushrooms

Three-Cheese Pizza with Pancetta and Mushrooms
Pizza a Tre Formaggi con Pancetta e Funghi


Ready pizza dough
1/2 cup marinara sauce
1 cup coarsely grated Fontina cheese
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano cheese
1/3 cup coarsely grated mozzarella cheese
2 ounces crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped


Preheat oven to 475°F.

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment.

Divide pizza dough in half.

Roll out 1 half on lightly floured surface to 13 and 1/2 by 8 and 1/2-inch rectangle.

Transfer to 1 baking sheet.

Repeat with second half.

Spread 1/4 cup marinara sauce over each pizza, leaving 1/2-inch border.

Sprinkle cheeses over, then mushrooms and pancetta.

Sprinkle with salt and generous amount of pepper.

Bake pizzas until brown on bottom and cheese is melted, about 15 minutes.

Cut each pizza crosswise into rectangles. 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Cauliflower and Caramelized Onion Tart

Cauliflower and Caramelized Onion Tart
Torta di Cavolfiore e Cipolle Caramellate


1 small head of cauliflower (about 1 pound), cored, cut into 1-inch florets
2 and 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon truffle oil

1 refrigerated pie crust

1 large onion, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 large eggs
One 7 to 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano cheese


Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 425°F.

Toss cauliflower with 1 tablespoon olive oil in large bowl.

Spread on large rimmed baking sheet, spacing apart.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast 15 minutes; turn florets over.

Continue roasting until tender, about 25 minutes longer.

Cool cauliflower, then thinly slice.

Drizzle with truffle oil; toss.

Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

Press pie crust onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom.

Line pie crust with foil; fill with pie weights.

Bake crust 20 minutes.

Remove foil and pie weights; bake until crust is golden, about 5 minutes, pressing crust with back of fork if bubbles form.

Cool crust.

Maintain oven temperature.

Heat remaining 1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat.

Add onion; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Cook until onion is deep golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes.

Cool slightly.

Brush bottom and sides of crust with mustard.

Spread onion in crust.

Arrange cauliflower evenly over.

Set tart on rimmed baking sheet.

Whisk eggs and next 4 ingredients in medium bowl.

Stir in Gruyère.

Pour mixture over filling in tart pan; sprinkle with Parmigiano cheese.

Bake until tart is golden and center is set, about 40 minutes.

Transfer to rack; cool 15 minutes before serving. Makes 8 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Tangerine Granita

Tangerine Granita
Granita Al Mandarino


1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons (packed) finely grated tangerine peel
4 cups purchased fresh tangerine juice
1/4 cup strained fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt


Bring first 3 ingredients to boil in small saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves.

Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until reduced to thin syrup, about 5 minutes.

Pour into 8 x 8 x 2-inch glass baking dish.

Stir in remaining ingredients.

Cover; freeze overnight.

Using fork, scrape granita in its dish into flakes.

Cover and keep frozen up to 2 days. 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:

Naples Trash Crisis Nears End...And Ready To Begin Again

Naples - July 4, 2011 - Following weeks of government debate and street demonstrations over the Naples trash crisis, the southern city's mayor announced Monday that the problem may finally have reached a close.

"The city has been substantially cleaned up," said Mayor Luigi de Magistris. "A massive clean-up operation targeted the worst-hit districts last night".

He added that it is still unclear as to where that garbage will now be dumped.

A central government measure passed last week permits the Campania region to export refuse to other parts of the country, emphasizing that neighboring regions should be the "priority target".

"The response of the mayors (in other regions) has been excellent, and I hope they don't deny our request," said de Magistris, adding that he had been in touch with 10-15 local governments, yet did not specify which ones.

Milan Mayor Giuliano Pisapia announced his city was sending seven trash compactors to Naples.

The European Union recently chastised the Italian government and threatened sanctions for the thousands of tonnes of trash that covered city streets and the surrounding province in recent weeks.

Armed police escorts had recently begun accompanying garbage trucks as exasperated protesters had resorted to tipping over dumpsters, blocking traffic and setting fire to the growing piles of waste choking the daily flow of city life.

Naples and the surrounding region of Campania have suffered similar crises periodically for a number of years.

The previous public outcry occurred last November when weeks of clashes and rising trash piles brought Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi to the city.

It was then that the premier, who won plaudits by sorting out a similar emergency in 2008, made a vow to clear the streets in three days.

But the problems have returned partly because of technical failures in local incinerators and the lack of investment in other landfill sites.

The issue is further complicated by the role of the local mafia, or Camorra, and claims that they have infiltrated waste management in Naples and dumped toxic waste on sites near residential areas.

The government has said it will present a plan within one month outlining a proposed solution to the crisis. does a crisis that's a decade old come near to an end? "Cazzarola", let's face it, Naples is a nice if you're a mouse, not a resident.

Napolitani mothers: "Figli miei, we have to learn to live together and resolve our problem. We can't run."
Napolitani kids: "Minchia, sure we can run, the whole world is running! Hold your breath and look out the balcony again, mamma. Even the mice stop, look up and say, 'ancora qui?' (still here?)"

So, should tourists be concerned? It depends on your phobias. The situation isn't lovely. The Napolitani are currently on the search for some hygiene saint to help them get out of that mess. They have one (San Gennaro) whose dried blood liquefies 3 times a year and sends the city into delirium...but that damn garbage is still there.

You would think the good saint would at least perform the miracle of differentiating it.

The problem is as ugly and out of control as a Napolitano sitting out on a stoop with his shirt half-buttoned, drinking cheap wine from a plastic cup. The Campania region's dumps reached full capacity more than a decade ago, and since then a state of emergency has been declared every 48 minutes. Eight different commissioners have been appointed, but they have all failed to solve the problem.

Of course, state of emergency means government cash: 1.8 billion Euros (more than $2.5 billion USD) in emergency funds have been transferred to deal with the problem. It's easier to find a cure for polio than to find out where or how the hell that money has been spent.

Incinerators that were supposed to be built were never finished, either because the companies in charge of building them mysteriously could not finish the job, or else because judges stopped the work, pending ongoing criminal investigations into alleged mafia involvement (yawn...shocking).

But here's the kick in the "culo": Over 20% of the money went to pay for the salaries of those in charge of coming up with a solution to the problem.

#1 in charge: "What should we do?"
#2 in charge: "Not sure. In college, I majored in peppers and toothpicks."
#3 in charge: "Don't look at me, I have to go home early. My chicken needs a bath."

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